Quarantine Kitchen

Baked Cod Over Smashed Potatoes with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I’m a huge fan of fish, and while I would normally opt for an oily fish like salmon for dinner, this mild cod fillet is truly great over potatoes with green vegetables. Cod has several advantages over the fish: it’s cheaper, it’s easy to cook and cooks quickly, and it appeals to your friends and family who aren’t quite as into seafood.

These horseradish and goat cheese smash potatoes might sound aggressive, but they’re softer than you think, especially after they’re mixing in with some leeks sautéed in butter. This creates a luscious, fluffy side dish that stays hearty. While I chose to serve green beans on the side, feel free to cook your favorite bitter winter green directly into your potatoes!

For the Cod:

2, 5 oz cod fillets

1/4 cup all purpose flour

3 tbsp panko or cornmeal

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp lemon-pepper

1 tsp paprika


For the Potatoes:

1 leek, roughly chopped and cleaned thoroughly

2 tbsp butter, softened

1-2lbs Yukon gold potatoes

1/4 cup half-and-half or non-dairy milk

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tbsp horseradish

1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

For the Tomato Sauce:

2-3 roma tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp half-and-half

1 tsp smoked paprkia

1 garlic clove, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Half tomatoes and place on a baking sheet, drizzled with oil. When oven reaches temperature, roast for about 30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add potatoes to a medium sized pot and cover with water. Add a generous portion of salt to the water, and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are falling apart, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Add flour, panko, and seasonings to a paper bag or to-go container. Add cod fillets to the bag and shake gently, coating the fish in a very light breading. Shake and excess flour off the fillets and set aside.
  4. In a medium non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add cod fillets and cook for about 2 minutes on both sides, but do not cook it all the way through. When both sides are browned, remove cod to a baking sheet.
  5. When tomatoes are done roasting, set arise. Add cod to the oven at 400º and bake for 10 minutes or until flakey and cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter in a large sautée pan. Once melted, add chopped leeks to the pan. (NOTE: Be sure to thoroughly clean your leeks before cooking to ensure that all grit has been removed from the plant.)
  7. Sautée leeks over medium heat until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic to the pan and stir constantly to avoid any possibility of garlic burning.
  8. Once potatoes are soft, add them directly to the pan with he leeks. Using a potato smasher or a large spoon, smash potatoes into the leeks, garlic and butter. Stir in half-and-half, horseradish, and goat cheese. Feel free to add more butter and half and half if you want your potatoes creamier!
  9. While potatoes and cod are finishing, combine tomatoes in a blender or food processor with olive oil, half-and-half, paprika, salt, pepper, and 1 finely minced clove of garlic. Process on high unit smooth. Pass tomato mixture through a fine strainer to remove any leftover solids and set aside.
  10. Once cod has cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Spoon potatoes into the center of a large plate. Rest one cod fillet over the potatoes and spoon tomato sauce over the top of the fish. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper if desired.

Serve with chopped parsley and lemon over the fish. Perfectly suited to be eaten by itself or served alongside green vegetables, paired with a glass of crisp white wine.

Quarantine Kitchen

A Guide to Winter Squash

It’s soup/stew season which means it’s SQUASH SEASON. Squash are one of the most popular ingredients in cold weather recipes, but it’s a pretty big category. What separates butternut squash from acorn? Or spaghetti? Or yellow? Use this guide to find the perfect variety for your dinner tonight!

  1. Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is probably the most popular version of gourd, at least on Pinterest. This squash is great for cooking and roasting, and it can add a pleasant sweetness to your fall dinners, similar to the effect you get from sweet potatoes. This squash is easy to peel, which is a huge plus for if you’re looking to chop it up for a stew or side.

I like this squash cubed and roasted in the oven with herbs like sage and thyme as a side to roasted pork chops. This is also my favorite version to puree into soup or make into vegan autumn steaks on the grill. Use this squash in any savory or sweet dish this fall.

2. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is characterized by its extremely savory and nutty flavor when cooked. It is a deep forest green that is streaked with a bright yellow-orange making it a great choice if you’re making a meal to impress your partner/parents/ex you know you shouldn’t still follow but totally do. Look for acorn squash that has just a touch of orange though—too much means it’s overripe!

