Atlantic cod is one of the most popular commercial fish species, harvested from Greenland to North Carolina. Recipes for this fish abound and are limited only by the cook’s creativity. This is a simple but tasty recipe.
- 1 to 1 ½ lbs Moody’s cod
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 1 T avocado, grapeseed or canola oil
- Kosher salt
Salt the fish well and set in the refrigerator for one hour.
Get the skillet hot over high heat, about 2 minutes (I prefer a cast iron skillet).
While the skillet is heating, pat the fish dry (very dry) with paper towel.
When the skillet is hot, add the tablespoon of oil swirling it around as it will heat up very fast.
As soon as there is a wisp of smoke coming from the oil, lay the fish pieces down in the pan, well spaced, skin side down (or the side where the skin used to be). Turn the heat down to medium-high and let them cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes, or until you see the bottom starting to caramelize. Using a thin metal spatula, ideally a fish spatula, carefully try to lift the fish from the pan. It should come up easily, or stick in only one or two spots. If not, keep cooking it -- the fish will release when it's ready.
When that happens, add the butter, and once it melts, drop the heat all the way to low. Use a spoon to baste the butter over the pieces of fish until they turn opaque. You will need to tilt the pan to do this properly. Serve the fish seared side up.
Note: Pan-seared cod, or any other fish, isn’t flipped. You sear the one side crispy, drop or even remove the pan from the heat, add butter and baste the rest of the fish with the hot butter until it’s cooked through.
Wine Pairing: I like a nice Bordeaux Blanc with this dish.