We are kinda blessed with two very good fishmonger options. One, a local place down the street is my go-t0 for salmon, in-house smoked salmon, and, their lobster salad?
My other option is a national chain, but we are totally in love with their scallops (on sale) and, now, their fresh, wild-caught cod fillets (also usually on sale, but, at around $14/pound, I cannot really complain about the price too much).
The thing is, with the scallops and with the cod, I use a little trick I picked up somewhere back in the day when I was living just outside Boston…
I cover the scallops (or cod) with fresh whole milk, and stash them in the fridge for an hour or three. The milk seems too take away any “fishy” smell from already pretty nice bits of seafood, and, I think it gives the finished dish a sweeter, fresher flavor.
The original recipe, from the very nice folk at bigoven.com, called for using thawed, frozen cod filets – and here, I would think that a good milk soak would be an even bigger help to a fresher tasting, finer plate o’ food. But. You do what you want.
•1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic crushed
•1 tsp red pepper flakes
•5 tbsp parsley chopped
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•28 oz crushed tomatoes
•1/2 tsp sugar
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tbsp sherry vinegar
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Cover the cod filets in milk (I use whole milk), then stash in the fridge for a couple of hours.
While the cod is soaking up all the milk goodness, start your sauce by melting the unsalted butter with the garlic in a small pan over medium heat.
Cook for three minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and the parsley and cook for another minute or so.
Stir in the Sherry Peppers Sauce, tomatoes, sugar, and the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for another five minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and keep the sauce warm.
Heat your oven to 350º, line a baking pan with parchment paper, and brush the parchment paper with olive oil.
Remove the cod from the milk (discard the milk), and season both sides with the seasoned salt, black and Aleppo peppers, and a drizzle of lemon juice.
Place the cod on the parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cod is opaque and flakes easily.
To serve, spoon some of the warm tomato sauce on a plate and top with a piece of cod.
Spoon a bit more sauce on top, and serve.
This dish is good enough to justify a full, fancy feast with friends and all the fixin’s thing, but we kinda keep it as a not-so-guilty pleasure for just the two of us and serve it with a salad on the side.