Cod recipes for Baked, Simmered, Fried, Broiled, Poached, Smoked and Grilled Cod
Pacific Cod (Gadus morhua macrocephalus)
Also known as: Scrod or schrod (market names used interchangeably for young cod, haddock, and sometimes pollock), tomcod, true cod (Pacific), arctic cod, Greenland cod, Alaska cod.
Waters: Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with a concentrated population in U.S. off coast of New England.
Color varies at certain water depths, has two distinct color phases: dun-colored back with a greenish cast and brown mottling and reddish brown. Weight ranges from 1 1/2 lbs. to over 100 lbs.
Cod meat is white in color, is moist and lean, medium- to firm-textured, and delicately flavorful with a mild taste. Tender, thick fillets with large flakes that "gape" (separate) when cooked. Atlantic cod is one of the most common ingredients in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain. Pacific cod has a moisture content a little higher than that of Atlantic cod, making it less firm.
The secret to successful cod cookery is to not overcook. Whichever of the following cooking methods you choose, your cod will be cooked when the flesh becomes opaque and is easily pierced with a fork.
Cod is excellent for poaching, broiling, baking, braising, and frying. A popular main ingredient in chowders, which are creamy and binding enough to support the big flakes of meat that fall apart when cooked. Whole cod are often stuffed and baked. Heads and bones make fine soup stock.
To prepare salt cod, soak in cold water overnight or for up to 24 hours change the water several times.
How to buy Cod:
Fillets should be sweet-smelling with pure, glistening, snowy white flesh make sure they are free of brown spots and signs of dryness. The thickest portion of the fillet (often called the "loin") is considered the best.
Quality cod is easy to recognize. Fresh cod never smells fishy, and the eyes should appear bright and clear, almost alive. The gills should be clean, and the skin moist and with tightly adhering, shiny scales. Fresh cod flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape. Keep cod cool on the trip from the market to your house. Never let it stay unrefrigerated for long.
How to prepare Cod:
Scale the fish by placing it in the sink under cold running water. Grasp the fish firmly by the gills and scrape off scales with a fish scaler or small, dull knife. Using short strokes, work from the tail to the head.
To remove the head, cut the flesh on both sides with a knife. If the fish is small, slice directly through the spine. For a larger fish, place the knife between vertebrae and tap the back of the knife with a hammer.
How to fillet Cod:
To fillet, use a sharp, thin knife. With the cod lying on its side, insert the knife behind the gills, and cut in an arc down to just above the backbone. Continue cutting parallel to the backbone toward the tail. Bring the knife up at the tail and remove the fillet.
To make steaks, place the cod on its side. With a sharp knife, cut slices 3/4 to 1/2-inch (1.25 to 1.9cm) thick perpendicular to the spine. Tap the back of the blade with a wooden mallet to cut through the spine.
Fillets should be stark white and fresh-smelling, unmarred and glistening, showing no signs of dryness or browing.
Freezing and cold storage:
To store cod, remove packaging, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so place it on a cake rack in a shallow pan filled with crushed ice. Cover with cling wrap or foil and set in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Cod will store well this way for up to two days. When well-wrapped, cod can be kept frozen for up to 2 months in a refrigerator freezer and for 3 to 4 months in a deep-freeze. Using lined freezer paper, wrap the fish tightly from head to tail with at least two layers of paper.
Cod is a good source of low fat protein, phosphorus, niacin, and vitamin B12 with a mild flavor and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).
Nutrition Value: Cod, 1 fillet (6 oz.) (169.8g) (cooked, dry heat):
Calories: 189, Protein: 41.1g, Carbohydrate: 0.0g, Total Fat: 1.5g, Fiber: 0.0g.
Excellent source of: Selenium (67.7mcg), Niacin (4.5mg), and Vitamin B12 (1.89mcg), Good source of: Magnesium (75.6mg), and Potassium (439mg).
When cooked (dry heat), Atlantic cod provides 0.159 grams of omega-3 fatty acids derived from EPA (0.004g), DHA (0.154g), and ALA (0.001g) per 100 grams of fish.
When cooked (dry heat), Pacific cod provides 0.279 grams of omega-3 fatty acids derived from EPA (0.103g), DHA (0.173g), and ALA (0.003g) per 100 grams of fish.
Substitutes for Cod:
Blackfish, cod, grouper, sea bass, red snapper, tilefish, turbot, wolffish.
Blackfish, carp, grouper, haddock, halibut, monkfish, red snapper, tilefish, turbot, weakfish, whiting, wolffish.
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