Tag Archives: easy fish dinner

Cornbread Crusted Cod

I remember a day when I was eight or so.  I was at my grandparents’ house.  Some of the guys had gone fishing and came home with a couple of enormous fish. They set up a couple of saw horses and threw a piece of wood over and starting carving those babies up in the backyard.  I watched from the bing cherry tree that was my usual perch.  Big slabs of firm, white fish, not as smelly and gross as I was expecting. When I asked what it was I was told it was cod.  My grandma fried a big batch of it up and it was some of the best fish ‘n chips I’ve ever had to this day.

Cod is a great fish to cook with.  Very versatile.  It’s firm enough that it doesn’t fall apart when you cook it, but tender and mild, and goes with a variety of flavors and ingredients.  It’s also usually pretty inexpensive and available year-round.  And it’s an ocean-friendly choice as well (who doesn’t want to save the ocean?).  For the freshest cod, choose the whiter filets.  If they look a little grey, they are likely not as fresh as they should be.

I found these great cornbread croutons and used them to make the crumb coating for these filets.  I don’t see any reason why another kind of crouton (or bread crumbs) couldn’t be substituted instead if you don’t happen to have these on hand, but I did enjoy the corny texture and flavor.

Cornbread Crusted Cod.  With Lentil & Spinach salad on the side.  Yum!

Cornbread Crusted Cod. With Lentil & Spinach salad on the side. Yum!

Cornbread Crusted Cod

3-4 Cod Filets
1 tbsp. mayo
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cayenne
3/4 – 1 cup cornbread croutons
Fresh ground pepper

For sauce:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp. capers (coarsely chopped if they are large)
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  In a small bowl mix mayo, dijon, lemon juice and cayenne.  Brush onto both sides of fish filets.

A little zippy sauce to coat the fish.  Tastes great and makes the crumbs stick really nicely!

A little zippy sauce to coat the fish. Adds flavor, keeps the fish moist and makes the crumbs stick really nicely!

Put croutons in a ziplock bag and grind some black pepper in there with them (if you don’t have cornbread croutons, any kind will work for this).  Using a rolling pin or the flat side of a tenderizing hammer (or anything really), smash the croutons into crumbs.

These cornbread croutons were a new discovery for me.  If you can't find them, you can use whatever croutons you have.

These cornbread croutons were a new discovery for me. If you can’t find them, you can use whatever croutons you have.

One at a time, put fish filets in the bag and shake to coat with crumbs.  Lay out on the baking sheet.

My own version of shake n bake.

My own version of shake n bake.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork and crumb coating is crispy and golden brown.  To make a quick sauce, mix a couple of tablespoons of mayo with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of capers.  Drizzle over the top or serve with lemon wedges.

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Onion-Crusted Rock Cod

I had every intention of making oven-baked fish & chips for this meal, but with temperatures nearing 100 degrees, there was no way I was turning on my oven.  So we’ll save that for another day.  Instead I opted for a quick pan-fried fish and cool cucumber and tomato salad.

Rock cod is not only nice and mild tasting, but its firm texture holds up well for pan-frying, keeping its shape and not falling apart.  The onions mixed with the breadcrumbs caramelize as they cook, adding a nice bump of flavor and a subtle sweetness.

Onion-Crusted Rock Cod

Onion-Crusted Rock Cod

Rock cod filets
3/4 cup panko
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
Salt & pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup greek yogurt

In a shallow dish combine panko, onion, olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper.

Bread crumb mixture. Love the extra flavor from the onions in the mixture!

Rub cod filets all over with yogurt and then press into bread crumb mixture until well coated on both sides.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Flick a few drops of water into the pan.  If they sizzle, it’s ready to go.  Add filets to pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown on both sides.

Pan-frying rock cod filets

Serve with your favorite tartar sauce or wedges of lemon.  Or mix up your own fishy sauce with a bit of mayonnaise, a squeeze of lemon and squirt of sriracha.

Creamy cucumber salad is the perfect complement for this fish dish.  Since I had a couple of garden tomatoes I added them to the recipe as well.  Add a little fresh fruit on the side and you have a perfect summer meal.

Rock cod with creamy cucumber salad and fruit.

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