By Chef Andrew Hebert of The Salty Pig in BostonWith its dense but lean meat, cod filets are an ideal candidate for oil-poaching, which adds some richness while ensuring that the fish doesn’t overcook. With plenty of aromatics and punchy, briny flavor from capers and kalamatas, this is a simple but elegant way to showcase cod. Choose an olive oil with a flavor you enjoy - you’ll definitely taste it!
Serves 2 to 4
1 pound Icelandic cod
About 1 tablespoon salt
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
10 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 Yukon gold potato, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon capers
10 pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
4 lemon slices
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of oregano
2 bay leaves
Pat the cod dry with paper towels and cut into 4 equal pieces. Season liberally with salt and set aside.
In a Dutch oven or deep sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-low heat.Add the shallots, garlic, tomatoes, and chili flake and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. The vegetables should start to breakdown without taking on any color.
Add the potato, capers, olives, and the remaining olive oil. Cook 2 minutes. Add the lemon slices, herbs and the pieces of cod. Push the cod down into the oil so it's just covered.
Cook the cod in the oil for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish just becomes opaque. When the fish is about 90% cooked, cover the pot or pan and turn off the heat. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, your dish should be ready to serve. The fish should be fork tender. Remove from the oil with the vegetables and other aromatics and garnish with fresh herbs (like parsley leaf) and lemon.
Recipe and photos by Chef Andrew Herbert of The Salty Pig.
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This well-known groundfish can be found throughout the North Atlantic ocean, and its presence in cuisines from New England to Europe — especially Portugal and Norway — is a hint to the fish’s storied past. Cod is a favorite of chefs due to its firm, dense flake and slightly sweet flavor — from a culinary perspective, it’s a delicious utility player.
Shop cod here. Sold in 1 lb skinless portions, $16/pound, individually vacuum-packed and super-frozen