Friday, July 29, 2011

First Fresh Fish

Cracking open a can of tuna or grilling a few skewers of shrimp is about the extent of my seafood experience. To tell you the truth, I'm not much of a seafood eater (despite having grown up next to an ocean!). I'll order the occasional crab cake, scallop or tilapia, but beyond that and a Friday Fish Fry once or twice a year, I'm not a big fish fan. So obviously, I don't cook seafood.

That's probably why Bill seemed shocked when he came home tonight, peeked in the kitchen, and said "You're making fish??" And it's probably also why I was surprised that this recipe so appealed to me. I actually saw it a week or so ago on the Test Kitchen's awesome website, The Feed, it piqued my interest, and I went back to print it today when I was making my grocery list.

The original recipe is for Potato-Crusted Halibut, but lo and behold, the Metro Market had no halibut (perhaps it's yet another sign that I should be shopping at Sendik's). I asked the woman behind the seafood counter if cod would be an o.k. substitute and she said (with complete and utter lack of conviction) "I don't see why not." I took the risk anyway.

And good thing I did! My first attempt at fresh fish (if you can call previously frozen cod "fresh") was awesome! It turned out super flaky and flavorful ... even a bit buttery, despite the fact that there's no butter in the recipe! I was super impressed and I'll be making this dish again. Maybe even with the right fish next time!

Potato-Crusted Cod
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
Squirt lemon juice
Salt and pepper
4 fresh cod filets
1 large russet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, make tartar sauce by combining mayo, capers, chives, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Pat cod dry with paper towels. Spread about a teaspoon of tartar sauce over the top of each filet. Press an even layer of grated potatoes over each filet.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Place filets potato-side down in oil. Cook, without moving, for 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully transfer filets to baking sheets, potato-side up. Bake in oven until cooked through, another 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve with remaining tartar sauce.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not suprised you can't get fresh halibut in Milwaukee. But cod is not a bad substitute. Glad you had success.