This is one of those recipes that doesn't require any measuring, which I love. And it's insanely simple, which I love. And super quick, which... you get the picture. The only requirements are that you have some really fresh wild True Cod, and a nice Meyer lemon.
Alaskan True Cod (aka Pacific Cod) is the best choice because it isn't overfished for the population, and is caught using sustainable methods. True Cod from BC, Washington, Oregon and California are also caught sustainably, but you want to avoid the cod from Japan. Japanese True Cod isn't fished sustainably; some methods endanger birds and marine mammals, and others result in a lot of bycatch. Plus, they're over fished. So stick to the States for this one!
As for the lemon- there were beautiful organic Meyer lemons at the market yesterday, so that's what I chose. A Meyer is a cross between a traditional lemon and either a mandarin or an orange. As expected, the resulting fruit (native to China) is sweeter and less acidic than your typical Lisbon or Eureka lemon. You could certainly use a traditional lemon in this recipe if you prefer, but using the Meyer balances out the spices quite well. And this way you can cut up the lemon slices and eat them right along with with the fish! The man declared this an Anne food. staple during dinner last night- cooked lemons and the edible garnish (that should be the title for my book)... But it's true! They become even sweeter in the oven...
SPICE RUB BAKED COD WITH LEMON
- 12 ounces fresh, wild, skinless True Cod
- 1 Meyer lemon, 1/2 sliced into rounds, the other 1/2 left whole
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ground cumin
- cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse your fish as needed, and pat it dry. Splash some olive oil and squeeze half your Meyer lemon into a roasting pan (metal, glass or ceramic). Add your fish to the pan, rubbing both sides with the oil lemon mixture. Season both sides with salt and pepper and lay it to rest.
Give the fish a light sprinkle of both paprika and cayenne pepper. Repeat with the cumin, but apply more liberally (you want about twice the amount), and rub the spices into the fish so that it is evenly seasoned. Cover the fish with your lemon slices, and dust the slices with a bit more cumin.
Bake in the top half of your oven for about 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish) until the flakes easily separate when poked with a fork. Serve warm.