What to prepare when it’s so hot that the very thought of turning on the cooker generates additional heat? Butcher Block had to dig deep this week to find three recipes that were tasty, easy to prepare, filling without being too heavy, and visually appealing. Perfect Baked Cod, Bruschetta Grilled Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple checked all the boxes.
Perfect Baked Cod
4 cod filets, about 1” thick
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 lemon, sliced, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, smashed but not peeled
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F and pat cod filets with a paper towel until dry. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Combine olive oil, cherry tomatoes, lemon slices, garlic, and thyme in a 9” x 13” baking dish. Toss to coat and spread into an even layer. Nestle cod pieces into baking dish.
Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of filets.
Serve garnished with parsley, more lemon juice, and pan sauce.
Bruschetta Grilled Chicken
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning or dried oregano
4 boneless skinless antibiotic free chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
3 slicing tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp freshly chopped basil
4 slices mozzarella
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
In a small bowl, combine oil, half the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Italian seasoning (or oregano) and whisk to combine. Transfer to a large resealable bag along with chicken; seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat grill over medium-high then add chicken, discarding excess marinade. Grill until charred and cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F - 160°F, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, and remaining lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. While chicken is still on grill, top each breast with a single slice of mozzarella and cover until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Top chicken with tomato mixture.
Garnish with Parmesan and serve.
Sweet and Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple
For sweet and sour sauce
½ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp sriracha
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into cubes
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Make the sweet and sour sauce: In a small pot, combine the pineapple juice with the rice vinegar, ketchup, sriracha, soy sauce and garlic. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the cornstarch to combine. Add the sugar mixture to the pot and whisk well.
Simmer until the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Make the skewers: Arrange the pork and pineapple on the skewers, alternating between the two. Repeat until all the skewers are assembled.
Brush the skewers with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook on a preheated grill or grill pan until nicely charred on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
While the skewers are still hot, brush generously with the sweet-and-sour sauce. Garnish with scallions and serve.