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The Storm of the Centruy and Two Variations on Cod Chowder

It is finally Summer in the UP.  We recently had some devastating floods here, which in itself is a major anomaly.  Hancock and Houghton are not on a flood plain; we are on hills, with a canal bisecting the two communities.  What happened in the early morning of June 11, 2018, was that over seven inches of rain came down in the span of about 4 hours.  Sunday morning (Father's Day) after the rain subsided is when the damage happened.  The storm drains gave way and roads washed out, bridges and footpaths were destroyed,  and several people were displaced from their homes.  It was a fluke and is being touted as the Storm of the Century.  Never in my lifetime have I seen such a thing.  Here are a few photos to prove my point.

The clean up is underway but it is going to be a long way to recover.  The National Guard was called out as well and they have been here repairing infrastructure for over a week.  #CopperCountryStrong

I wanted to share two great recipes that I have tried recently, both very similar in that they are made with cod and that they are both soupy / chowder-y dishes, both have a Moroccan flair and both are from Sun Basket.   Cod can often get dried out when prepared by baking or pan frying; these two dishes are the opposite.  The fish is so moist and flaky.   These are great easy Summer meals that only take 20 minutes each to prepare, and their colors are gorgeous!

Tomato-Braised Cod with Capers (serves 2; 430 Cals per Serving)


8 oz Diced Tomatoes (canned or fresh)
2 t Capers
1 T Ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend - ingredients and recipe below)
1/4 C Water
1 T Olive oil
2 Cod Fillets (if frozen,  thawed)
Olive oil, salt, pepper


In a large frying pan over med-high heat, combine the capers, tomatoes, ras el hanout, water and oil.  Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, add the cod fillets and cook until the fish is opaque and flaky, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and using two forks, break apart the cod into bite sized pieces.  Transfer to soup bowls and enjoy.

Ras el Hanout (Moroccan Spice Mixture)

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Whisk all together and store in airtight container.  Can be used for up to 1 month stored at room temperature.

Tomato braised Cod with Capers - Photo from Sun Basket

Emerald Cod Chowder


3 Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes (cut into 1 inch chunks)
2 Cod Fillets (cut into 1 inch pieces.  If frozen, thawed)
1T Lemon juice
3 T Mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery blend)
1-2  Crushed tomatillos
1 C Chopped chard or other leafy greens (such as kale or spinach)
1/4 C Chopped fresh parsley
2 T Fish sauce
Olive oil, salt, pepper
4 C Water


In a large pot over med-high heat, warm 1-2 T of olive oil until hot.  Add the potatoes and mirepoix, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and the tomatillos and 4 cups water.  Season with salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the fish, cover, and cook until fish is opaque, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the chard and the chopped parsley until just wilted.  Add the fish sauce.  Stir to combine.  Serve in soup bowls.

Emerald Cod Chowder