Cod à Lolly

I mentioned in an earlier post the cardinal rule of cooking in Dave’s kitchen: what Lolly wants, Lolly gets. The second rule is: when in doubt, always refer back to rule number one.  As it happens, Lolly wanted cod, and not just any old cod, but cod with almonds. Having no recipe at hand, I did what I so often do on a Tuesday night on my way home from the office – make it up on the fly while I’m walking the aisles at the supermarket. The result was an almond-crusted baked cod with garlic and rosemary, or, as it shall forever be known in our home from this day forward, Cod à Lolly.

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Here are your ingredients for two hearty servings, or four light portions:

  • 2 oz. whole butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. slivered almonds
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb. cod fillets, cut into four 4 oz. pieces
  • Olive oil as needed for brushing
  • Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and minced garlic and cook over low heat to melt the butter and blend the flavors. Place the almonds into a small zipper bag and crush them with a mallet until they are in medium-fine pieces of more or less uniform size (no need to get OCD about that). Pluck the leaves off your rosemary and give them a fine chop with your chef’s knife. Mix the almonds and rosemary in a shallow dish, which you will use to dredge the cod fillets.

Brush the cod pieces top and bottom with a generous coat of olive oil, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge them in the almond mixture, patting the coating firmly to ensure a thick, even crust, and place each piece into a 13” x 9” glass baking dish. When all four pieces are coated, top them with any leftover almonds, spoon the garlic butter over them and pop them into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then pop the heat up to 400° and bake for 5 more minutes to put just a hint of brown on the crust.

Bada bing, you’re done. We served up our garlicky, crunchy seafood goodness on a bed of long grain and wild rice, with a side of ribbon-cut zucchini and carrot sautéed in olive oil with a sprinkle of fresh oregano. As you might expect, we munched it right down with a big happy grin on our faces – and added a brand new dish to our family repertoire. Cod à Lolly is destined to be famous someday. Until then: Eat well, my friends!

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