What could the forbidden fruit do for your dinner?

Cakes and Breads / May 12, 2015

The following ritual has become a kind of a joke these days:  I get the bug to cook, I invite friends over for a meal, they ask “what can I bring?” and I of course just say, “…bring your appetite. I have the rest!”

It sounds innocent enough; civilized, intelligent people around my table who bring me wine and all I have to do is cook. And on this fateful evening I decided that I would make QUICK APPLE LEMON RELISH WITH BAKED COD AND BLACK RICE and MANGO HABANERO APRICOT BUTTER CROSTINI.

But wait. We know about that evil fruit whose core is cloaked in fable and truth, that blossomed only to change Eden to desert and isolation. Oh yeah, nothing guiltless about that menu choice. Can it be served without debate? Will biting into its crispy flesh transform us into new creatures and spoil it all? Could it possibly keep the doctor away, show a teacher you love her, stand as the main ingredient in America’s favorite pie, and cause Adam to fall?

The apple has a heavy load to carry.

Which is why I decided it MUST be the centerpiece of my easy meal.

Chop, chop, chop into little chunks it fell before becoming part of a quick apple relish with onion, fresh tarragon, lemon and a bit of champagne vinegar. Then, by being carefully placed atop a salt and pepper baked cod, all fables fell away, and only knife and fork were our tools of conversation. And all because forbidden is what food is all about.

Eve would be SOOOO proud.

Baked Cod with Apple Lemon Relish

With Black Rice and Mango Habanero Orange Butter Crostini*

 Serves 2


2 6 ounce code filets
¼ t seasoning salt
2 T canola oil
Salt and Pepper
½ loaf 4 grain French bread
3 T butter
1 T mango habanero sauce
2 T orange marmalade
1t fresh tarragon leaves, chopped finely and some whole to garnish
1 large Fuji apple diced small
¼ C very thinly sliced sweet onion or shallot
¼ C champagne vinegar or very mild white vinegar (apple cider works, but very tart.)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (reserve 3 thin slices of the lemon before squeezing to top the cod while baking.


  • In a small bowl, add the apple, the onion, the lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, chopped tarragon and the vinegar. Stir, pat down so that as much of the ingredients touch the vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 – 3 hours.
  • Rub baking dish with 1 T olive oil and rub the other on the cod filets and place in dish, not touching. Sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt and salt and pepper then top with the lemon slices. Cook on 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or just until they turn opaque. Remove and serve with the relish on top.
  • I also served with black rice which is so easy, nutty and beautiful!
  • The crostini is prepared by toasting the bread on each side under the broiler. Then combine the butter, mango habanero sauce and marmalade together, evenly spread on bread and then broil again until melted.

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