Saturday, June 12, 2010

Not Bobby Flay's Fish

I have always avoided buying cod. There's that association with cod liver oil, which I don't think I've ever tasted, but I know is supposed to be vile. Plus, it's sort of a boring fish. Bland and uninteresting, really. But a few weeks ago, as I studied the fish in my grocery store, there was precious little that was from the US or Canada. Seemed like most of the fish weren't wild-caught, either. Everything considered, I finally went for the Alaskan cod.

What a great fish! Versatile, easy to cook, and with a delicate flavor. I've made this dish three times in the last three weeks and it's been great every time. I grilled it first. If you don't have some kind of special fish grilling gadget, put aluminum foil on the grill, and oil the top side. I made the mistake of putting the fish directly on the grill the first time and it sticks like crazy. You'll find a spatula handy for lifting it since it will fall apart when cooked.

Be forewarned, though. While this fish cooks on the grill in about 10 minutes, this isn't a snazzy, spicy, jalapeno-laced hearty cookout dish. Bobby Flay would faint. If you're afraid of bold spices, this is the dish for you.

One of my personal quirks is that I'm not crazy about tomato sauces and over-powering spices on delicate fish. (With the exception of shrimp cocktail for some odd reason!) Alaskan cod has such a delicate flavor that I wanted to complement it, not hide it. So I made a marinade and then cooked it as a sauce. It's all very light and heart healthy! I recommend it with the Barley Corn Salad that I posted a couple of weeks ago. They both have gentle flavors that go together very well.

The second time I made it, the wind was so strong that I gave up on the grill and cooked it in the oven. It was still great. It releases juices when it's cooking. They tend to run off on the grill, but they're in the pan when you cook the fish indoors.

Marinated Alaskan Cod

3 fillets Alaskan cod

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt (this depends on the saltiness of your broth, you may not need additional salt)

I like to mix things in large glass measuring cups so there's less to wash! Put all the ingredients, except the fish, in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Place the fillets in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal and let rest in the refrigerator for about an hour.

When ready to cook --

Preheat the grill. Spread a little bit of olive oil on one side of a sheet of aluminum foil and place the foil directly on the grill.

Lay the fish on the aluminum foil and close the grill.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining marinade into a small pot, cover and bring to a fast boil. Cook at a rolling boil, uncovered for at least 10 minutes. (If you're worried about a sauce that touched raw fish, reserve part of the marinade to cook before putting it on the fish.)

Keep an eye on the fish. It will separate into flakes to let you know it's done. It takes about 10 minutes on the grill or in a 425 degree oven.

Serve with the sauce and enjoy!

We’re celebrating the upcoming release of

The Long Quiche Goodbye!

Don't miss the fun! Avery is holding a "You Be The Sleuth" Contest!

Avery’s first book in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6. To celebrate its release, Avery is running a contest from June 9 to July 6! You be the sleuth! Track down the recipe on Avery's website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.

One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on Avery's booksellers page.

Here is the link to Avery’s website to help get you started.

Good luck!


  1. I actually have some Alaskan cod in my freezer.
    And your marinade ingredients are all favorites of
    mine -- paprika, W sauce and garlic powder -- yum! Can't wait to try it.

  2. I love simple and easy recipes and this is definitely one that I plan to make.

  3. Thanks, Krista. I usually order fish out because I just don't know what to do with it at home. I'll make the occasional tilapia, but that's about it. Never attempted cod but with your recipe and guide above, I just might try it. Thanks!


  4. shhh don't tell anyone, but sometimes Bobby Flay just uses spices to use spices. Not everything needs chipotle spice.

    I am loving fish, in all forms, braising on a bed of onions in coconut rum is my new favorite technique.

    With the exception of when i blacken fish, i agree about letting the flavors come through. My aversion to cod is the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish is made of cod, as is most school lunches. I better rethink that aversion now

    great post

  5. I'm not crazy about tomato on fish, either! Thought I was the only one. :)

    This recipe sounds the garlic in it!

  6. Jenn, I think your kids will even eat it. Cod doesn't have a powerfully fishy flavor. Oh! Dave confirms my suspicion that cod is used in school lunches and at McDonald's. I'm not surprised.

    Dru, I like simple recipes, too. I don't mind making something complicated, but we're all so busy that it's nice to have quick and simple recipes for everyday meals.

    Julie, I love tilapia but I can't find it wild-caught. It must be wild somewhere! I think you'll like the cod. It's nicely versatile like tilapia.

    Dave, I thought you preferred spicy dishes! I envy you your access to fresh fish. Braised on onions and coconut rum? I'm flying down there for lunch!

    Elizabeth, the garlic lends just a little bit of flavor to the fish. Fresh garlic would work, too, but it would leave little lumps in the sauce.

    ~ Krista

  7. I love cod and this is usually the way I serve it, too. It's delicate and yummy, terrific with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc! I love your journey to discovering how terrific it is.


  8. I've had Alaskan salmon (amazing) but never tried Alaskan cod. This is a real keeper of a recipe and I appreciate your detailed tips, too. Thanks, Krista!

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  9. Avery, I suspect a little white wine might be nice in the marinade/sauce!

    Thanks, Cleo. It's a lovely fish and much more affordable than salmon.

    ~ Krista

  10. Drizzle Agave nectar on both sides as you grill the fish - adds a bit of sweetness and interest.