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Jun 26, 2009 09:16 PM

Cod: WWYD?

I've got some frozen cod I purchaced at Trader Joe's, de-thawed and ready for cooking. While I could take an easy out and just pan-fry in some butter/olive oil, i'd love to get other ideas! I'm thinking about poaching it in a court bullion, and make a hollandaise sauce- but am I being too safe with what so many think as a "boring" fish?

What would YOU do with cod?

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    1. It's summer, I would make a cod ceviche.

      5 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          Oops. Missed that part.

          Disregard the ceviche rec.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            No reason not to use frozen fish. In some places there are restaurant regulations that uncooked fish (like sushi) has to be frozen for a considerable period of time before it can be served uncooked. This is to kill parasites / worms.

            1. re: Paulustrious

              I don't like previously frozen fish, especially lean fish, unless it will be used in soup or be sauced well. The succulent bloom is lost. (I don't eat sushi or sashimi, so parasite issue is not a concern for me as they will be cooked).

              1. re: Karl S

                Here's a thread that discusses it a lot deeper than my couple of sentences.


                I do not know the regs for Canada or the UK. In terms of the OP's question. I like to brine with herbs, poach in milk and pour a cheese sauce over it. This will probably offend some people as it does overpower the taste of the fish - not that most white fishes have much flavour. It sounds better if we call it a Mornay rather than a cheese sauce.

      1. I just took some cod out of the freezer too! I'm going to use it to make fish tacos. Once the fillets de-frost, I marinate them in an achiote sauce for an hour (the achiote sauce recipe is from a Rick Bayless Mex cookbook). Then I flip them in the skillet and finish them off in the oven. I serve them in corn tortillas with shredded carrots and red cabbage, some grated cheese, and i drizzle on some home-made white sauce (which is basically like a mixture of mayo-milk-yogurt...i guess you could think of it like the white dressing used in creamy coleslaws). then I serve the tacos with pico de gallo (also homemade...sometimes with chopped mango, sometimes not).

        With fresh fish, I'm with the school of thought that the less you do to it, the better it is. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon and that should just about cover it. With frozen cod, on the other hand, you can do all kinds of things to it and the more the better, otherwise you will end up with a bland fish with a wooly texture and faint hint of freezer! Frozen cod is great in coconut milk fish curries, or in creamy rich fish pies, or in tomato based sauces. The Portugese have millions of ways with cod...you could look for inspiration there too.

        1. Cod is my family's #1 favorite (after all, live in the home of the bean & the cod, right). It's not boring, it's versatile!

          I make this recipe often, w/frozen cod - very easy & tasty - got it off the back of the 365 brand frozen cod pkg:


          This steamed cod recipe from Martha Stewart is a family favorite - I pair it w/an Asian coleslaw and some wide Chinese noodles tossed w/a little soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar & pureed garlic (if you're not hard-core about garlic, cook it for a minute to mellow it out):


          You could go all Julia on it and place it in a baking dish, S&P it, and then pour a nice white wine around it and cook it that way.

          1. A *very, very* classic dish that has all but vanished from restaurant menus is roast cod and potatoes. For example: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

            John Thorne's treatment of this classic includes a special hint to slice the potato into chips unevenly - that is with a thick side and a sharp-edged side - the latter will start to dissolve and do wonderful things (I imagine that's the idea behind the linked article's instruction to cut potato slices in half, so there is an exposed edge to dissolve).

            7 Replies
            1. re: Karl S

              thanks for that link...I thought I was the only one still doing cod that way...sometimes in honor of my grandmother I'll use cannd sliced white potatoes (this is the only acceptable use for those) and a can of stewed tomatoes...dot w/butter and/or breadcrumbs and bake til browned

              really, though...any fish that has been frozen and might be a bit watery benefits from the baked w/potatoes treatment

              1. re: chef4hire

                Thank you so much for this great idea, both of you! (Karl S and chef4hire) I'm going to try roasting the fillets in the oven, with a guilty pleasure of canned potatoes! (I secretly love them)

                FWIW, I made them last night, with a slightly MacGuyvered recipie I doctored to fit what I had on hand. I used Italian breadcumbs (panko -would- have been much better, I agree with the recipie) to bread them, and pan-fried. Made a lemon-butter sauce with dill, and that was great! The fish, while a slight bit fishy-smelling raw, cooked up not fishy at all.
                OH! I also learned that you -really- have to pat-dry frozen fish! I was surprised that so much water was released by thawed fish. On first try, I was hit by lots of grease splatter, since I didn't dry it well. Dried the rest of it really well, no more issues.

              2. re: Karl S

                Thanks the the reminder about John Thorne's ideas for cod and potatoes, Karl. I read his terrific book Mouth Wide Open a few months ago, and planned on making one of his versions, but it slipped my mind. Sounds simple and perfect.

                Here's the chapter from google books:


                1. re: bear

                  Wonderful. Note the potatoes Thorne recommends.

                  And, if you've not gotten his and his wife's other books (Serious Pig, Pot on The Fire, and Outlaw Cook), go and get them. They are among the best food writing in the USA in the past half-generation. (Also, subscribe to the very irregularly published Simple Cooking newsletter.)

                  1. re: Karl S

                    Thanks again, Karl. I have only read Mouth Wide Open. I'm just about finished with my bedtime reading of MFK Fisher's The Art of Eating. I'll be looking for some new happy dream fodder, and have a 30% off Border's coupon to use by tomorrow.

                    Do you have a favorite of the three? I'm sure I'll end up reading them all eventually, though. I really enjoy his down-to-earth style.

                    1. re: bear

                      Serious Pig.

                      I'd get Outlaw Cook next and then Pot on The Fire (unless the recipe lists appeal to you in reverse order...)

                      1. re: Karl S

                        Serious Pig it is, then. We've had some pretty good pork in our lives in the last few weeks!