This cod is drenched in a straightforward lemon butter sauce that is so good and easy to make that it will quickly be a weekly go-to for you. Many shy away from seafood because it tends to be difficult to cook or takes a great deal of prep to get it to taste amazing. Fish cooks so fast, and you can impart flavors so quickly that you’ll wonder why on earth you didn’t have more seafood dinners at home before!
All Cod Is Not Created Equally
When you are starting to think about making cod for a meal, I want to make you aware of a couple of best practices.
First, freshness is vital. You can buy fish frozen because technically, that is the freshest fish you can get because they freeze the fish as soon as it is caught on the boat. However, I usually prefer to purchase my fish already thawed or fresh-caught in the store’s display case. The fish is well-drained if previously frozen, so it’s not mushy in texture.
Second, I buy my fish the DAY I’m going to cook the fish. Fish can be more expensive per pound, and you never want it sitting in the refrigerator with the potential of life getting in the way of getting it to the plate to serve. It can spoil or compromise the quality in general. So BUY and COOK, same DAY!
Third, I only buy the cod tenderloins, pictured below. It’s the meatiest portion of the large filet of the fish. Most stores carry the tenderloins portion in the display case, but they may be priced a bit more per pound. However, I find that the price is all relative because if you have to buy more fillets to fill up the family, but they are cheaper by a dollar or two a pound, it’s all equal at the end of the day anyway. You should allow about 8 ounces per person as the rule of thumb for a serving size. Each of the cod tenderloins pictured below is about one pound each. After cooking, I usually cut the one-pound tenderloin in half across the shortest side, so it has size on the plate.
Cod With Lemon Butter Sauce Ingredients
- Garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
- 1 pound of Cod tenderloins
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Onion powder
- FRESH squeezed lemon juice and zest/melted Butter
- Parsley for garnish
You Will Also Need:
- Fish Spatula, which will determine your success in cooking fish for the long term, trust me. They are made from metal and are lighter and more manageable than a traditional spatula allowing the spatula to get under the fish.
- Cast iron skillet heats evenly and has many surface areas to cook.
- Lemon zester
- Lemon juicer
Let’s get started
First, take the cod tenderloins out of the package and pat dry with paper towels to remove moisture. You want to be sure that you don’t miss this step because you don’t want your fish to be mushy. You also don’t want the seasoning mixture to be diluted.
Then, combine paprika, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Generously sprinkle spice mixture across the cod tenderloins. Set aside while you start the butter sauce.
Now for the easy butter sauce, combine the melted Butter, lemon juice, zest of the lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt – set aside.
Heat olive oil in the cast iron skillet on medium heat until hot. Being careful not overcrowd the pan, place the cod tenderloins in the cast iron skillet. If you have more than two, it’s better to use two cast irons.
While the fish is cooking, slowly drizzle some lemon butter sauce over the fish. Keep an eye on the fish; you don’t want to overcook because no amount of Butter can change the dried-out texture! Cook about 4-5 minutes until the fish goes from a translucent color to an opaque look. Use a fish spatula for best results in flipping the fish. Drizzle more lemon butter sauce over the fish cook for another 4 minutes.
Serve with the remaining sauce over the fish once it’s plated and sprinkle with parsley garnish. You may want to serve this with my unique Cheesy Parmesan Orzo Pasta side dish for a winning combination.
Plate and Serve
When it then comes down to the experience of eating this Cod With Lemon Butter Dish you won’t not be disappointed! The tenderloin cut of cod will be much like a thick piece of red meat. It will hold it’s texture while providing the eater with a substantial piece of fish with each bite.
YES! This fish definitely tastes as good as it looks. The lemon butter sauce melds with the spices and delivers a flavorful bite. As you plan your weekly meals, always include a fish. The health benefits are well noted, and on top of that it’s super easy and quick with a delicious flavor payoff! Enjoy!
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Made this for a quick dinner after a long work day and was surprised at how well it turned out. The combo of butter and lemon over the cod was so delicious
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