Last week, my wife requested I make some kind of fish for dinner. I don’t cook a lot of fish, but it sounded like a good idea, even more so when I found a recipe on All Recipes for Almost-Crusted Halibut. I intended to make the recipe as its written — I’m not comfortable improvising with fish at this point because I’m mostly unfamiliar with it — but then I saw how much halibut cost. I asked the lady at the Hannaford fish counter and she said that cod would make for a good substitute and, as she pointed out, what I paid for two big cod filets was the same as I would have for one frozen halibut steak.
As I tend to do, I did as much work ahead of time as possible, so I tossed the almonds into the Magic Bullet and then combined the results with the bread crumbs and set that aside. I then prepped the first part of the sauce which included chopping up two shallots and combining them with the wine, vinegar, bay leaf and thyme and got that working together in a saucepan. I then combined the lemon juice and chives that went into the sauce after it was done cooking.
The sauce itself seemed more complicated than it really was, it was just a matter of adding the butter correctly. I think I was actually a little light on butter, because I only used one stick, but it wound up turning out really tasty, a great mix of lemondy acid and buttery goodness once combined with the chives and lemon juice after it was done cooking. I then put the sauce in a bowl in another bowl with warm water.
With all that out of the way, it was time to cook the actual fish. I chopped it into more manageable filets and then sprinkled with salt and pepper before cooking for a few minutes on either side in butter and oil. I did this in two shifts because the cod filets were pretty large. When one batch was done cooking, I put it on a tin foil-covered oven pan.
One all the fish was done, I brushed a beaten egg on top of the fish and then put the almond/bread crumb/butter mix on top of the fish which then went into the oven on broil. I think I should have turned it to low or moved the rack down a setting because — as you can see in the picture — my almond crust actually caught on fire a little bit. That wasn’t a big problem because I was able to brush the burnt ends off.
As I said, I don’t have a lot of experience with fish, but I do like it and I liked this as well. The cod itself was tasty and fresh on its own, but adding that creamy sauce to it really made for a fun, relatively simple and rich dish that I enjoyed not only the night I made it but the next day as well.