This squash is deal for baking and stuffing. I like mine roasted and wrapped in prosciutto or baked with a vegan cornmeal stuffing. 9be looking in the next few weeks for these recipes!)

3. Spaghetti Squash

Okay, this guy is a little weird. Not bad weird, just not like any other squash you’ve ever seen. This squash has a stringy texture on the inside meaning that after it is baked it can be used as a pasta substitute. I will say right now, I don’t condone the substitution of pasta in dishes in order to restrict carbs. carbs are important and past is delicious. But I do think spaghetti squash is a good substitute in certain recipes because vegan pasta is criminally expensive.

Cut the large squash in half and bake it with oil. Then simply use a fork to scrape out the insides to use at your will in dishes such as squash carbonara or lemon curry spaghetti squash with seared shrimp.

4. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is delicious and if you’re a pumpkin hater, I feel bad for you. The version we’re most familiar with is the sugar pumpkin, and it’s great for literally everything. Pie? Delicious. Soup? Yes, yes, yes! Roasted for an entree or side? Fuck yeah. Sugar pumpkins are just a little sweet, similar to butternut squash and sweet potato, so it can be treated with herbs and salt for savory dishes and brown sugar and spices for dessert. I’m especially fond of this squash in soups like pumpkin and peanut soup, or roasted into a pumpkin gratin alongside roasted chicken or eggplant and lentils.

Be looking in the blood in the coming weeks for some A+ recipes using all these squash types!

Cocktail Recipes

Sherry Sidecar

A sidecar is one of my favorite cocktails because it’s everything I love about cocktails: rich, velvety, and full of flavor. This sherry sidecar captures everything I normally love about a standard sidecar while significantly lowering the ABV. Enjoy this version on nights when it gets too hot to have a lot of booze or when you’re close to being out of brandy but still have a hankering for something delicious.

1 1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry

3/4 oz Brandy

1/2 oz Dry Curaçao

1/2 oz Lemon

Bar Spoon Rich Sugar Syrup (2:1)

Lemon Peel

  1. Combine all ingredients, including lemon peel, into a shaker tin with ice.
  2. Regal shake for about 40 seconds or until shaker tin freezes in your hands.
  3. Double strain into a coupe glass, and enjoy!
Cocktail Recipes

Sherry Margarita

Sherry is a fortified Spanish wine with a big personality. Ranging from delicate, bone-dry fino to rich, dense oloroso, sherry is one of my favorite low abv ingredients because it packs a ton of flavor into a relatively small amount of alcohol. This is largely due to its process of aging beneath flor, a type of indigenous yeast that is allowed to form within the barrel, protecting the sherry from oxygen as it ages.

Some sherries, such as Amontillado and oloroso are allowed to be exposed to oxygen after it has aged for a predetermined amount of time beneath this layer of flor, giving these varieties a complex flavor that is much richer and slightly nutty.

1 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry

1/4 oz Tequila (+ 1/4 oz not included in shaker)

1/2 oz Dry Curaçao

3/4 oz Lime

1/4 oz Lemon-Grapefruit Oleo

Bar spoon Rich Sugar Syrup (2:1)


  1. Combine sherry, tequila, curaçao, lime, oleo, and sugar syrup in a shaker tin with ice.
  2. Shake well, about 40 seconds.
  3. Double strain over one large ice cube.
  4. Carefully float additional 1/4 oz tequila on the top of the cocktail.
  5. Grate nutmeg over the surface of the cocktail and enjoy!

Lemon-Grapefruit Oleo

3 grapefruits, peeled

3 lemons, peeled 

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup water

  1. Zest all citrus fruits and transfer peels to a large bowl.
  2. Coat peels in sugar. Be sure all peels are thoroughly covered in sugar.
  3. Cover in plastic and allow to sit at room temperature for 6-7 hours. 
  4. Strain syrup through fine sieve. Rinse peels in bowls with ¼ cup warm water. Strain into syrup mixture to extract remaining sugars. Discard peels. Keep oleo syrup refrigerated. 
Cocktail Hacks

Elderflower Soda Syrup

1 cup Elderflower Gently Sparkling Soda

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar

  1. Heat soda over medium heat until simmering.
  2. Whisk sugar into soda until it has dissolved, about 30 seconds.
  3. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until it has thickened slightly. Allow the syrup to cool completely at room temperature before bottling and storing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.