As you may have noticed, I’ve been posting a lot of salad and soup recipes lately. There’s good reason for this. Laura and I love salads and soup. If I had it my way, I think I’d eat just these two things for the rest of my life. And really, I’m not sure I’d ever have to duplicate a recipe. The possibilities are endless.
The thing is, every once in a while, we get in the mood for something different. And when the mood strikes, we usually turn to seafood. This past week, the mood struck, so I’ll be starting off with this fantastic roasted cod recipe and then following it up with some pretty awesome salmon dishes. Really, one can never have too much salmon.
I’d like to share a really great recipe with you that’s super simple to prepare. There are three parts to it. First is the fennel. Two large fennel bulbs are needed and will become the bedding the fish rests on. Then, there’s the fish. I chose cod because it’s easy to find, but you can use many different types of white fish. In the cookbook Laura and I found this recipe in, the authors used sea bass. Since we’d have better luck finding a unicorn around here, we decided to go with the trusted cod instead. Finally is the marinade. It’s in this sauce that creativity is required because you can make it about a hundred different ways. The fish sits in the marinade for 20 minutes and then it’s poured over everything during the roasting. The final dish is outstanding. It’s tasty, tender and interesting. I truly enjoyed this one.
2 Large Fennel Bulbs
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
4 Thick Cod Fillets, 6 Ounces Each
3 Tablespoons Pernod, Sherry or Another Liqueur
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
Zest From 1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
I’d like to thank Williams-Sonoma for this recipe. We found it in their incredible Seafood cookbook, which was one of just many really awesome recipes. I’ve had good luck with this cookbook, so thank you again.
Pre-Heat the Oven
Arrange one oven rack so it’s in the center position. Then, turn on the heat to 400 degrees.
Roast the Fennel
Quarter each fennel bulb lengthwise and cut the core from each piece. Then, place the pieces in a medium size bowl, along with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt and pepper on the fennel and toss so everything is coated.
When finished, arrange the pieces of fennel in a baking tray that measures about 10 inches by 8 inches. This doesn’t need to be exact, it just needs to fit all the pieces of fennel snugly.
I have a hint for you here. Before adding the pieces of fennel to this baking dish, break each piece apart so all of the layers are exposed. Doing this will allow the pieces to roast more thoroughly, which will result in them being more tender.
Add the baking sheet to the oven and let cook for 20 minutes or until the edges of the fennel begin to brown.
Make the Marinade
In a medium size bowl, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the Pernod, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk these ingredients together well.
Next, place the 4 pieces of cod into another bowl and sprinkle a few more pinches of salt and pepper on them. Then, pour the marinade over the pieces of fish and turn each piece a few times. The goal here is to get everything coated with the marinade well.
Let the fish sit in the marinade for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Arrange the Cod & Fennel and Cook
When the fennel is finished roasting, remove the tray from the oven. Place the 4 pieces of fish on top of the fennel in the same baking sheet.
Next, pour the remaining marinade over the cod and fennel. Add the baking tray back to the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. The fish will be finished when it’s opaque and you can put a fork in it and gently pull it apart.
When it’s done, remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle some of the trimmed fennel fronds on top of each piece of fish.
The Final Dish
To serve, remove each piece of fish carefully and place on a plate. Then, divide the fennel between the 4 plates. As you can see from the photos, this dish looks delicious. I’d say it would be perfect for a fancy evening or a dinner party with guests. It’s definitely got the right look. Enjoy!