We were having cod for dinner and my P.S. did his PHE (patented husband eyeroll) when I was musing over how to cook it. “Just salt and pepper and fried in a little butter is how I prefer it,” he grunted. I find cod is sometimes too fishy for me and I like some other seasonings to deflect that strong fish taste. I grunted back and went off to find a new recipe.I didn’t actually search very long; I found a butter basted recipe right off that sounded great. It was seared on a grill and I don’t have an indoor grill or grill plate so my trusty skillet would have to do. But the ingredients like onions, white wine, and lemon sounded like they’d jazz up my cod filets just fine!
I melted the butter in my large nonstick skillet over medium high heat as I diced 1/2 cup onion very finely and added it to the pan. I let it sauté for 2-3 minutes. I added white wine to the skillet and let it simmer another 3-4 minutes, then placed the cod that I’d oiled, salted and peppered into the pan on the onions.
I let the cod sauté in the onions and butter. The original recipe said 8 minutes each side but they’d have been rubber if I’d cooked them that long! What could they have been thinking! I used a large spoon to baste the filets with butter a few times, then flipped them after 4 minutes. I continued to fry them, basting with butter occasionally. The butter and onions had browned nicely and they were going to give the cod superb flavors.
On another burner I had another skillet going with sautéed summer squash.. I’ll post that recipe next time. But the two dishes together were going to have amazing flavors. The fish were flaking in the centers when I nudged them with a fork so I knew they were done. Do that every minute or so with fish and you’ll be less likely to overcook them.
I served the filets with lemon slices and the side dish of sautéed summer squash and the flavors were indeed vibrant and fresh. The onions and butter enhanced the cod rather than burying the flavors. I didn’t even miss my usual dollops of tartar sauce. It was a simple way to please me and my P.S. as well. He got his salt, pepper and buttered cod and I added onions and white wine. It was a seasoning compromise, one that worked really well.
Grilled Onion Butter Cod
4 cod fillets, about 6 ounces
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup white wine (or substitute apple juice or 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, sliced
Preheat skillet on medium-high heat. Melt butter, add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and let simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
Brush fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place fish in skillet over onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Baste cod with butter sauce and turn.
Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until fish is opaque. Baste an additional 2-3 times. Remove cod from heat, top with lemon wedges, and serve.
Adapted from About Food