I can’t seem to get away from the water. I spent my childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan. Then in my early 20s I was off to southern California, and now I spend as much time as possible on the east end of Long Island in the Hamptons. One reason I love coastal living is my fondness for fish: Ever since I was a little girl sitting on the dock with my flimsy bamboo fishing pole, seafood has been one of my very favorite meals.
My family and I used to frequent a waterside restaurant called Juilleret’s, which served a brilliant one-dish meal: planked whitefish surrounded by mashed potatoes. It was the perfect dinner for a family of six, yet so transcendently delicious that my mother was sure there must be some trick of the trade.
One magical day she managed to wrangle the secret out of the chef, who confided that our beloved whitefish was baked with…lemon and butter. That was it. Which is why I love fish: It manages to be incredibly special and unbelievably simple at the same time.
Now that I’m raising a family of my own, I thought I’d invent my own version of the easy-yet-extraordinary fish dinner. Dressed up with a sweet, tangy relish, this steamed cod can be on the table in minutes, but it tastes like a real treat, and I would not dream of keeping it a secret.
Steamed Cod with Mango and Avocado Relish Recipe
What you’ll need…
For the relish
2 mangoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
For the fish
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 cod filets, 6 oz each (you can substitute any flaky white fish, such as snapper or whitefish)
2 Vidalia onions, sliced in ½-inch circles
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Mix the mangoes, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, honey, pepper flakes and olive oil in a bowl. (Mix gently, so it doesn’t get mushy!) Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Season the cod with salt and pepper.
3. Lay the sliced onions with the cod on top in a steamer (I like bamboo) over boiling water. Don’t let the water touch the fish, or the fish will poach instead of steam.
4. Cover the steamer tightly and cook the fish for 5 or 6 minutes, until cooked through.
5. To serve, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cooked fish and top with mango and avocado relish.