Baked Lingcod with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce
Have you ever seen a lingcod? They are almost primeval looking – huge, gaping mouths with sharp teeth. As with any fish, the most important factor for how good it tastes is its freshness. I picked up this fillet at Whole Foods (they usually have a good selection of fresh fish) where they told me that the ling cod had just come in that morning. With the lemon-garlic butter sauce it was divine.
If you don't have ling cod, you can use any firm white fish. Other fish that wold be nice here include: redfish, walleye, catfish, rock cod, haddock, pollock, cod or black seabass.
- 2 pounds lingcod fillets
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce
This recipe makes 2 cups, about twice as much as you'll need for the above fish. Refrigerate what is left over and consider using it as a topping for potatoes or vegetables.
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced shallots
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Prepare the Sauce
1 Put the first six sauce ingredients (clam juice, sherry, whole milk, garlic, shallots, bay leaf) in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil it down by half.
2 In a separate saucepan (1-qt minimum) prepare the roux. Heat one tablespoon of butter in the saucepan on medium heat until it is foamy. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring a couple of minutes with a metal whisk until well mixed (tan, but not brown).
3 Slowly add the reduced mixture to the roux, stirring quickly to incorporate. When you first add some of the mixture, the roux will bubble up. Just keep adding the mixture and keep whisking to incorporate.
4 Turn the heat to low. Slowly whisk in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Add lemon juice, salt, and white pepper. Add some more clam stock or water if the sauce is too thick. Add the chopped parsley right before you serve.
Prepare the Fish
1 Arrange an oven rack so that when the fish is on a baking pan in the oven it will be 4 to 5 inches from the heat. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Rinse the fish in cold water, cut into serving pieces if necessary. Remove any bones with fish-bone tweezers or (spotless clean) pliers. Lay the fish flat in a aluminum foil lined baking pan. Rub some olive oil over both sides of the pieces, enough to coat. Sprinkle both sides with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until just done. To test, use the tip of a knife to gently cut into the thickest part of the fillet. The fish is done when the fish has just turned from translucent to opaque at the center. Once you pull the fish out of the oven it will continue to cook for a few minutes.
3 Serve the fish with the sauce poured on top. Rice, crusty bread and a simple salad are good accompaniments.