Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Cod Smothered in Herbed Wine Compound Butter

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Being on a tight budget, John and I don't eat fish that much, even though we love it.  When cod was on special this week for $3.99 a pound (versus the usual, staggering $8.99 a pound), I couldn't wait.  I spent Monday and Tuesday perusing cod recipes, excited for the adventure.  Wednesday came and I made it to the food store before noon, naively thinking cod would be waiting for my eager basket.  No such luck.  But, the nice woman informed me that  they MAY have more cod by 4.30.  I asked if I could have a raincheck.  Nope.  One day sale = no raincheck. 

Defeated, I walked home.  Most of you know how I feel about exercise, so after this mile of fruitless walking I did what any good girlfriend would do!  I called John and sent him 20 minutes out of his way to find cod in Maine.  He called me at 4.30 to say they didn't have cod, but why didn't I get a raincheck?  I patiently (maybe not so patiently) explained one day sales are not raincheck applicable; well, he tells me, they offered me one.  SUCCESS (I think), so I immediately say, did you get it?  Of course he didn't.  I tell him, have I taught you nothing in the last 18 months?  When someone offers you a discount, you take it! 

Still I pressed on and called my local supermarket back.  The man who picked up the phone said "we just brought in 6 cases, but if I were you I would hurry, this is going fast".  So me, the girl who ABHORS running, ran to the supermarket.  Ran into the store and to the back of the fish counter, where, I encountered a gaggle of elderly Russian women.  Now normally, I love these women, they are sweet and shop daily for their little groceries.  But today, they were standing between me and my cod.  And, they were taking pounds of it at a time...one is on a cell phone calling out to others and they're just picking filet after filet!  Finally the man says the last 8 pounds are in the display case and for a moment I really think I'm not going to get cod after this whole day.  But then, the Russian ladies part like the red sea and the cod is mine!  1.2 pounds later, and I rush out of the store literally feeling like I won the lottery.
Cod Smothered in Herbed Wine Compound Butter
Adapted from here.
Serves:  4
1 stick of salted butter (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons white wine
4- 8 ounce cod filets

First make the compound butter.  Let the salted butter come to room temperature so it is easily pliable.  Do NOT microwave it!  Then, beat in garlic powder, thyme, basil, parsley, lemon zest, and pepper.  Slowly, beat in the lemon juice and white wine and beat for about 2 minutes, until all the white wine is absorbed into the butter.  Then, use a spatula to spoon the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Roll up the plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour (I kept mine for about a week and it was still good).  Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a glass baking dish, lay the filets and crumble a quarter of the butter over it.  Cook for 20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. 

I served it with Jasmine Rice and the vegetables that were suggested (carrots, broccoli, and yellow squash), but I roasted them in the 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, rather than put additional butter on them.  Just toss them with a little olive oil, spread the veggies out on a sheet pan, and bake.  I put them in with the fish and pulled them out about 5 minutes before, which worked out perfectly. 

Also, I had been wanting to try compound butter for some time since I saw Chef Robert Irving make it on that show Worst Cooks in America on the Food Network.  It was so easy, and flavorful, that I could see this becoming a fun new thing!  I put the leftovers on chicken and baked it the other day.  It was equally delicious!

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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