Archive for john yi fish market

Cod Wrapped in Proscuitto

If eating more fish is one of your New Year’s Resolutions… Read on for one easy cook idea

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I was sitting in a pretty stuffy Italian restaurant in Philly (ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies) and chuckled out loud at a sidebar note on the menu, which proudly claimed “we don’t combine meat with fish.”

Is this something to be proud of?  Why?

What about Paella, or Jambalaya, or any one of those classic dishes that use a spiced sausage or hearty meat to lend weight to a fish dish…?

I have no such qualms with this combination.  And neither does my fave Brit chef Jamie Oliver, who came up with this recipe for Monkfish wrapped in Proscuitto.

Except for when making kebabs, Monkfish is too chunky and meat-like for me.  I much prefer a flakier fish – one that actually reminds me of why I am eating fish and not chicken, so I switched out the monkfish for a cod filet, which came fresh from John Yi’s wet fish counter in Reading Terminal Market.

The recipe calls for a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Didn’t have these to hand so I improvised with dried tomatoes, olive oil and a handful of fresh basil, which I ground up in a coffee grinder.  This worked beautifully.

Sundried tomatoes + coffee grinder = instantaneous chunky tomato paste

I slathered this tomato mixture on the cod filets then wrapped them in prosciutto, seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper and then we were away.

The salty crispness of the prosciutto gave an edge to the cod and was enhanced by the aroma and saltiness of the tomato and basil mixture.

What on earth was this antsy restaurant going on about…?

Next they’ll be saying no cheese and seafood combos.  And then where would we be?  No Lobster Thermidor…?

Enough with this food snobbery.


Scallops and Lemon Fettuccine

Poor husband.  His business travels always result his his missing the dinners planned by his foodie teen daughter and executed by his food blogger wife.   Following up on the homemade pizza dinner, the young lady requested a dinner featuring scallops and fresh pasta.  Naturally, our culinarily conservative son stuck with a burger that night–though he did have a grand time with the pizza.

Here’s what we came up with:  Lidia Bastianitch’s Lemon Alfredo, and sauteed dry scallops.  I recently learned from another Lydia–the fishmonger at John Yi Seafood in Reading Terminal Market that dry scallops are better for a sauteed or grilled dish because they brown well.  Wet scallops, which are a few dollars cheaper, are better in stews, curries, soups and other sauce-based dishes because they don’t brown.  It has to do with the way the different types hold and release water–I didn’t get all the technicalities, but as you can see from the picture, the dry ones do brown.

I started by allowing the scallops to reach room temp, then salting and peppering them.

Next, I placed them in a buttered skillet, browned them,  gave them a spritz of lemon juice and a splash of white wine.  I turned them frequently, and cooked them for a total of about 8 minutes.

While the scallops seared, and the pasta water came to a boil, I prepared the sauce to Lidia’s specifications, starting with the grated lemon zest and butter in the skillet.  It took all of about 6 minutes.

The arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette was the perfect accompaniment, keeping the lemon flavor motive infused through all items on the plate.  I tossed the leaves with a squeeze of lemon, a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.

The returning husband did get to enjoy the leftover pasta 3 days later…..

Curry in a Hurry

What’s better than a spicy, hot curry to warm up these cold wintry nights? Lest you fear the grind of grinding spices and endless simmering, fear not. We’ve got a gorgeous recipe that will whet your appetites, impress your friends, tantalize your tastebuds, and best of all can be done in a jiffy, courtesy of our friend Farah.

Farah Kapoor’s Curry in a Hurry

1 1/2 lbs cod cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces–John Yi’s cod is perfect for this recipe; monkfish works, too.
1 jar good quality marinara sauce
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp cream
A handful of fresh cilantro chopped


1. Empty the jar of marinara sauce into a pan and mix in the bay leaves, coriander, cumin and chili powders.

2. Cook on low for about 10 minutes until you smell the spices.

3. Dust the pieces of fish with salt and pepper.

4. When the mixture is simmering, add the fish and cook for about 5 minutes until just cooked through.

5. Add cream and cilantro; remove from heat and enjoy with basmati rice or naan.

We thought this speed cooking competition in China was interesting; Farah’s recipe is not this quick, but her fish is no longer moving when she serves it…..