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..........It's Just That Simple!

Yanking tough recipes out of a chefs kitchen and converting each into
something everyone can prepare, with a little Yankee flair and flavor.

  
  
  

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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

New England Escalloped Cod

Cod has been a New England staple since time immemorial, having been enjoyed by the native Americans and expounded upon, culinarily, by the influx of Europeans. Creamed Cod is an age-old recipe that deserves to be just subtly Yanked. I think you will find this recipe below a perfect example of leaving well enough alone on one hand, yet minimally 'tweaked' for todays' palate. Let me know what you think.

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 6 slices pumpernickel or rye bread
  • 1 3/4 lb(s) cod fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cup(s) milk, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 6 ounce(s) mild white Cheddar cheese, shredded or diced
  • 2 lb(s) potatoes, cooked, cooled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 ounce(s) smoked ham, diced
  • 1 cup(s) frozen peas and/or carrots
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray

New England Escalloped Cod Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Put bread on a baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes, or until dried; remove to cool. Meanwhile, place cod in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups milk and bay leaf so that fish is covered. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. When bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer 4-5 minutes, or until fish flakes. Remove from heat and remove fish with a slotted spoon onto a plate; set aside.
  2. Remove bay leaf from pan of milk and add remainder of milk along with nutmeg, salt and pepper, whisking well. Return to heat and bring to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk 3/4 cup milk with flour; set aside.
  3. When starting to boil, add cheese, whisking well. Remove from heat and continue whisking until cheese has completely melted; set aside.
  4. Add cooked potatoes to an 11 x 7-inch baking pan. Add the ham over the top along with vegetables. Top with cooked cod and pour milk/cheese mixture over the top evenly. Crush dried bread in a bowl, spraying with cooking spray to wet well. Evenly top ' casserole' with bread crumbs and bake 30-35 minutes, or until the bread cubes are well browned and the dish is bubbling.
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