Cod used to be a staple in Europe, fresh, salted or cured. There was an abundant stock in the ocean and the large fish was very handy to detail in smaller portions. From baccalau to fish fingers, from stokvis to fish and chips, cod ruled the waves.
Alas, the stocks are dwindling and Greenpeace has put cod on its red list.
Cod has a flaky, moist white flesh that is neutral in taste and has a slightly firm bite.
Haddock and whiting are sometimes sold as cod. In the Netherlands, sales of cod fillets are down while there is a rise in the use of tilapia and Victoria Lake brass. These are not very prevalent at French fishmongers, but widely available at deep-freeze chains such as Picard.
The cod I bought in Dieppe was a 20cm part from the middle of a fish of some 70 cm – a small animal but of common size at the market stalls.
Cod is often cooked in water or stock but I do not like the white foam that sets on the meat. This can be solved by washing the fish meat before boning. This can be done for an aïoli where you pound the fish into a paste with egg yolks, olive oil and garlic.
Here I put the fish in the oven, on baking paper without any oil or butter, keeping the essentials such as the Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins.
Once cooked, I removed the skin and poured over a mix of garlic and parsley baked in olive oil.
- A large piece of cod
- four cloves of garlic
- half a bunch of parsley
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Wash the fish, pat it dry and put in in an oven dish on top of baking paper.
- Put in preheated oven at 175°C and cook for 30-40 minutes. Test with a fork to see whether the meat is done, especially on the central bone.
- Wash and chop the parsley.
- Skin the garlic and cut in strips.
- Slice the lemon in parts.
- Put several tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, heat it up and add the garlic. Mix with a large spoon until it browns, turn the heat down and add the parsley and mix until the volume shrinks. The parsley should not turn black.
- Take the fish from the oven, take off the skin and place the fish on a serving plate, pour the olive oil mix over it, add salt and pepper and the lemon parts.