How about a lovely recipe for cod? That gorgeous fish caught right off Gloucester? This is a good one because it will work with pretty much any firm fleshed white fish–have done it with striper also.
The day we shot this episode of Inspired Cooking, All About Cod, it was about 100 degrees (no exaggeration) and humid. So we got all set up to film outside and grill the fish and veggies on my grill but something was awry. I couldn’t get the grill to work. I tried, my camera guy tried, but not being one to mess with propane (and realizing the AC was on the house and it would be much cooler) we took the show inside and got set up. So, the long and the short of this story is that you can do this recipe both outside or inside if you have a grill pan. I have a cast iron grill pan that I love and grills/sears fish perfectly–if you don’t have one, consider picking one up–they are terrific!
Grilled Cod with a parsley lemon crust:
2-3 cups panko bread crumbs
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing fish
2-3 pounds fresh Gloucester Cod loin (the thick part from the head end of the fish–save the smaller tail pieces for chowder or to fry up with a little seasoned flour and cornmeal crumb–they freeze well!), cut in to 6-8 oz portions
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, lemon zest and juice, parsley and olive oil, just enough to make the crumbs stick together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Brush cod with a generous coating of olive oil and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and set aside
Preheat outdoor grill to medium or indoor grill pan to medium high. If you are inside, turn on your broiler to low and move the oven rack to the middle position. Place your cast iron or other grill pan on the burner to heat. If using cast iron and you are unsure if the pan is seasoned enough, rub it with a paper towel soaked with olive oil just to ensure the fish doesn’t stick. if you are outside, it wouldn’t hurt to brush the grates of your outdoor grill with a little oil as well, just to be sure.
Cook fish in preheated pan about 4-5 minutes until browned on one side. The thing with fish is when it is ready to flip it will tell you so by loosening its grip on the pan or the grill grate. Just don’t mess with it. Let the heat of the pan/grill do what it needs to do. When you are ready to flip, grab tongs and a fish turner/ metal spatula and flip the fish.
Remove the pan from the stove (if indoors). With your hand press as many crumbs as you like on to the fish to coat the top. If you are outdoors, close the cover of the grill and give the fish a few more minutes too cook through (about 3-4) and for the crumbs to crisp. If indoors, place the entire pan in the oven under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until crumbs are browned and fish is cooked through–do not leave the stove–the crumbs can go from gorgeous to burned very quickly.
And that’s it for the fish.
But wait, there’s more……….the fish is so simple I wanted to serve two easy sides to go with it. For the asparagus, simply trim the spears of the woody end, toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake or grill for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus, shaking the pan once to flip them around. That’s it!
Now, for the delicious tomato salad. Grab some tomatoes from your back yard or the Farmer’s Market and cut them in half if they are small or in bite sized pieces if larger, about two cups. In a small bowl, combine a few tablespoons of olive oil, a few tablespoons of balsamic or flavored vinegar, whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (I had a little oregano, basil and parsley) and chop them up to make one to two tablespoons chopped. Add in some crumbled blue or goat cheese (or whatever you have on hand) stir, season with salt and pepper, and voila! You have the perfect summer meal!
As always, feel free to leave ma a comment with questions and let me know how this comes out if you make it. Thanks and enjoy.