Cod With Lemon-Parsley Crumb Topping
This dish is an adaptation of one that was a specialty at a small fish market near my home in Rhode Island some years ago. They would use fresh scrod fillets, make a similar crumb topping and package it in small, tightly covered aluminum foil baking pans. All you needed to do was pop the pan in the oven and bake! It's easy enough to make your own though, and this dish is perfect for company, because you can pop it in the oven just a few minutes before you are ready to serve and it comes out piping hot, buttery and delicious.
- 1 lb cod fillets, about 1 inch thick
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the cod fillets in a single layer in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with some of the lemon juice, season lightly with salt and pepper, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on both sides of each fillet.
In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until garlic begins to turn golden. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining lemon juice (about 3 tablespoons), add the breadcrumbs, thyme and parsley.
Spread the crumb mixture evenly over the top of each fish fillet and place them in the oven. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch and no longer translucent. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.
Serves 3 to 4 as a main entree or 6 as part of our Italian Christmas Eve
This recipe works nicely with just about any firm fleshed, mild white fish. Possible choices are grouper, haddock or halibut. Just be sure to adjust your baking times if necessary.
For a different flavor profile, cut the garlic back to one clove, omit the crushed red pepper and add one teaspoon of chopped fresh tarragon.
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