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Suzanne's Baked Cod

I love fried fish. So does my boyfriend. But this is not a post about fried fish. While I love the smell of anything frying, Brian feels nauseous at the smell of frying oil. So I've been banned from trying to fry fish at home. Alas. I would like to learn to make fried fish. I keep meaning to try it whenever he's out of town on business trips.

Recently, Brian and I were having dinner with friends and Suzanne served up what she called a simple meal of baked cod, green beans, buttered pasta, and fresh bread. Delicious. Most excitingly to me, Brian enjoyed the fish and had not smelled it cooking while we were there and I was trying to coax their French-speaking 3-year-old daughter to talk to us. (I regard kids who speak any non-English languages as little child prodigies even if that other language is the ONLY language they know.) Back to the main point. The fish was tasty and didn't smell bad. Hooray! I could cook this at home and get some more omega-3 fish oil into our diets.

One note of caution about the fish. Cod (and white fish in general) can have worms in them. It doesn't happen so often that you should expect to see worms every time you see fish but it happens regularly enough that it's not entirely unexpected either. They're harmless for the most part. Apparently you're supposed to just remove the worms and continue preparing the fish. Google cod and worms for more details. I don't think my cod had worms but I didn't know to look for them and I didn't do my Google search until after we had eaten all the fish.

The recipe turned out to be very simple indeed. The basil got a little dried out so I think next time I'll mix the shredded basil up with the diced tomatoes first. Served this with some zucchini and rice. Very satisfying!

small photo of the baked cod

Suzanne's Baked Cod

1 lb cod fillets
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can black olives (optional)
1/2 cup fresh basil
some butter
some salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Toss butter in pan and let pan sit in preheating oven to melt butter. Remove pan when the butter is melted.
  3. Place fish in pan. Sprinkle some salt onto the fish.
  4. Slice up the basil into little strips and sprinkle basil over fish.
  5. Open can of tomatoes and pour contents (including tomato juice) over the fish.
  6. If using olives, open can of olives and pour over fish. (Maybe drain the olives? I'm not sure on that point...do whatever you normally do with olives. I don't usually eat olives so I don't know what's involved here.)
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

bigger photo of the finished baked cod with tomatoes and basil on top

Thread in Cooking: http://community.livejournal.com/cooking/7794032.html

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if you like the flavor crunch of fried fish but dont want the mess, smell and the added fat from oil try this, I make this all the time and the guys love it.

Use any white fish, cod, tilapia, halibut, flounder.. Make sure filets are thawed completely and place on a sprayed sheet pan. In a food processor, pulse kellogs regular corn flakes, garlic powder, salt, ground pepper, dried chives, dried parsley, dried oregano, and a bit of grated parmesan cheese ( I dont measure so just eyeball it, you can adjust if you like one seasoning more than another, if you really like salt, etc) , pulse until a medium grain consistency. If you do not have a processor, put incredients in bag and smash with your hands or use a rolling pin. Beat a couple eggs with a shot of lemon juice in them and brush them over the filets, then sprinkle the cornflakes on top of the fish evenly covering every exposed part of the flesh.

Bake in oven at 350 until the fish flakes with a fork. I use my convection oven, it only takes about fifteen minutes to get the fish done, but may take longer depending on your standard oven. For a thawed filet, I wouldnt imagine it would take longer than twenty minutes.

=) Let me know if you try it and like it.

ooh...thanks for this idea! And there's no smell? I don't know why he doesn't like the smell of cooking fish but when our neighbor fried something, he definitely looked a bit ill so I believe him.

Your spinach-artichoke dip was a hit so I'll report back after I try this recipe too.

no frying smell, no fish smell, the garlic and oregano and parmesan cheese create a nice aroma. =)

This sounds great - I might try it, too!

Yum! My brother once made something similar, only he served it over angel hair pasta and added some white wine along with the tomatoes. Delish.

Edited at 2009-06-11 01:59 pm (UTC)

mm...that sounds nice. I'll give that a try too. Thanks!

I didn't know about the possibility of worms in cod. Interesting! :)

I had apparently read about this in a book, expressed surprise, and then promptly forgot about it. When we were finishing up this fish dinner, my boyfriend asked jokingly if I had looked for worms and I had no idea why he would ask that.

(Deleted comment)
itty bitty tiny worms that even if you do swallow them, they'll likely pass right through. No worries really.

mmm ... Have you thought about maybe buying a gas mask for your boyfriend (you could possibly find one at an army surplus store) ? That way, you could fry fish and he would not be able to be affected by the smell of it frying. Just saying ... ;)

Heh...maybe a gas mask would be useful for a Hallowween costume anyhow... But it wouldn't help the lingering Fish-Was-Fried-Here smell. I love it when a house smells like food but I guess not everyone does.

Weird, I've eaten cod and white fish all my life and this is the first I've heard about worms. I have heard Chilean sea bass liver has parasites though.

Like all living organisms, fish occasionally harbor parasites.

Most of these are harmless or just slightly annoying for humans, but eating some undercooked (mostly freshwater white) fish species could cause very unpleasant tapewarm infestations.

It's not enough to make me give up sushi but it does make me more inclined to stick to the more expensive sushi places with great reputations instead of the quick, cheap sushi places that have sprung up everywhere.

I am a sushi devotee myself. In any case, tapeworms are almost never present in saltwater fish used for sushi. Also, the sushi quality fish is supposed to be pre-frozen to -4F degrees which kills tapeworm cysts. So it is not worth worrying about, IMHO.

I had only recently learned about the worms too. I had apparently read about this in a book, expressed surprise, and then promptly forgot about it. When we were finishing up this fish dinner, my boyfriend asked jokingly if I had looked for worms and I had no idea why he would ask that. So he reminded me I had read about it and I looked online and confirmed that they do indeed pop up sometimes. But for the most part, the white fish worms appear to be mostly harmless nematodes that pass right through.

If you'd like an alternative to frying for your fish fix, I found steaming in a parchment paper pocket to be an easy, flexible and delicious method. Here's a reference for it:


Thanks for that link. The parchment paper pocket looks pretty doable. And that link yielded another link to salt-baking the fish and that sounds cool too.


Yeah, salt crust roasting is great too. It really helps the seasoning penetrate the fish instead of the flavor staying on the outside.

I've helped a friend cut worms out of some crappy he pulled from a freshwater river. They were pretty hard to miss - right on the outside of the muscle, just under the skin. And like you mentioned, if the worms are cooked along with the fish, they're dead and just extra protein. Kind of squigs most people out though.

I also prefer to bake my fish; I usally get farm-raised catfish. Bake 'em at 500 degrees with butter, lemon, onions, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. It's unreal how much the price has jumped, though. Six dollars per pound around here, and it used to be $3 just four or five years ago. They're fed corn, so I suspect that has something to do with it. I seriously doubt you would ever find any worms in farm-raised fish.

That looks awesome! I love cod and we go fishing every summer and catch our own. One thing I love to do with the fillet is to wrap bacon (the good kind of bacon; rich on smoked flavour) and bake it in the oven. The two things mix well together. Dang... Now I'm hungry. Gotta go fishing...

I’ll definitely try this weekend.

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