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.
For 4 people
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- When starting to boil, add cheese, whisking well. Remove from heat and continue whisking until cheese has completely melted; set aside.
- 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.