Friday, October 15th, 2010 | posted by mike
For a while there it looked like the fish upon which our nation was founded, funded, and fed was about to slip into overfished oblivion. Canada’s cod fishery completely collapsed in the ’80′s (and is still recovering), and rumors about the closing of our own cod grounds, the George’s Bank and the Gulf of Maine, were buzzing for several years. Well, the good news for us is that stocks in both areas are growing with the Gulf of Maine seeing cod at levels not seen in 30 years! Strict fisheries management such as, permanent and rolling fishing ground closures, net mesh changes (to allow juvenile fish to escape), fleet buy backs from the government in order to reduce the number of boats that are fishing, as well as total catch limits have begun to pay off.
Now that we can feel good about purchasing cod again it’s time to try some great ways to enjoy it. A lot of folks think of cod as the world’s generic mild, or bland, ultimate whitefish, made famous by Mrs. Paul, McDonald’s, or those yummy fish sticks in the high school cafeteria. Well, I’m here to say that if you’ve ever tasted a nice thick, moist, firm-flaked fillet of codfish you would truly appreciate its subtle delicate sweetness. Cod has to be super fresh and preferably filleted just before cooking in order to keep its moisture, fat, flavor and goodness. I think Monahan’s is the only market in Michigan to buy cod whole ( from the cod fathers- M.F. Foley in New Bedford & Boston, MA), and fillet them as we need them. The result is a fillet that hasn’t evaporated and dehydrated its goodness away. The finer chefs know the wonderful qualities of truly fresh cod.
It’s a fish that is super versatile- pan-searing, baking, broiling, frying, roasting, steaming, this fish can do anything (except maybe grilling- its a little too delicate).
Try our easy, delicious cod en papillote recipe!