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the truth about true cod

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The codfish. Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been spurred by it, national diets have been based on it, economies and livelihoods have depended on it, and the settlement of North America was driven by it. To the millions it has sustained, it has been a treasure more precious than gold. Indeed, the codfish has played a fascinating and crucial role in world history.” ~ Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. By, Mark Kurlansky

Truth: We love true cod. a.k.a Pacific cod. sometimes even called grey cod due to its coloring.

Even More So True: True cod is actually a very important fish to the US as we know it. Some call it, “the fish that changed America.”

Today we bring you fresh, Alaskan true cod. What is most interesting about this species is its history…
True Story: the AK true cod we have today is actually the same species of cod found on the East coast. From way back in the 16th century, countries were coming to fish for cod for salting. It was super abundant along the Atlantic all the way through Nova Scotia and to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.  Recap Previous Historical Truth: the cod fish industry was one of the driving forces behind the colonization of the Americas!

There was a sad time when due to overfishing, the cod species had eventually been wiped out and it has slowly come back to being a plentiful, super sustainable, well managed fishery today – especially in the Pacific where it is hook and line caught in abundance.  Truism: The U.S. Pacific cod fishery is now often hailed as one of the best managed fisheries in the world. More Sustainability Truths: A wealth of true cod are caught during the winter and spring months in the gulf of AK. Pacific True Cod are abundant and the fishery is considered by all means sustainable. These True cod are a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch “Best Choice” as they are hook-and-line caught. Freshness Truth: Thanks to Hans’ Alaskan fishery connections, we are able to work with a group of hook and line fishermen that get them to us just 2 days out and in pristine condition.

Interesting Culinary Truth: True cod is the original ‘fish ‘n chip’ fish. True cod have a mild and clean flavor with a perfect flake & large white-meat which allows for a variety of preparations. Though often found in fish and chips, cod is at its healthiest baked or broiled. Other cooking methods that work well with this fish include a nice sauté, fry, stew, or chowder. True cod is also sometimes used as an alternative to halibut and can be substituted in most recipes that call for a white fish.

Nutrition Truths: This mild and sweet-flavored fish is low in calories! It’s an excellent source of protein (approx 30 g per 1/2lb serving) and selenium, as well as a very good source of vitamin B6 and phosphorus. Cod also is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, potassium, vitamin D and niacin.

Truly: delicious paleo recipes follow…

Spicy Cod Stew (I know, I know…towards the end of our last CSS season I became obsessed with fish stews and soups so I’ve tried to lay off of them for a while for those of you sick of my stew fascination…but it’s dang cold outside tonight. I’m not holding out any longer. True Life: I’m Obsessed with Fish Stew.)

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive/ grapeseed / or coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika 
200g can chopped tomatoes or 4 cups fresh
1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into chunks
1 pound true cod fillet, cut into chunks
handful coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preparation
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic, cumin, paprika and cook for about 1 min.
Add a 1/2-1 cup water or stock and the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Add the pepper, simmer for 5 minutes. Gently add the fish submerging it into liquids and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with coriander and a wedge of lemon.
adapted by hr from bbcgoodfood.com

Baked Cod with Mustard

Ingredients
1 pound true cod fillet
2 tbsp olive / grapeseed / coconut oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 425.
Put the fish in an ovenproof dish and drizzle the oil over it (melt coconut oil in ramekin first.)
Season, then brush the fillets with the mustard.
Bake the fish for about 10 minutes until it is cooked throughout and separates easily with a fork.
Serve with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley.
adapted by hr from spar.co.uk

Fish Sticks Yep. You read that right. I had to do it…gluten free, of course.

Ingredients
1 pound true cod
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grapeseed oil

Preparation
Cut fish into 1 inch by 5 inch pieces, following the lines of the fillets, remove bones if you find any. You shouldn’t. Place eggs in one dish and flour and salt in another. Dip fish sticks in egg, then flour; reserve to a plate. Put 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and heat oil on medium high.
Place half the fish sticks in the pan, leaving enough room around them so that they aren’t crowded.
Cook for a few minutes on each side, until well browned, then remove fish sticks to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Add oil –2 tablespoons grapeseed and 2 tablespoons olive to pan and fry remaining batch of fish sticks. Serve with lemon, ketchup, or desired saucy topping. Yeah, I said saucy.
adapted by hr from elenaspantry.com

Simple Baked Cod
This last recipe is adapted from the CrossFit Santa Cruz Central: EAT THIS! blog. CFSCC happens to host of one of our CSS drop-sites so some of you may have seen this before, but if you haven’t and you enjoy paleo recipes their blog is a wealth of information.

Ingredients
1 pound true cod fillet 
your favorite spices such as;
garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, paprika, sea salt

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the cod filets with desired spices.
Bake for about 10-20 minutes or until fish is heated through and flakes easily with a fork.

Thank you CSSers! We truly love being your trusted weekly seafood provider… Enjoy!

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hey, if there are people complaining about too much stew, that’s not me! I’ll be cooking up the Spicy Cod Stew for sure. Though paprika isn’t very spicy by itself. I think it’ll need a bit of chili powder.

    February 28, 2012
  2. plankgrillmaster #

    Great post, never thought about creating fish sticks from scratch. Thank you for sharing.

    February 29, 2012

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