Cod in Milk

In my last post, I mentioned that I’d come across some recipe cards with recipes I’d handwritten or clipped from the newspaper and glued.

Cod in milk recipeI’m systematically going through them, deciding whether or not to keep each recipe. One that I’d cut out and saved was a recipe for Cod in Milk. The recipe starts out by saying “A favorite way to cook cod is to poach it in milk and top it with a creamy sauce.” I told John I had no idea why I’d saved this recipe. I don’t recall ever having tried it; as a much younger cook, though somewhat adventurous, I didn’t know much about cooking fish. Perhaps that’s the reason I saved it. This recipe sounded nice and easy.

cod in milk

We had it for dinner last night. And nice and easy is exactly what it is. The serving-size pieces of cod are poached in milk seasoned with salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and clove.

cod in milk2The poaching liquid then becomes the “creamy sauce” served with the cooked fish. I kept the meal simple by serving it with boiled French fingerling potatoes and steamed broccoli and cauliflower which was topped with a dab of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

cod in milk3In retrospect, I could have steamed up a couple of carrots, too… just for colour. Nonetheless, it was a unanimous decision; this was a tasty meal and we’ll keep the recipe. If I were to make any changes, next time I’ll crack the peppercorns and add a few more. Three peppercorns in the sauce really didn’t impart much flavour to the sauce. I might even add a bit of fresh tarragon next time.

cod in milk4This technique, I’m thinking, would be a good one to experiment with. Because cod is a somewhat meaty fish, you could probably use this recipe/technique for basa fillets, too, or any firm fish.

Oh, and next time, I won’t forget to add the lemon juice to the sauce. (I squeezed it on at the end, after I realized I forgot to add it to the sauce before serving.)


Cod in Milk

[printable version]

Serves 3

  • 1 lb. cod fillets
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (I used 2% but you can use skim milk)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 3 peppercorns, cracked (or to taste)
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Cut fish into serving size pieces. Heat milk, salt, bay leaf, cracked peppercorns, and clove to boiling in a large skillet. Add fish pieces and bring to simmering. Lower heat, cover and simmer until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes. Lift fish out with a spatula and place on a hot platter. Keep warm.

While fish is cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add half the green onion and stir for 3 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and pepper and stir to blend. Remove from heat. Stir in the cooking liquid once fish has been removed.

Return pan to heat and stir sauce until boiling, thickened, and smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Pour over fish and sprinkle with remaining green onion. Serve immediately.




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