A couple of weeks ago, our friend Erin (a.k.a. Ringer) came over for a visit and some food, cuz that’s how we roll. A very quick aside, she found a different all-you-can-eat sushi place that we are going to try at some point in the future. Anywho, I was put in charge of making supper for the three of us. I know, big surprise. I had run across a recipe for bacon wrapped fish fillets and I wanted to give that a go (a Jamie Oliver recipe of course). This was one of those situations where I took the basic idea and did all the details on my own. Naturally, there was one or two flaws that happened in the process, but I’ll get to those later.
First off, the ingredients. I had some nice cod fillets that I had bought a few days prior that would work perfectly. Also from the freezer was a pound of bacon. For seasoning, I used a dill dip blend that I had sitting in the cupboard for way too long. It may be my Polish background, but in my ever so humble opinion, dill goes great with fish, especially cod. As a final ingredient, some extra virgin olive oil for a little binding action for the seasoning.
I mixed the dill blend into some olive oil and drug the fillets through the mixture for an even coat. The next step was to lay out four slices of bacon side by side and lay a fillet on top of it. Then the bacon came up, over, and finally tucked under. I found that it worked a bit better to do the wrap at a bit of an angle because it fit around the fish better. I repeated with the remaining fillets. I took the last bit of oil/dill mixture and smeared on top of the bacon just to help round out the flavors. Here is the first thing that I will change the next time I cook this. The bacon didn’t crisp up enough by the time the fish was done, so I’m thinking that if I partially cook it before wrapping the fish that will help it crisp up as well as helping the second issue which I will get to in a bit.
I put the fillets on a baking sheet and popped them into a 475 F degree oven for around ten minutes. Basically long enough for the fish to firm up throughout. The near disaster started about five minutes into the cooking process when the bacon started to render and the fat was pouring onto the heating element in the oven. Amazingly, I didn’t set off the fire alarm with the amount of smoke that was coming out of the oven. Which is good since we live in an apartment complex with hard wired alarms. We had a string of fire alarms several months ago because people kept burning food. Fortunately, I didn’t have to become a hypocrite for swearing at those people as well as doing the walk of shame out of the building. Which brings me to the second thing I would change. Put the fillets on a half-sheet, or any kind of pan with sides! Despite the chaos and mess, the fish turned out really well. The only downside was the not-so-crisp bacon.
Ringer’s favorite part of the meal was the tomato salad that I literally whipped together in three minutes at the very last second because I needed something else to go on the plate. All it contains is diced tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch or two of salt to bring everything together. Ringer liked it so much, she finished hers, what was left on the counter, and what Lindz left on her plate. I’m taking it as a compliment.
The silver lining to the oven fiasco is that it finally motivated me to clean the oven like Lindz has been asking me to do for quite some time. I’d call myself a procrastinator, but I think I’ll have time to do that later.