Lemon Butter Baked Cod

Introduction:

Lemon Butter Baked Cod is a delightful dish that perfectly balances the delicate flavor of cod with the zesty brightness of lemon and the rich creaminess of butter. This simple yet elegant recipe is a go-to for seafood lovers looking for a quick and delicious meal. In this article, we’ll explore the wonders of Lemon Butter Baked Cod, its key ingredients, and how to prepare this mouthwatering dish at home.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cod fillets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon slices, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
  2. Pat the cod fillets dry with paper towels and place them in the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  4. Pour the lemon butter mixture over the cod fillets, making sure they are evenly coated.
  5. Place a few lemon slices on top of each fillet for added flavor and presentation, if desired.
  6. Bake the cod in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  7. Remove the baked cod from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  8. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and lemon slices, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!
  9. Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes | Total Time: 17-20 minutes | Kcal: Depending on serving size and ingredients used | Servings: 4 servings

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Before serving, garnish the Lemon Butter Baked Cod with freshly chopped parsley or dill. Not only does this add a pop of color, but it also enhances the dish with a touch of freshness.
  2. Serve with Lemon Wedges: Accompany each serving of cod with a wedge of lemon on the side. Squeezing fresh lemon juice over the fish just before eating adds a burst of citrus flavor that complements the buttery sauce beautifully.
  3. Pair with Light Sides: Balance the richness of the cod with light and refreshing side dishes such as steamed vegetables, couscous, or a green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette.
  4. Crusty Bread or Rice: Serve the Lemon Butter Baked Cod alongside crusty bread or fluffy rice to soak up the delicious sauce and complete the meal.
  5. Enhance with White Wine: For an elegant touch, pair the dish with a glass of chilled white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The crisp acidity of the wine contrasts beautifully with the richness of the buttery sauce.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Leftovers Promptly: If you have leftover Lemon Butter Baked Cod, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate leftovers promptly to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.
  2. Consume Within 2-3 Days: Stored properly in the refrigerator, leftover cod can typically be enjoyed for up to 2-3 days. Reheat individual portions gently in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
  3. Avoid Overheating: To prevent the cod from becoming dry when reheating, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and reheat it in the oven at a low temperature or in the microwave using short intervals.
  4. Freezing Option: While cod can be frozen, the texture may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. If freezing, wrap the cooled cod tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. Use within 1-2 months for best quality.
  5. Thawing and Reheating: When ready to enjoy frozen cod, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Reheat thawed cod gently to avoid overcooking, and add a splash of lemon juice or broth to prevent it from drying out.

FAQs:

  1. Can I use frozen cod for this recipe? Yes, you can use frozen cod for Lemon Butter Baked Cod. Thaw the cod fillets in the refrigerator overnight before using them in the recipe. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture before seasoning and baking.
  2. How do I know when the cod is cooked through? The cod is cooked through when it becomes opaque and easily flakes with a fork. You can also use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the cod reaches 145°F (63°C). Avoid overcooking the cod to prevent it from becoming dry.
  3. Can I prepare the lemon butter sauce in advance? Yes, you can prepare the lemon butter sauce in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Allow the sauce to come to room temperature before using it in the recipe, and give it a quick stir to recombine any separated ingredients.
  4. What are some side dishes that pair well with Lemon Butter Baked Cod? Lemon Butter Baked Cod pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving it with steamed vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli, roasted potatoes, quinoa, or a fresh green salad tossed in a light vinaigrette. These sides complement the flavors of the cod without overpowering it.
  5. Can I freeze leftover Lemon Butter Baked Cod? While it’s best to enjoy Lemon Butter Baked Cod fresh, you can freeze any leftover cooked cod for future use. Allow the cod to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating gently in the oven or microwave.

Conclusion:

Lemon Butter Baked Cod is a culinary masterpiece that celebrates the natural flavors of fresh seafood with the brightness of lemon and the richness of butter. With its simple preparation and exquisite taste, this dish is sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a delicious meal, Lemon Butter Baked Cod is a recipe worth adding to your repertoire. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and prepare to delight your taste buds with this sensational seafood sensation.