Cod is easily one of my favorite kinds of fish. It has a delicate flavor, but still remains very distinct. It’s hard to beat the perfectly flaky texture of this white fish when cooked properly. There are many ways to make cod, whether it is pan fried, breaded, grilled, or baked. In this recipe, I’ve modified a rough recipe I learned from my mother when I was younger (although oddly enough, she doesn’t prefer her fish prepared this way!). I’ve used a technique that bakes the fish, but also somewhat steams it in its own juices during the cooking process to keep it moist and tender. I’ve kept the flavors very simple so as not to overshadow the fish’s own flavor. The tomato and onions lightly infuse the fish with some added flavors, but they also act as a wonderful garnish that varies the flavors with each bite. Lastly, the cumin may shock or put some people off, but if you use a very light hand with it, the resulting flavor combination is unique and a delicious addition to a common dish.
Makes 4 servings of cod loin filet at 144 – 194 calories per serving (this is a great low fat and low calorie protein!).
- 1 to 1.5 pounds of cod loins or 4 cod loin fillets (about 400 – 600 calories)
- 2 small to medium tomatoes sliced (about 40 calories)
- 1/4 large onion sliced thin (about 15 calories)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (about 120 calories consumed)
- Optional: Fresh slices of lime.
- Medium or large baking dish to fit the cod loins
- Sharp knife for slicing vegetables
- Cutting board
- Tablespoon measurements
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly rinse off the cod loins in cold water, pat them dry, and set them aside.
- Thinly slice 1/4 of a large onion into long julienne pieces.
- Slice about two medium size tomatoes into rounds that aren’t too thick.
- Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- Put down one layer of the tomato slices on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Place the cod loins over the tomatoes.
- Lightly add some salt, pepper, and cumin to the cod loins on both sides. A small pinch between your fingers of salt and black pepper per each cod loin side should be enough. Do the same for the cumin, but only add the cumin on the top side of the cod. I can not stress this enough: Go easy with the cumin because the strong flavor of the spice can easily overpower the delicate flavor of the cod.
- Cover the cod loins with the thinly sliced onion pieces and drizzle one more tablespoon of olive oil all over the cod.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place the dish in the oven.
- Bake the cod for 20 minutes. Some ovens may differ, but 20 minutes is pretty universal for perfectly cooked cod.
- After 20 minutes, remove the cod from the oven and remove the aluminum foil. The cod is ready to serve immediately.
- You want the fish to be tender and flaky so that you can push it apart with a fork, but you don’t want it to crumble. If it’s a little firm and crumbles beyond the natural flakiness of the fish, then the cod is overcooked.
- Using a spatula, scoop up a piece of cod from the bottom of the baking dish so that you get a layer of tomato on the bottom with each serving. If you enjoy lemon with your fish, then freshly squeeze a few drops of lemon over the fish.
- The cumin adds an earthy flavor to the cod that is vaguely smoky, peppery, and nutty, with some citrus undertones. This creates not only a great flavor for the fish, but it also bridges the gap between the land and sea so you can easily pair the fish with strong vegetable side dishes like green beans or asparagus.