On cod, carrot cake and a Conrad Miami favorite recipe:
Q. Piccadilly Cafeteria has the best baked/broiled cod. I would love to know what goes in the breadcrumb topping.
SUZI BRYANT, MACON, GEORGIA
A. Alas, I was told the cafeteria no longer shares recipes (though long ago we had the great good fortune to have a manager share the recipe for the signature carrot soufflé).
But I think this recipe I’ve developed comes close. I’d serve it with Morrison’s tartar sauce, a recipe we happily snagged before that grand bastion of the Old South closed its doors. Email or write me if you’d like that one, too.
Q. Please tell me how to make the wonderful snapper at Atrio in the Conrad Miami hotel. It’s the best fish dish I’ve tasted in a long time.
A. Another celebration of Florida seafood this summer — and while the recipe seems complicated, you can easily make all the components in advance, or choose to make the fish with just one or two of the complementing and flavorful sides.
Carrot tea cake
I tasted this lovely carrot loaf at Bay Oaks Historic Retirement Residence in Miami last week and was instantly smitten and asked for the recipe to share with my readers. Loved the crusty sweet top, and that it was delicious but not too sweet.
Best of all, it did not have the competing cacophony of flavors that to my mind overtake the usual carrot cake — the raisins, the coconut, the pineapple and most of all that cloying cream cheese frosting. Full disclosure: I am a volunteer board member at the nonprofit home.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.
Grilled Florida Snapper with Carrot Ginger Puree, Pear Relish and Mofongo
4 fresh Florida snapper fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Asian Pear Relish:
1 ounce diced Asian pear
1 ounce diced red onion
1 ounce diced cucumber
1 ounce chopped pickled ginger
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 green plantains
2 sweet plantains
2 cups canola or olive oil for frying
Kosher salt to taste
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 slice of cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 pound crisp, fried pork rinds
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the fish: Remove all bones and season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat grill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the relish: Mix all ingredients delicately with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the carrot puree: Place carrots and ginger in a pot filled with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until carrots tender, about 6 minutes. Strain, remove ginger, and place in a food processor. Add heavy cream and puree until smooth. Season to taste. Keep warm.
Mofongo: Peel and slice green and sweet plantains into 2-inch thick rounds. Fry green plantains until soft. In a medium bowl, combine and mash sweet plantains with cooked green plantains. Add kosher salt, garlic, bacon, pork rinds, chicken stock, and olive oil.
To cook the snapper: Grill should be very hot or the fish may stick to the grill. Coat the flesh side of the fish with vegetable oil cooking spray and place on the grill flesh side down for about 2 minutes. Turn fish slightly to create crisscross grilled pattern and cook for another 2 minutes. Place fillets in an oven-safe pan and finish cooking in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes, until fully cooked.
To assemble: Swirl the carrot puree onto a plate and place a small mound of mofongo in the center on top of the puree. Place the snapper on top with a spoonful of the Asian pear relish. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 901 calories (47 percent from fat), 48 g fat (11.7 g saturated, 26.5 g monounsaturated), 119 mg cholesterol, 66.4 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 1,233 mg sodium.
Source: Executive chef Virgile Brandel of Conrad Miami’s Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room.
Bay Oaks’ Carrot Tea Cake
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups shredded carrots
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. In a bowl, whisk together the 1 1/4 cups of the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Toss the walnuts with the remaining flour in a small bowl.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until very light and fluffy on medium speed, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the oil, then the vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture and carrots and finally the walnuts. Spoon into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar.
Bake until the cake tests done by placing a toothpick in the center to see if it will come out clean, about 70 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold, with lightly whipped cream if desired. Makes 10 servings..
Per serving: 415 calories (58 percent from fat), 27 g fat (3.1 g saturated, 5.1 g monounsaturated), 52 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 194 mg sodium.
Source: Adapted from Bay Oaks Retirement Residence Recipe.
Southern Cafeteria-Style Baked Cod
2 pounds cod filets
3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter with the lemon juice, mayonnaise, garlic and onion powder and paprika. Coat a non-reactive baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange fish in the pan. Spread the mayonnaise and spice mixture onto the fish as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly on top. Drizzle with the remaining butter.
Bake 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork and top is golden. Makes 4 servings..
Per serving: 343 calories (36 percent from fat), 13.5 g fat (6.3 g saturated, 3.2 g monounsaturated), 122 mg cholesterol, 42.5 g protein, 10.6 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 312 mg sodium.
Source: Linda Cicero for Cook’s Corner.