Depending on the temperature of the oven and the size of the cod, it should take about fifteen minutes to bake code. Instead of relying on timing, you should learn how to judge when your fish is done. Cod, like most fish, can be checked for doneness by using a fork or knife to gently prod the fish. When it is done, the flakes will separate slightly when touched. Unlike other meat, fish is not as forgiving of being over-cooked. If you’re unsure, it’s best to under-cook, rather than over-cook. If you remove it from the oven and tent a piece of foil over the fish, it will usually continue to cook for a minute or two anyway.
Boston Baked Cod is a great dish if you have some cod on hand, and you’re not sure how you would like to prepare it. The recipe is fairly simple and provides an oven-crunchy result.
1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp of minced fresh parsley
4 tbsp of unsalted butter (1/2 stick) plus another spoon or two
1 minced shallot
1 minced garlic clove
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 skinless cod fillets
salt and pepper
Step 1 – Prepare the Breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place the rack in the center position. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet, and toast until golden. Toss the breadcrumbs with one tablespoon of the parsley.
Step 2 – Prepare the Butter
Turn the stovetop burner to medium. Place a small skillet on the burner, and melt the butter. Add the shallot, and cook about two minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, and cook about thirty seconds or until fragrant. Remove the pan from the burner, and stir in the lemon juice and the last tablespoon of parsley.
Step 3 – Bake the Cod
Pat the cod dry with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Butter a nine-by-thirteen-inch baking dish, and place the fish in the dish. Space the fillets about one half inch from each other. Pour the melted butter mixture over the cod. Sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes apart as described above. It should take about fifteen minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven.
Step 4 – Plate the Cod
Gently move the fish from the baking dish to separate plates for serving. You will have to be careful in this step to prevent the fillets from breaking. The best way is to use a long spatula. Hold the baking dish at an angle near the plate. Slide the spatula under the fish, and use it to slowly and gently slide the fish down the dish and onto the plate. Don’t worry too much about this part. Even if the fish breaks, it will still be delicious. Pour a little of the juice in the dish around each piece of fish. Finish your presentation by adding the lemon wedges to either the side or the top of the fish. Add your side dishes, and you will have a complete meal.
While breadcrumbs are the traditional topping for this dish, you can substitute a variety of other items to this recipe. The mild flavor of cod would go well with anything from a tomato-based salsa to a pesto or chutney. Cod can also be fried or braised for a variety of dishes if you find yourself in possession of an abundance of this tasty fish. Don’t forget that fish is a healthy meat that offers a nutrient packed, low-calorie food choice with plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids.