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Jan 24, 2008 07:45 PM

Poached Cod? Really?

I grew up at the very end of the cod-liver-oil era, in fact it was administered by grandparents not parents. I didn't learn to eat any fish till I was in my 20's (except canned tuna, which somehow I never thought of as fish). Probably because of the cod liver oil thing I can't imagine eating Cod voluntarily. I do like Ahi and Ono, and even occasionally Mahi Mahi. I will eat sea bass if necessary, but I don't think much of it. Looking at the picture of poached cod <> just didn't do much for me either. Am I missing something wonderful?

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  1. I like cod because it's so versatile -- it'll take on whatever flavors you dress it with.

    It has a very mild flavor, and is very much like chicken in that respect.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Exactly, fresh it is one of the least fishy fishes. It is nothing like cod liver oil just as a steak would be different from beef liver ... chicken from chicken livers.

      It actually is made from cod livers

      I wonder why cod livers are better than other fish livers.

      When I saw the title my reaction was similar to the comments under the recipe ... it might be too bland.

    2. that particular recipe and photo are bland, boring, and wholly uninspired...which is really too bad, because when done right, cod can be wonderful. it has a mild, delicate flavor, flaky's great in baked or broiled preparations, and ideal when battered & fried for fish & chips.

      1. Cod is one of my favorite fish, but I like it in shall we say stronger preparations, especially of the Spanish/Catalan variety - casseroles of either fresh or refreshed salt cod with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onion and black olives with smoked paprika and saffron in the broth. I also like to let it sit in garlicky oil with a bit of lemon for an hour or two, then pan-roast it so it's a little crunchy around the edges but only just done in the middle - that's an idea I got from a Japanese restaurant's window sign! Never went to the restaurant, but I thought, "Damn, that sounds good!" and went home and tried it.

        1. The short answer is, yes, you are missing something wonderful. I love brandade de morue, roasted cod, cod in the sort of casserole that Will Owen describes, poached cod in a court bouillon.... I could go on, but I think that you get the drift: find a good recipe and begin experimenting. The only real problem with cod, delicious though it is, is its environmental sustainability. Nothing is quite the same as cod, for the flavour and texture, but, depending on the method of preparation, hake, pollard, haddock, turbot can be substituted, and, I believe, are not under the same severe pressure.

          1. Arguably one of the best species for Fish & Chips.... please tell me you like Fish & Chips... do it for the queen... you have to let them have at least one decent contribution to the culinary world, no?

            8 Replies
            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Oh, Nopal.... boo hiss. There's a lot of excellent English food, and some rather articulate defences of it to be found on the various threads addressing it here. That hoary canard gets my goat. (I tried to fit in a third beast, but couldn't.)

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                well, i dont know of much that isn't good battered and fried, and I do love chips (french fries), but - gasp - I've never had fish and chips. I guess I will have to change that. Nico's (a great fish place here) has fish and chips, but I doubt they use cod, and I haven't noticed any of that vinegar that seems to be so popular when I see fish and chips on TV. I'll have to check it out.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  Cod is the most commonly used fish for that application (so much that its basically been fished towards extinction)... other good ones include Halibut, and Corvina. No vinegar? Damn mid western tourists! (Am I on a roll or what?)

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    I'm always surprised at the responses I've gotten in the US when I've asked for vinegar. If you want to be really authentic, it's brown malt vinegar. Good luck with that.

                    1. re: hungry_pangolin

                      When I was but a tyke, we lived in a shabby old house whose sole downstairs heat source was two coal grates, around which we would huddle like campers on an Arctic plain. Every so often a gas pocket would flare off, and if you were sitting just right you'd get a dose of searingly acrid coal gas up your nose, enough to cauterize your sinuses. This, to me, is what malt vinegar tastes like. I'll go with the tartar sauce if it's all the same with you.

                      I believe the now severely reduced H. Salt chain (my intro to F&C) still has malt vinegar available to its customers. I have no idea what the quality is (see above).

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        I guess its possible that you have a different taste receptor than the rest of us... but I am curious as to which Malt Vinegar brands you have tried. Not that you can't prefer Tartar Sauce... personally I think the condiments used in Baja Style Fish Tacos make for a far superior accompaniment to fried fish than either Malt Vinegar or Tartar sauce but that wouldn't preclude me from enjoying those preparations if I was in say England or New England, respectively.

                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                      If you've had battered mahi mahi and french fries, you've had fish & chips. Hide the mac salad, fake an English accent, and spritz on malt vinegar if you must. But anybody who uses cod in Hawai'i should be shot. It's all well and good for folks who live closer to the Grand Banks than Kewalo Basin, but you've got way too many tasty local options to even consider shipping bland fish halfway around the globe.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Battered mahi mahi and fries was what I had for lunch just before we left Kauai last time. What a lovely memory to take home with me! That and the lilikoi pie...