Who knew you could get so much flavor from such a simple dish?
This dish is inspired by the flavors of Cajun cuisine, but it’s not all heat. The spice mixes for the kale and fish add both depth and flavor that you’re sure to love. If you’d like a less spicy version, however, feel free to cut back on the arbol and cayenne peppers. If you want it a little bit spicier, go ahead and add more.
I like to keep the kale as raw as possible in this dish, while still cooking it through. I find that it gives it a less pronounced “cabbagey” flavor, and it tastes brighter. That said, if you prefer a more cooked kale leaf, you can add it to the tomatoes before they have reduced and braise the kale completely.
Blackened Cod with Spicy Kale
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 fillets cod
- 1 teaspoon bacon grease
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoons cayenne
- 1 teaspoon arbol chile powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ bunch kale (about 7 leaves)
- 1 16-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 green onion
- 1 teaspoon bacon grease (optional)
- First, make your spice mixes. Combine the blackened cod spices in a wide dish or plate, to make it easier to coat the fish later. Combine the kale spices, and set them aside.
- Thinly slice the green onion, reserving the green tops separately.
- Sauté the white and pale green portions in the bacon fat — or simply in a bit of juice from the canned tomatoes if you don’t want to add any extra fat to the dish.
- When they are nice and soft and a bit caramelized, add the tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid has nearly all reduced.
5. Meanwhile, remove all of the large ribs from the kale, and slice it rather finely into a chiffonade.
6. Add the kale spice mix to the tomatoes, and cook together for 30 seconds, until it becomes fragrant.
7. Add the kale chiffonade to the pan of tomatoes, and add just enough water to keep the kale and tomatoes from burning. Set over a low heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is cooked through but still bright green.
8. Next, prepare the cod. Coat it on both sides with the spice mixture, and heat the bacon grease in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the cod and cook for about two to three minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.
9. Serve the cod on top of the kale and tomato mixture, and sprinkle with green onion tops.