The absolute best part of the Lenten Season is that the supermarkets are jam packed with fish and seafood – and everything is on sale! It gives me a chance to stock up on all sorts of yummy things to keep in the freezer. (Yeah, I know fresh is best, but when you live on a budget sales are everything!)
This is one of my favorite fish bakes. I like to make it at least once during the Lenten Season, especially if we are entertaining fellow Catholics (or fish eaters). We aren’t talking fancy here – it’s a wonderful casual supper. I like to think of it as Lenten Comfort Food.
The potatoes are thinly sliced and tossed with minced garlic. The potatoes are then layered in a baking dish to create “shingles” and roasted until almost tender. The shingles are then topped with the wonderful, mild, delicate cod fillets that have been kissed with herb butter. When served with “zapped” broccoli, it’s a delight to the senses.
For this recipe, definitely look for Atlantic caught cod which, when cooked, will render large flaked white meat. The fresh lemon slices add another layer of texture and color to the meal.
Our grandson, Master Robert, is not wild about fish. As a Catholic, he has learned to accept fish as a Friday staple, but if left on his own, he would much rather have a grilled cheese sandwich. (And let me tell you, he makes a mean gourmet grilled cheese sandwich!) That said, this is one Friday repast even he actually enjoys. (When it comes right down to it, I guess I’m a non-fish-eater, too. I don’t like “fishy” fish. So I promise – this isn’t “fishy”).
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, minced
1 tablespoon Lemon Zest, grated
2 Lemons, thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper
Mash butter, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper together in a bowl. Lay lemon slices over the butter. Set aside until ready to use. The longer the herb butter sits, the more infused the flavors become. The butter can actually be made in the morning to fully marry with the herbs.
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 lbs Russet potatoes, sliced 3/16-inch thick
6 Garlic Cloves, mined
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
Peel and mince garlic, set aside until ready to use. Wash and slice potatoes. Set aside until ready to use. Brush rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil, set aside until ready to use.
In a large bowl, toss potatoes with remaining ¼ cup oil and garlic. Shingle potatoes tightly into even rows, lengthwise, on baking sheet (about 5 rows) Season potatoes with salt and pepper.
Roast in oven until spotty brown and just tender, 35-40 minutes, rotating pan midway through roasting process.
Remove pan from oven. Top potato shingles with cod and continue to bake as directed.
New England Cod
8 Skinless Cod Fillets (6-8 oz) 1-1 ½-inch thick
2-3 Lemons, thinly sliced
Pat cod dry with paper towels, season with salt an pepper, and rub herb butter evenly over top of each fillet. Carefully arrange fish on top of potatoes and top each fillet with lemon slices.
Roast fish and potatoes until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife and registers 140-degrees, about 15-20 minutes.
Gently score potatoes around each piece of fish into individual portions with the edge of a spatula. Slide spatula underneath potatoes and fish, carefully transfer to individual plate and serve.
Zapped Broccoli with Garlic & Lemon
1/2 lb Broccoli
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cut broccoli into individual pieces. Place broccoli, garlic, butter, lemon juice & about 1 tablespoon water in a micro-wave safe plastic bag. Seal, leaving small gap to vent.
Micro-wave on HIGH 2-3 minutes.
CAREFULLY open bag (it will be steaming hot) and empty into a serving dish. Toss and serve.