Parchment-Baked Cod with Coconut Rice

Parchment-Baked Cod with Coconut Rice

Serves 4

4 4-5 ounce cod fillets, about 1-1/2 inches thick

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

A one-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced fine

3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and minced

2-1/4 teaspoons Garam Masala, divided use

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

1/2 of a naval orange, peeled, sectioned, and each section cut in 6 pieces

1 cup raw rice

1/4 cup usweetened flaked dried coconut

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small bag washed baby spinach (5 ounces)

1 lime, cut in half

Equipment: a rimmed baking sheet (15 to 18 inches long), parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the rice in a saucepan and add 2 cups of water, the coconut, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir it up, cover the pot, and set the heat to low. Cook for 14 minutes. The liquid should be all absorbed — if not, cook for another minute or two. Take the pot off the heat, stir up the rice, and leave it uncovered.

Put the fennel seeds on a cutting board. Using the bottom of a heavy skillet or pot, crush the seeds. Put them in a small bowl with the Garam Masala and set aside.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the fish. Cut a piece of parchment that’s as big as the baking sheet and put the paper on the sheet. Place the fish fillets on the middle of the paper with a little space between them. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the fish and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle on half of the Garam Masala/fennel seed mixture divided among the fillets. Squeeze half of the lime over the fish. Grab the short sides of the parchment and bring them together. Start folding them down toward the fish, creasing well with each fold. Go all the way down to just above the fish. The paper should stay folded together, but you can use a couple of paper clips to secure it if you want to be sure. On the long ends, make a fold halfway between the fish and the ends of the paper, then tuck the folded paper under the fish.

Put the fish in the oven about 10 minutes before the rice is done. Set the timer for 20 minutes to cook the fish. After the rice is cooked, heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet until it shimmers. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the rest of the Garam Masala mixture, 1 teaspoon of salt, and some pepper. Stir for about a minute until you can really smell it. Add the spinach to the pan and stir to wilt it. The spinach will release some liquid as it wilts. Make sure to mix the spinach well with the garlic, ginger, and spices, and push it to one side of the pan so that the liquid goes to the other side. Cook to boil away most of the liquid, just a couple of minutes. Then add the cooked rice and cook everything until the rice is dry and maybe beginning to brown just a little. Taste for salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the orange pieces.

The rice should be done just as the fish comes out of the oven. (The fish can sit in the parchment if you’re not quite ready with the rice yet.) To serve, dish out the rice on four plates. Carefully cut open the parchment and put a fillet on each plate on top of the rice. Spoon any juices in the parchment over the fish. Squeeze the other half of the lime over the four plates and serve immediately.

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