Every family has its own way with potatoes. Growing up, my mom would buy frozen potato latkes, heat them up in the toaster, and serve them with Mott’s apple sauce (you can hear all about it on my mom’s episode of Lunch Therapy). Most families, I’d venture, are mashed potato families. Some do it from a box, others from scratch.
Here at Chez Amateur Gourmet, we’re a roasted potato family. Specficially: pee-wee potatoes roasted with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sometimes with spices thrown in (smoked paprika, cumin seeds, crushed coriander seeds).
Here’s why I love doing potatoes this way: you can dump them straight from the little pee-wee potato package into your cast iron skillet. Then you smash a few cloves of garlic, throw those in, glug in the olive oil, sprinkle in lots of salt, and pop into a 425 oven. You leave it and forget about it and the potatoes start to wrinkle and crisp, the garlic gets caramelized, and 45 minutes later you have a potato side that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
But a breakthrough came last week when I read this Mark Bittman recipe for potatoes and cod. He has you slice potatoes thinly (1/8th of an inch!), cook with butter, and then lay cod on top before broiling. That all sounded very fussy; why slice potatoes when you can roast pee-wees? But I loved the idea of laying cod on top of the cooked potatoes and broiling.
It really was as simple as roasting my potatoes the normal way, putting the fish on top, drizzling with olive oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and popping under the broiler until the cod reached an internal temperature of 145.
While all of that was happening, I made a quick olive gremolata with pitted Cerignola olives, lemon zest, capers, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Dinner was as simple as lifting the cod on to plates, scooping the potatoes on to the side, and placing the gremolata on top of the fish. With a crisp white wine, it was a perfect weeknight dinner and easier to make than frozen potato latkes with apple sauce.
One-Pan Cod and Potatoes with Olive Gremolata
- 3 cups pee-wee potatoes
- 5 – 6 cloves garlic, smashed and skinned
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the fish and gremolata
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs smoked paprika
- 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
- 1 cup green olives (preferably Cerignola), pitted
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 Tbs capers
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 filets cod Other fish would probably work here. You’re just broiling it on top of potatoes.
Heat the oven to 425. Place the potatoes and garlic in a cast iron skillet and toss with the olive oil, a big pinch of salt (about a tablespoon), freshly ground black pepper, and the spices. Place in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are wrinkled, the garlic is golden, and a knife pierces a potato easily. (Sometimes this takes longer, like an hour or so.)
While the potatoes roast, make the gremolata. Stir together the olives, the lemon zest, juice, capers, and parsley. Stir in olive oil (about 1/4 cup.) Taste and adjust with more lemon juice.
To finish, lay the cod filets on top of the potatoes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place under the broiler and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145.
To serve, spoon lift the cod on to plates, spoon the potatoes on the side, and top the fish with the gremolata. Eat right away.
One-Pan Salmon with Sugar Snap Peas and a Cherry Tomato Sauce (Amateur Gourmet)
Roasted Cod and Potatoes (Mark Bittman, New York Times)
Madhur Jaffrey’s Baked Cod in Yogurt Sauce (The Wednesday Chef)
Tourte de Brandade, or Salt Cod Tart (Orangette)