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Codfish and Corn

It’s only in summer when this perfect combination comes together in my part of the world. Fresh, sweet New Jersey corn and codfish caught off our coast are meant to snuggle next to each other when the warm weather finally arrives. You can cook everything in one pot and have it ready to eat in a half hour. I started with this piece of codfish, a little more than 1 pound. If you have a piece this long, cut it in two or three pieces, otherwise it will flake apart after it cooks, when you try to lift it from the pan in one large section.

Start by seasoning the pieces with salt and pepper, then give them a light dusting with flour. Place some olive oil and butter in a saucepan, place the fish into the pan and sear at high heat, but only on one side. You’ll finish the cooking after you’ve put the rest of the ingredients in the pan.

Remove the seared pieces and flip over onto a platter. As you can see, they’re still partly raw inside.

Scrape the corn from the cobs. I used two ears of corn, but they were so sweet, we were wishing we had one or two more to join the party. Next time.

Place more butter into the pan and add the red pepper and shallots to the pan, stirring for a minute or two. Add the corn and seasonings, stirring for another minute, then push the corn to the side and make room for the fish, adding the pieces of cod in the center of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on a low heat for another 5 -8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Sprinkle it with more minced parsley and serve.

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Codfish and Corn
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb - 1¼ lb. codfish
  • salt, pepper to season
  • flour to lightly dust the fish
  • 2 or 3 ears of fresh corn
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • ¼ shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 more tablespoons butter
  • minced parsley
Instructions
  1. Remove the corn from the cobs and set aside.
  2. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then lightly dust with flour.
  3. Place the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet and bring to high heat.
  4. Gently place the fish pieces into the pan and sear until browned on one side.
  5. Remove the fish from the pan, reserving them on a platter with the seared side facing up.
  6. Add the red pepper and shallot to the pan and cook for one minute.
  7. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan, along with the corn, the salt and pepper and minced parsley.
  8. Stir for one minute, then push the vegetables to the edges of the pan.
  9. Add the remaining butter to the center space of the pan, then place the fish in the center, with the seared side up.
  10. Turn the heat to low-medium and place a lid on top.
  11. Continue cooking for five to eight minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
 

Codfish with Chickpeas

The Lenten season is here and that means no meat on Fridays for many of us. Even if you don’t observe Lent, this dish is one of my favorites for so many reasons.
First of all, it’s delicious. Second of all, it’s easy to make and third of all, it’s low in calories.
What more could you want, except maybe someone to shop for you and cook for you?
One of the things that takes this over the top in flavor are the tomatoes I used in the recipe.
They’re small grape tomatoes that come in a jar and I bought them at a local gourmet store. Use canned or jarred cherry tomatoes if you can’t find these grape tomatoes, or just plain old canned diced tomatoes from the supermarket. But if you can find these specialty jarred grape tomatoes, or a similar brand, they’re worth the extra cost.
They’re so sweet I could have eaten them from the pan just with the chickpeas and seasonings added. A nice swipe of bread is all I needed. Actually, dropping a few eggs into this would make a wonderful lunch or dinner too, even without the fish.
But back to the cod. After you’ve cooked the sauce, add the chunks of codfish and put the lid on the pan.
Cook the fish for five minutes with the lid on, and you’re done. Sprinkle with more basil and parsley and serve.
This dish comes together start to finish in less than a half hour. It would make a great do-ahead dish for company too if you cook the sauce and chickpeas ahead of time, then add the fish just before you’re ready to eat.
Wouldn’t you like to dig into this?
This next photo has nothing at all to do with the codfish recipe, but it’s a teaser to let you know we still have a couple of spots available for our writing retreat in Varenna, on Lake Como, Italy this coming September.
Spend your mornings with an experienced writing teacher, workshopping that family, travel or food memoir you always meant to start.
Afternoons are free to do as you please, or you could join me on a few excursions around the lake.
And take a look at this dreamy view from your accommodations at Villa Monastero.
 It could be yours each morning if you sign up for “Italy, In Other Words.”
Click here for more details.
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Codfish with Chickpeas
for two people
1 lb. codfish, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup minced onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 T. olive oil
1 12.4 oz. container cherry or grape tomatoes (datterini)
1/3 cup white wine
15 oz. can chickpeas
salt, pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil
freshly minced basil
freshly minced parsley
Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until wilted. Add the tomatoes and smash them flat with a fork or wooden spoon. Sauté briefly then add the white wine and stir. Next add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, basil and parsley, keeping some of the fresh herbs aside to use at the end. Put the lid on and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Add the codfish, season with salt and pepper, then put the lid on again, for about five minutes or until just cooked through. DON’T overcook or it will break up into small pieces.