As fans of this great product know, the fresh cod season begins in mid-February and lasts for a few months, the rest of the cod that we use during the year is salted or frozen cod. A large part comes from its capture in the area of the Lofoten Islands of Norway, when it comes to spawn and it is the one that arrives with the quality seal SkreiAlthough we also find fresh cod from other Nordic countries such as Iceland, Finland or Sweden in the markets. Today we give you five simple suggestions with fresh cod, taking advantage of the beginning of its season, since this fresh fish is light, tasty and very different from the desalted cod that we usually consume throughout the year.
As an identifying characteristic, the skin of fresh cod can be greenish or even darker, almost black. Skin pattern appears to have brindle spots and some irregularly shaped longitudinal stripes. The meat is very white, without blood or yellowish areas. And its flavor, as you will see in the recipes that we tell you below, is really exquisite.
Potatoes with cod: keys to make them come out like grandmother
Five recipes with fresh cod, to take advantage of the beginning of its season
1. Cod en papillote with vegetables
Ingredients: 1 Skrei Cod Loin, 1/4 Zucchini, 1/4 Chives, 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce, 1 Carrot
Preparation: As the fresh Skrei cod is made in practically a minute and is tender with the flakes that come off effortlessly, we are going to start preparing the vegetables that need a little more time. We peel the carrots and cut them into julienne. We also chop the unpeeled zucchini and the spring onion. We place all the ingredients in a microwave-safe silicone case, add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a few grains of salt and bake it at 900W for 2 minutes. After that time, we open the case, remove the vegetables and see if they are lightly cooked. We varnish the cod loin with a brush dipped in soy sauce and put it in the case on top of the poached vegetables. Add the rest of the soy sauce and close the case, cooking for 1 minute at 900W. We leave unopened in the case for a minute and proceed to plating. To do this, we carefully remove the cod fillet to a source, and put a little pile of the vegetables on the plate where we are going to serve. We cover the vegetables with the cod and decorate with some sprouts. We serve the juices that were left in the case over the fish and vegetables.
Complete recipe | Cod en papillote with vegetables
2. Fresh cod confit with boletus
Ingredients: Skrei cod loin, 1 kg, Boletus (if dehydrated, 20g is worth), 100 g
preparation: To make this confit, I have used the tail part of the Skrei, reserving the area of the neck that I cut into slices for other preparations. Then I put each of the two loins of the cod in a bag, using the vacuum sealer. If you do not have this device, you can also use a bag with a hermetic or zip closure to ensure that nothing can come into contact with the cod. Afterwards, I cooked it at 43 degrees for ten minutes, following the temperatures that Joan Roca recommended using in a presentation on this type of cooking, given at the Fòrum de Girona. To do this cooking, if you do not have a sous vide oven, you can use a large pan filled with water, and keep the temperature with the fire to a minimum, or even use a camping fridge, put the water at 50º and control the temperature and when it is at 44º, put the bag with the cod and let it cook for ten minutes. Afterwards, the Skrei meat will be just right. Meanwhile, we rehydrate the boletus slices, cook them sautéed on the grill and serve them immediately. We take the cod loins out of the bag, very carefully, and arrange them on the plate. Finally, we place the boletus garnish and add the liquids from the Skrei cooking, which will have remained inside the bag.
Complete recipe | Fresh cod confit with boletus
3. Fresh cod with double Pil pil by Mario Sandoval
Ingredients: 12 cocochas, 1 good Skrei cod fillet, olive oil, shallots, garlic and cod bones
Elaboration: In a frying pan, prepare the cocochas al pil pil in the conventional way, with the oil at a very low temperature and the skin facing down. While the cocochas are being prepared, in another casserole, confit the cod skin and some parts with thorn in olive oil. This is the part with the most collagen and, by extracting this, it can later be added to the pan where the cocochas are being prepared to enhance the pil pil. This skin can also be dried and fried and it is like a pork rind, very crispy. In addition, in another casserole, prepare a broth with garlic, shallots, tomato, the bones of the cod, the “ear” (the part that remains between the head and the loins, where the front fins are, which is the tastiest), the part of the tail that we cannot take advantage of and the head, without the teeth – which Sandoval discards because, he assures, can contain dirt. After almost an hour, when the broth is ready and all the collagen has been extracted, part of the broth – the rest can be used for any other preparation – is mixed with the oil from the confit, which already contains all the collagen in the skin. The mixture is beaten to obtain an emulsion that is added to the cocochas. It is what we could call a double pil pil. The emulsion, of course, can also serve as a sauce for other preparations, such as baked loins, such as those prepared by Sandoval in Norway.
Complete recipe | Cod with double pil pil
4. Fresh baked cod loin with albariño and thyme
Ingredients: Skrei cod fillet, 1.5 kg, Albariño white wine, 125 ml, Garlic cloves, 4, Extra virgin olive oil, 125 ml, Potatoes, 800 g, Onion, 300 g, Lemon, 1, Dried thyme
Preparation: We will start by peeling and splitting the potatoes into thin slices. Then we also peel and cut the onions into thin slices. We put a frying pan with the oil and sauté the potatoes, onions and garlic cloves, cook everything together for ten minutes. We put the potatoes, onion and garlic in a baking dish and place the cod loin on top, add salt and add the lemon cut in four and sprinkle with the thyme. We put in the oven preheated to 220º for approximately thirty minutes, depending on the power of the oven and the weight. Ten minutes after starting the barbecue, we irrigate with the Galician white wine. Garnish with more thyme and rosemary. To check that it is done, we introduce the tip of a knife from the side, if it goes easily up to the spine, it is at its point.
Complete recipe | Baked cod fillets with albariño and thyme
5. Fresh cod with broccoli crust
Ingredients: Skrei cod fillet 400 g in total 4, Extra virgin olive oil 250 ml, Garlic clove 2, Broccoli saplings 3
Preparation: We begin the operation, putting a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil and confining the garlic in it, with the heat at minimum for about 15 minutes. Next, we remove the garlic and fry the cod fillets in the saucepan for another 10 minutes. You can do it with large loins or if you prefer, you can cut them into small rectangular pieces. With a grater or better with a microplane we lightly grate the broccoli trees to obtain the green granites with which we will make the crust. Once the cod fillets have been candied, we remove them to a plate and reserve the olive oil in which we have candied them. With a hand mixer, we make an emulsion with the olive oil where we have candied them, which will have a lot of the gelatin that the cod has released and we add the water and juices that the cod has released on the plate. Beating for two or three minutes we will get a kind of thick pil pil. With a brush we lightly paint the cod fillets with the pil pil in the area of the skin, so that the grated broccoli adheres to form the green crust, and we serve it on a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil emulsion spread in the plate.
Complete recipe | Broccoli Crusted Cod