Thanks to my trusty cast iron skillet, this pan fried cod with mustard caper sauce seared beautifully. The mustard caper sauce is a lively flavor for the cod. With a fresh green salad, it’s a beautiful and simple meal.
Pan fried cod with mustard caper sauce served with simple salad and eggplant caponata.
Purchasing seafood for our weekly fish dinner finds me experiencing my mini-anxiety issues. What will they have…will I know what it is…how much will it cost…will I be able to cook it…if it’s wild caught…how fresh is it… really, should I just buy it from the frozen section…should I just go with the dependable farmed salmon…actually, those chicken breasts in the next section look familiar and easy.
I’ve lived land-locked all my life. As soon as the pan is heated and the fish unwrapped, I cross my toes and fingers for a edible outcome. Cooking fish seems like such a fickle event for me. So fickle that I compare it to the science of baking a yeast-based bread. So with all that said, I’m blaming our altitude and humidity on every inedible piece of fish that’s hit our dinner table. HA.
I wanted a white fish this week. The fish counter found us with the option of either $12 per pound cod, $12/pound turbot, or $30/pound sea bass. The “fishmonger” tried to steer me toward the turbot. I’ve never had it…don’t know what it is. He said it had a milder flavor than cod, a “lighter fish”. I was leery.
I didn’t want to spring for that chunk of expensive Sea Bass, which was on sale at $30/pound, so chose the cod. As he pulled those thin, long skinny pieces of fish to the scale for their weigh in, I automatically pictured them overcooked and mushy. Sometimes I think it’s harder to cook a thin piece of fish than a thick one.
See how stressful this is? I probably even have you reaching for the Valium.
Thanks to a medium-high heat and my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet, I ended up with a pretty good sear on one side. It cooked in a flash with no chance for turning to brown on the other side, I rushed it to our plates and topped it with the sauce.Tender and flaky. Whew. The mustard caper sauce was quite a lively flavor paired with the cod. And we loved the super simple salad with was easily tossed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. This is a quick meal compliments Real Simple.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, I’d put it on my wish list if I were you. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment to have in your kitchen. It sears and browns so beautifully that you feel like a trained restaurant chef. I’ve even trusted delicate scallops to my cast iron for our favorite Seared Scallops with Pinot Gris Butter Sauce. I’ve included an affiliate link for your convenience.
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon capers drained
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon optional
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 6-ounce pieces skinless cod halibut, or striped bass fillet
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cups large head Bibb lettuce torn (about 6 )
- 1/2 English cucumber thinly sliced
- 1/4 small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, capers, tarragon (if using), 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 2 tablespoons water. (If necessary, adjust the consistency with more water until the sauce is spoonable.)
- Heat 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cod with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 7 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the lettuce, cucumber, and onion with the lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Drizzle the cod with the mustard-caper sauce and serve with the salad.
Pan Fried Cod with Mustard Caper Sauce …It’s What’s for Dinner.