My dad loved to fish and we would go with him as often as possible. We caught trout mostly. I remember hours spent digging for worms, packing up the station wagon with all the reels and supplies, and driving to the nearby river. Then, after the successful fishing trip, returning back to the house and cleaning the fish outside the garage.
Those who know me now, decades later, might be surprised that I was once comfortable threading worms onto fishing hooks and later cleaning the fish we caught. Cleaning the fish involved scraping off the scales, cutting off the head, slicing the belly open, and removing the guts (after examining the insides to learn what each fish had consumed earlier in that day).
I haven’t gone fishing in years. And not so sure I’d be comfortable cleaning fish anymore. As a child it was fun and an adventure … very Tom Sawyer-ish. But today I prefer to purchase my fish at my local market. Nice fillets, all cleaned and free of bones and ready for me to cook. Yes, that’s more to my liking now.
But I can’t purchase trout. That fish holds a special place in my memories from my childhood. There is nothing like eating a trout hours after catching it yourself. Because of this I just can’t bring myself to buy trout at the market.
Instead I purchase cod most of the time. And this recipe is adapted from the one at my local market, Wegmans. Their recipe can be found here.
Pan Seared Cod Fillets With Lemon And Butter
3 cod fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
a drizzle of olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, divided
about 1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper
1 lemon, cut in half
Over medium-high heat, put 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil into a large pan (I prefer a non-stick skillet).
In a large plastic zipper baggie, combine the flour, salt and pepper.
Place each fillet into the flour mixture and shake gently to cover the fish completely.
Place the coated fillets into the hot pan.
Cook the fish on the first side about 3 minutes, until the color starts to come up the outside, and the cooked side is golden brown.
Flip the fillets and cook on the second side about 3 minutes. *Note: Cooking times will need to be adjusted due to the thickness of the fillets.
When the second side is also golden brown, place the lemon halves, cut side down, into the pan, as well as the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
Turn off the heat and if possible, place a lid on the pan.
Wait 2 minutes, then remove fish to a serving platter.
Using kitchen tongs, squeeze the lemons to get all the juice out of them.
Drizzle the lemon juice and butter liquid over the fillets; serve.