From an archived series on fishmongers and their recipes, here’s a story by Karen Croke:
Cod is making a comeback. OK – old-timers will say it never went out of fashion, but these days cod is the star of the plate, rather than relegated to a filler fish only good for fish sticks and baccala.
There’s a fancy Madeira-glazed cod with celery root mousseline, porcini and watermelon radish at The Farmhouse at Bedford Post, and homey cod fritters at Solmar in Tarrytown.
As part of our series on fishmongers and their recipes, which will run throughout Lent, we asked Rick Megna, the owner of Rick’s Seafood & Gourmet Specialties in Mahopac, his thoughts on cod.
Rick’s display case. File Photo/TJN
For home cooks, “cod is a good fish to work with,” Megna says. “Cod is very mild, has a nice large flake to it, and it presents well on the plate.” The other great thing about cod: It’s a wild-caught fish, meaning it’s not farm-raised, something that many fish-eaters prefer.
Megna has a very simple recipe for fresh cod (his fish market doubles as a restaurant so you might find it on his menu, too). After a quick turn in the saute pan, the cod gets a coating of pesto, a dusting of breadcrumbs, and takes a turn in the oven.
Rick’s carries at least 14 different types of fin fish and steak fish each day, including cod, but you also can find artfully arranged displays of oysters, shrimp, fresh scallops, mussels, oysters and even a few sushi-grade fishes like white tuna and yellow fin, perfect for a Friday fish dish.
Rick’s Seafood & Gourmet Specialties, 545 Route 6, Mahopac; 845-621-2489.
From Rick’s in Mahopac
- Cod Oreganato With Pesto
- From Rick's Seafood & Gourmet Specialties in Mahopac
- Makes 1 serving
- 6-8 ounce piece of cod fillet
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon of prepared pesto
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 pinch of paprika
- 1 pinch of oregano
- 1/4 cup of clam or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Flour, for coating
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Coat fillet in flour. Preheat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan and sear the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side, then place in a baking dish.
- Saute garlic in remaining oil with salt and pepper.
- Turn off heat and add breadcrumbs, paprika and oregano, and stir to combine.
- Spread the pesto on top of fish.
- Apply breadcrumb mixture to top of fish.
- Add stock and butter to baking dish.
- Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then serve with a slice of lemon.