This is a recipe that I had to prepare twice — first at the Sur la Table “Summer in Nantucket” cooking class and then at home. I have not used the crusting technique in the past, and I wanted to try it again to make sure that I understood thevprocess. It seemed like an inordinate amount of bread crumbs for the pound or so of fish that we were preparing. However, I think I finally understand this method, and I am ready to share. The full layer of bread crumbs that are packed over the fish insulates the food and allows the fish to cook gently and evenly. It seals in the moisture and gently steams the fish in its own juices. Once served, the fish is moist, succulent and full of flavor. The layer of panko is generously seasoned with shallots, butter, chives, parsley, and lemon zest. All together it is a wonderful dish (not very photogenic but pretty darn tasty). Served here with Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad.
NEW ENGLAND LEMON-SHALLOT CRUSTED COD (Serves 4)
- 1-1/2 lb. fresh cod (at least 1 inch thick), divided into 4 pieces
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, plus more for preparing baking dish
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
- 3 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 t. fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 2 t. lemon zest
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Pat fish dry with paper towels and set aside at room temperature.
- To a large skillet over medium heat, add butter. When foaming subsides, add shallots and cook until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until the butter is absorbed. Remove from the head and add the chives, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Butter a large baking dish and place the fish in the dish. Using a silicone brush, coat the cod with lemon juice and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Cover cod with a thick layer of the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere, and scatter remaining breadcrumbs around the fish. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately garnished with lemon wedges.
~ from Sur la Table ~