Cooking On A Budget: Cod with Fresh Herb Butter

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cod with Fresh Herb Butter


This particular time of year there is so much added pressure because of the holidays and with that comes shopping, wrapping, planning feasts for holiday gatherings and let's not forget baking. In this house we have our go to meals, the standards that we have enjoyed throughout the years. Quick and easy or low and slow, it's sometimes difficult to figure out exactly what to cook especially after you have had meals of chicken, beef and pork in the past week. As I was running through my mind everything we had consumed over the last week or so I just knew I did not want chicken, beef or pork. Seafood was very appealing to me but I wondered about the price. Our local seafood markets do offer the best in fresh fish but generally for a premium price. And by that I mean fresh cod at for $11.99 per pound versus my local grocery store for $7.99 per pound.

We like cod. Cod loins are a dense and meaty white fish, very mild in flavor. Atlantic cod lives in the colder and deeper regions throughout the North Atlantic which is the fish that we eat here. In the United Kingdom this is one of the fish most commonly used to make fish and chips. It's either cod or haddock. Personally I prefer cod.

When you cook the fish it flakes apart so you need to give it tender loving care so it doesn't fall apart on you. My inspiration for this dish came from the dozens of cooking shows I watch on television. Splurging for the sides I purchased some asparagus as that goes extremely well with this fish. I apologize that I did not make a nicer presentation for the photograph but I was so darned hungry and rushed to get a shot!
This starts on the stove top and finishes cooking in the oven.

For us we got two nice cod loins about 1 1/4 pounds total. I'm justifying the cost of the dinner for two people as equivalent to going out to a restaurant but paying less - no tip, no tax and $8.88 each is a darn good price.

This is a once in a while splurge that you just have to do sometimes. Make date night in your own home. Feed the kids something quick and easy, get them settled in bed and have a special dinner for you and your loved one. Light the candles, pull out the china and the cloth napkins and just spend time together.

  • cod loins
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste

  1. Season the fish liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°.

I put in too much rosemary so this recipe is adjusted for that. Two sprigs was too pungent of a rosemary flavor for our tastes. One really is sufficient and I recommend using 3-4 full sprigs of the thyme.

  1. Over medium heat melt the butter in the skillet and add the fresh herbs. Let this cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring and infusing the herb flavors.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium high and let the butter almost become brown. Add in the fish and sear on both sides for 2 minutes a side being careful when you flip it over.
  3. When you flip the fish over, tilt the pan toward you to scoop up the butter with a large spoon and baste over the fish.
  4. Add some cracker crumbs on top, baste with the butter then place in the 350° oven and finish cooking. Depending on the thickness this could take 8-12 more minutes.

If you feel asparagus is overly expensive I suggest some nice broccoli for the side vegetable. We also did baked potato which is an easy starch to make.

I made homemade Tartar Sauce as a side at the last minute. Follow the link for my recipe.

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