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Spice Rubbed Cod with Rutabaga Fries

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Foodie Lit

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“We simply assert that women, as they are, are unfit to vote.”  New York Times. March 18, 1859


Dr. Abbey Kaplan thought after her work as surgeon in the Civil War, she would easily be accepted as a surgeon in hospitals. That was not the case. But as Abbey had fought to be accepted as a surgeon during the Civil War, so now she fought many battles to have her voice heard. She realized that unless she could vote, she could not confront the many problems she was encountering. Despite the editorializing of The NY Times, eventually they were proven wrong.

What I love about this recipe is that you can make it for one or twenty. It is easy to find wild caught cod, a fairly inexpensive fish. The taste is mild, not “fishy” and is a popular fish in Fish and Chips and here in this easy to make Spice Rubbed Cod, paired with Rutabaga Fries. You can prep the day before to save time on a busy work or school night and the leftovers easily reheat (better reheated in an oven or toaster oven than a microwave). The spice rub is a great one-I  use it on almost any fish, chicken, beef, or oven roasted veggies. Add more or less pepper according to your ”heat” meter. Delicious, pretty and with the low calory Rutabaga “Fries”, you have a great, healthy and budget friendly meal.

Some suggested desserts to end the meal

Tarte aux fraises (Strawberry Tart) 

French Apple Cake 

Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Biscotti 

Carrot Cake 

Spice Rubbed Cod with Rutabaga Fries

Serves 4


Spice Rub


1 tablespoon dried basil

1  teaspoon coriander

4 teaspoons powdered garlic

4 teaspoons onion powder

3 tablespoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. Place spices in small blender or food processor and blend to powder texture. Coffee grinder is good too. Store in tightly covered container.

  2. Good on chicken, fish, beef, potatoes and veggie fries.



1  pound rutabaga

2 tablespoons oil

Spice Rub



1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound cod fillet

Spice Rub


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.

  2. Peel rutabaga. Slice into 1/4” wide and 4” long slices, like your typical French fries.

  3. Pace on a parchment line oven proof pan. Drizzle the fries with olive or vegetable oil. Then sprinkle with the spice rub. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the fries. Add more spice rub and oil if needed. Bake another 8-10 minutes or until the fries are golden and slightly crispy.

  4. Turn after fries are golden on one side, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle spice rub on other side and cook until cod flakes easily with fork, another 5 minutes.

  5. While rutabaga fries are baking, prepare cod. Rinse cod in cool water. Pat dry. Cut into 4 pieces. Generously sprinkle spice rub on one side.

  6. Heat oil in skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add cod spice side up, not crowding pieces. Sauté in 2 batches if necessary.  When golden on one side, turn each pieces carefully. Sprinkle other side with spice rub. Sauté another 5-7 minute or until the cod flakes easily with a fork.

  7. Place cod on plate and squeeze with a slice of lemon. Add rutabaga fries on the side. Time to eat!


Expandthetable suggestions

Vegetable fries: Once you realize that potatoes aren’t the only fries, open up and oven roast turnips, parsnips, carrots or sweet potatoes, or a medley of your favorites!

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