Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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Readily available, mild-flavored white fish such as flounder, sole, pollock, tilapia and cod cook quickly and easily. All lend themselves equally well to pan searing, baking and steaming.

TIP While cooking times will vary based on the thickness of the fish, each of these recipes works with any mild-flavored flaky white fish.


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped red onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

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4 plum tomatoes (12 ounces), chopped

12 pitted Kalamata olives, halved

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided

4 (6-ounce) pollock fillets

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until somewhat softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the olives, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper.

2. Season the fish with the remaining 1/2teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add fish and cook until lightly golden on the undersides, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until no longer translucent in the centers, another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the topping. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 213 calories, 27 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1,054 mg sodium


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1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup minced scallion

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4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, olive oil and scallions until the oil is evenly distributed.

3. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Pat the bread crumb mixture evenly over the surfaces and place on the baking sheet pan. Bake until the fish is no longer translucent in the centers, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and coat lightly with cooking spray. Place under the broiler 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 271 calories, 37 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 12 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 527 mg sodium



4 (6-ounce) pieces flounder fillet

4 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

4 teaspoons capers

8 ounces asparagus, trimmed

1/4 cup white wine

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Tear 4 (18-inch long) pieces of foil; fold each in half, unfold and coat the top sides with cooking spray.

2. Working one at a time, place a fillet on 1 side of the fold; spread with 1 teaspoon of mustard, sprinkle with one-fourth of the celery seed and capers. Place the asparagus next to the fish and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the wine over everything. Fold the foil packet closed, crimping the edges; place on a baking sheet pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients, using 2 baking pans, if needed.

3. Bake until the packets are tightly puffed, about 15 minutes. Transfer unopened packets to 4 dinner plates. Cut the tops open just before serving. (Note: take care when cutting open the packets because a lot of steam will escape and can burn.) Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 131 calories, 19 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 632 g sodium