Last night I went to a food blogger’s event where we got to try different recipes made with wild caught sustainable seafood from Alaska. While I thought my favorite would be the baked salmon, it was the pan fried cod that bowled me over! It’s better than anything I’ve eaten in a restaurant.
Alaska Select sponsored the evening. We got to try seafood recipes plus I was given 4 salmon filets to cook at home. Alaska Select’s owner, Nick Lee is fanatical about knowing where your seafood comes from and how it’s caught and processed.
How it works: Alaska Select is fanatical about quality. They bring seafood to you through a buying club. Pre-order in 5+ lb. packages and pick up in person at locations around the country. They have Alaskan salmon, shrimp, cod, crab and more. Everyone I polled had a different favorite but mine was the cod and the crab. Best crab of my life!!
SPECIAL OFFER: Use code NEWSPAPERGRL to take 10% off your order of wild caught seafood at Alaska Select. Only good on Smoked Salmon (5 lb box), Sockeye Salmon Portions (10 lb box), and Snow Crab (3 kg/6.6 lb box). Order at http://www.alaskaselectseafood.com – delivery and pickup dates are on the website. Coming to Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah in November.
This recipe makes the most melt in your mouth tender, flaky cod in the world. The first ingredient that makes or breaks this recipe is to start with high quality cod. This cod filet is firm and has a gorgeous white color. It’s very mild and not fishy tasting. It doesn’t have a strong smell. I’ve never had cod like this. It’s just exquisite.
I learned our seafood has some creative labeling. Fish labeled “fresh” may not be so fresh. It could’ve been sitting behind the seafood counter at your local market for 10 days and still be called fresh. That’s why you should always avoid the “manager’s special” – it’s likely to be older fish (it will have a strong smell). Frozen cod may be fresher than fresh cod because it’s frozen right after being caught.
Know the Source
Did you know that 90% of seafood in our country is imported?Nick believes in environmentally-friendly practices from the catch to the distribution. As Nick says, your fish shouldn’t need a passport! Some seafood is labeled from China or another county. Often that means it’s been caught, frozen and sent overseas where it’s thawed, filleted, portioned, processed and packaged then refrozen and shipped back to the US! There’s also something called “refresh” which means it’s been frozen and then thawed yet presented as fresh.
Nick has been a fisherman for over 20 years and his company focuses on healthy, sustainable fishing practices and delivering best value to the market through state of the art filleting, freezing, and packaging technology that closely resembles the fish as it comes out of the water.
Nick co-owns buying clubs in the United States that distribute his fresh seafood products. Four clubs are located in Utah: Logan, SLC, Draper, and Moab.
Farmed vs Wild
Farm raised fish like cod is often fed corn and soy which is high in omega 6 – unlike wild caught which is high in omega 3s. You want to keep these fats in balance with one another but in the typical US diet we eat way more omega 6 and not enough omega 3. In fact, our omega 6 is 25x higher than it should be and it’s making us sick. Wild cod is high in omega 3. Farm raised is also injected with fillers and artificial color. Make sure when you see the label there are no commas! It only needs ONE ingredient listed – the fish itself!
Pan Fried Cod Recipe
This easy recipe starts in the pan on the skillet and finished in the oven for the most amazing delicate and flaky fish. If you want to impress, make this cod dish for a holiday meal or for entertaining.
Prep time 5 minutes, cook time 12-15 minutes
4 black cod fillets
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika* (or regular if you don’t have smoked)
2 teaspoons salt (such as Fleur De Sel*)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
3⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients for the blackening seasoning in a small bowl. Add blackening seasoning to the flesh side of the cod fillets and press into the flesh with your hands or the back of a spoon. You should have a crust on the finished dish but not a thick layer. Don’t put on too thick or the spices will overpower the fish.
Preheat the olive oil over medium high eat in a 10- 12 inch large skillet (cast iron* or nonstick like our beloved Copper Chef brand fry pan*). When the oil begins to ripple and smoke, place the cod fillets seasoning side down in the skillet. Sear for 3-4 minutes or until a beautiful crust has developed on the seasoning.
Flip the fillets over and move the skillet into the oven. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145 degrees (fish thermometer *) Fahrenheit and flakes easily with a fork.
Here’s another cod recipe from Just a Pinch blog: Lemon Butter Baked Cod
*affiliate links to Amazon which is a convenient way to get gourmet or obscure ingredients that may not be readily available near you
Prepare to go to food heaven with each bite! I got to take home some leftovers that I savored the next day. I’m still dreaming about it!!