Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cook this Tonight

Dear Tricia, Cod: what the heck can I do with it?  Preferably easy.  Preferably so easy my husband can grill it.  Thanks.

Unless you have a fish grilling basket (that wire contraption that protects the fish while it's grilling so that it doesn't fall apart on the grates), cod isn't the best thing to grill because its super delicate and thin.  However, the technique and kind-of-a-recipe that I'm about to share can be done in an oven or on a grill.  Ready?  Grab your fish.  (Wash your hands first, you grossy mcgrosserstein.)   I made this last night with halibut because it was on sale and I had just finished another day of work on a weekend, so I wanted to cook something fast and easy.  Here we go!

Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Take a big piece of foil (big enough to wrap your fish entirely) and spread it out.  Put your fish on the foil and season it with salt and pepper and a clove of chopped garlic.  Then take whole sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme and put them on top of the fish.  For a 3/4 pound filet, you'll want to use about 3 sprigs of thyme and 2 sprigs of rosemary.  Then take a couple of pats of butter and place those on top of the fish.  Wrap the fish in foil and put it on a sheet pan.  Throw that sucker in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until its fully cooked.   "But Tricia, how will I know when it's done?"  Fish is done cooking when its no longer translucent (meaning it's solid white), and definitely done if you start to see little solid white globs of protein start to seep out of it.  This is called albumin- you'll see it when you cook chicken and pork too.  Its totally fine if you see it and eat it; that just means it's done cooking.  The reason why this recipe works so well is because its a) not messy, b) the herbs and garlic basically steam with the fish and you get that yummy, herby flavor with pretty much zero effort.  You can make this with any thinner, white fish, like tilapia, halibut, or turbot.

As I said before, you can "grill" this too- just put the foil on the hot grill instead of in the oven and close the lid.   Having this on the side while you're grilling burgers, etc, totally ups your fancy factor.  Then when you open up the foil for your guests, all "ooh la la" style, they'll think you really know what you're doing, and you can just smile and pull one of those "What, this simple thing?" reactions.  I love those.

Cod, huh?  Did you know that cod has been a super duper traded fish since the Viking days?  That's the year 800 if you've ever read a history book.  Cod was like corn is to us- it was a huge staple that survived all kinds of plagues and kept money rolling back and forth between countries.  And then in the 1400's when Portugal got all into the cod trading scene, they found out about the killer profitable cod fishing in North America, way before Columbus even came around.  Suck on that, Columbus.


JacquelineC said...

Cod is highly overfished. Georges Bank stock is at 10% of its target level. The Gulf of Maine stock is currently at 58% of its target level.

Try other substitutes that are more sustainable like barramundi or pacific black cod.

Tricia Lewis, author said...

Thanks for your comment, and for reading, JacquelineC!