Living Off The Land (& Sea)
- Serves Two
- 2 thick pieces of cod, about 6 ounces each
- 3 green onions, minced
- Olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
- Salt & pepper
- Pinch of saffron and turmeric (optional)
- Root Vegetables: potatoes, carrots, fennel bulb, parsnips
- 4 large garlic cloves
- Lemon wedges
Step 1: Vegetables
Let’s start with the roasted vegetables. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, add the whole garlic cloves, and place on a metal baking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil, and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Toss until well coated, and then roast on the top rack of an oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Take them out and flip, spin or rotate them to ensure even cooking. Remove any that have browned too quickly and set aside. Continue roasting the vegetables, checking on them regularly, until they are all cooked through. You want them to be golden brown, not black! When done, set aside and allow them to cool.
Step 2: Cod
Now it’s time for the fish. I like to use the thick “shoulder” portion of the fillet. Pat it dry with paper towels, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Take a large skillet, coat it with a thin layer of olive oil and preheat it over medium heat until the pan is hot. Add in about one tablespoon of butter, wait for it to melt, and then add in the cod. Now, do nothing for 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t touch, poke, prod or flip that fish! Cod is very fragile, so the more you handle it, the better the odds are that it will crumble and fall apart. Let it develop a nice sear on the bottom, then remove it with a spatula and set aside.
Step 3: Deglazing
Next, we deglaze the pan, still on medium heat, by tossing in a good splash of dry white wine (I like pinot grigio). Add 2 tablespoons of butter and then the saffron, turmeric and diced green onions. Cook, stirring constantly for about one minute, then turn off the heat. Pour this lovely concoction into a measuring cup. Add in the roasted garlic cloves, and smash them up and whisk everything together with a fork.
Step 4: Cooking
Now, add the cooked root vegetables to the bottom of the skillet. Top them with the cod, cooked-side down, and pour the butter/wine/garlic mixture on top. Move the rack to the middle of your oven, fire up the broiler, and broil for about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. The fish should be cooked to at least 140 degrees. Give the whole dish a good sprinkle of lemon juice, and serve immediately with some nice crusty bread.
This recipe also works well with other thick fillets like striper, halibut and pollock.
Any questions please feel free to email me at Andy@onthewater.com
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About the Author
Andy Nabreski is the Design Manager for On The Water. His monthly column, entitled Living Off The Land & Sea, appears monthly in On The Water Magazine. A long-time resident of Cape Cod, he spends most of his free time fishing, hunting, foraging, farming (and sometimes even scavenging) in his eternal quest to find a free meal.