This year I resolved to eat more fish. Nothing like a good New Years Resolution, right? Fish is healthy and tasty so it may not be the world’s toughest goal! One of my creations for this was Cod Poached in Herb Butter. Don’t let the word “butter” scare you–it’s still healthy. I promise!
This recipe had an odd genesis. A local grocer had cod on sale, and I had a compound butter in my freezer that I was looking to finish off. So I put the two together with some extra seasonings and it was magical.
Compound butter is clearly trending now. You mix herbs or truffles or other ingredients with a good butter for a magical taste combination. Compound butter is a convenient flavor boost for a variety of recipes–or a spectacular topping for a good steak.
But I know that including “compound butter” as an ingredient might make this recipe tough for the average home cook (you don’t have compound butter in your freezer?). So I played around and came up with an easier version that I like even better.
The recipe uses dried mushrooms which give it a warm earthy taste. If you can’t get dried mushrooms, I would use about 8 ounces of shitakes and/or baby portabellas and sauté them until they are just starting to get crisp around the edges. The other really important component of this dish is a good cod. Yes, the standard wisdom about not using fishy smelling fish is dead on.
- 2 cod fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup dried mushrooms (see note)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (or 1 t dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 t dried)
- zest from half a lemon
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Break dried mushrooms into small pieces (about 1/4 inch), then top with boiling water to soften.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large frying pan. Add minced shallots and garlic and saute until tender.
- Drain mushrooms and add to pan along with parsley, thyme, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoon butter.
- Cook for another minute, then add cod. Cover and simmer on low until cooked through (cod juices will add to the sauce volume) . Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- If you can't get dried mushrooms, substitute 8 ounces of baby portabellas and/or shitakes sauteed until starting to crisp around edges.