by Mark McNulty.
I confess up front I do not purchase cod too often. Unless I caught the cod myself, I typically opt to use a different whitefish in my recipes since they are often less expensive and equal in quality, in my view. But this is Massachusetts and to write a Captain’s Kitchen column without talking about cod would be absolutely criminal. It is our state’s official fish, after all! When Bartholomew Gosnold explored our shores in 1602 he coined the name Cape Cod, recognizing the vast abundance of the fish in these waters. The Sacred Cod, a five foot long pine model, hangs over the Massachusetts House of Representatives to this day. The lyrics of All Hail to Massachusetts, our state song, proclaim this the “home of the bean and the cod”. The history is undeniable: The noble cod has played a vital role in the growth of this region, it has been a symbol of prosperity since Colonial times, and it is very good eating in any season.
For this particular dish, I got a little experimental. I tried a new recipe that had been passed to me a while back. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but still discovered a few adjustments that would make the recipe better. For example, the original came out a little heavy with the peanuts. I made note of these changes in my own rendition and I am happy to share it with you today.
Peanut Crusted Baked Cod
Serves 4 — Prep time 20 min — Cook time 25 min
4 Cod filets (about 2 lbs)
- 2 cups unsalted peanuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup corn starch
- 3 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse cod filets and pat dry.
- Place peanuts in a freezer bag. Use a rolling pin or mallet to crush them into finely chopped pieces. Put them on a plate.
- Beat the eggs in their own separate dish. Place corn starch on a 3rd separate dish and mix in the Old Bay. This way you make a breading line in this order: Corn starch, egg, peanuts.
- Dip each filet in the corn starch, then in the egg wash, then in the peanuts. You can cover the filet with as much peanut as you wish but be cautious about too many peanuts. You can coat one side or both sides, to your liking.
- Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and place the filets flat on the sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
- Serve and enjoy!
As always, I encourage you to use my recipe as a base and make it your own. Since this was also a new one for me, I am already eager to try new twists. Maybe put the Old Bay on the peanuts instead of in the corn starch, for example. Have fun with it!
- If you cannot get cod or the price is too high, you could also use Pollock, haddock, hake, striped bass, monkfish, or wolffish in this recipe without a problem. Any decent whitefish in filets should do. Cooking time may change a bit depending on thickness.
- I encourage you to buy your fish fresh from one of our many local fish markets. This cod came from The Nautical Mile Market in Hanover.
How did this recipe work for you? Any suggestions, questions or comment? I welcome your feedback!
Mark McNulty is a local teacher and children’s writer who is currently a stay-at-home Dad. A lifelong resident of the South Shore and avid fisherman, Mark has developed a passion for local seafood. He has often said “If it swims, I’ll eat it.” This includes active support for local fish markets and fishermen. Mark is also an avid Boston sports fan. His other interests include hiking, travel, cycling, and archery. His blog, The New American Dad, is a helpful resource for all mothers and fathers and was recently recognized as Top Blog by Mommy Poppins Boston. His family currently lives in Pembroke.
Follow him on Twitter: @BloggyDad Blog: mark-mcnulty.blogspot.com