I used to be very afraid to cook fish. One too many occasions of overcooking a pricey piece, or a recipe ending in flakey fish mush got me a little discouraged- that’s also because I have a very hard time following directions. Fortunately for you, we’ve provided pretty detailed ones here, and this cod is not only doable, but a total “I am so impressed” provoking dish. Don’t know what Chermoula is? Great, me either. But I do know that it tastes freaking amazing.
Serves 4: Use local and organic ingredients whenever possible
4- 8oz Cod filets, bone-out, skin on
1 basket cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove crushed
1 shallot minced
4 TBSP ghee
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro (and stems), chopped
9 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tsp paprika
6 tsp lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 fresh chiles, seeded and chopped
For Chermoula: sprinkle the cumin seeds in a skillet and toast them over medium to high heat, stirring, until they smell fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. In a food processor or blender, add parsley, cilantro, garlic, smoked paprika, 4 tsp lemon juice, 6 Tbsp olive oil, salt, chilis, and toasted cumin. Blend until smooth. Add additional 2 tsps of lemon juice to taste and remaining olive oil if necessary so that the chermoula is a loose paste.
For Cod: Season fish with salt and pepper. Heat 4 Tbsp of ghee in a saute pan on medium-high heat. Place Cod, skin side down in pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes until crispy. Lift a corner with your fish spatula very carefully (congrats on real adulthood if you’re someone who owns a fish spatula), then slide full spatula under whole filet, using fingers on top to flip. It is a very delicate fish. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Be very careful not to let the fish burn. Don’t walk away. Don’t even move. Stay there. Remove filets to a plate and cover with a little foil tent like you’re at the circus.
Using the same pan, add one crushed clove of garlic and one minced shallot into remaining hot ghee. Briefly saute the garlic and shallot for one minute so it gets a little color, shaking the pan. Add cherry tomatoes. Turn heat to high. Shake pan intermittently until tomatoes begin to pop and blister. Turn off heat and divide mixture evenly between plates. Lay your fish filet on top, and spoon chermoula on to the fish. Summon all the boys to the yard.