When I was younger I was always told that fish and cheese were two things that should never be combined in a meal. A quick search online suggests that there are still plenty of people who live by this doctrine. Frankly they don’t know what they’re missing out on – as this Cod with a Lemon, Herb and Parmesan Crust demonstrates.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all types of fish work with all types of cheese. Rather you shouldn’t always rule out trying something because of “tradition”. I’ve always been someone who quite likes having rules in life. But I’ve also been someone who isn’t scared of trying something new from time to time. Fortunately, when it comes to my cooking Michael is a (mostly) willing guinea pig.
Not that any risks were really taken with this dish. The lemon, herb and breacrumb topping on these cod fillets is pretty straightforward and was almost certain to taste good. But I added in the Parmesan to give a little more of a savoury flavour. Mostly because it’s what I had to hand at the time.
Whether it’s right or wrong, it works. The crust provides a great contrast to the cod itself – both in terms of texture and flavour. The crunchy breadcrumbs are great against the tender flaky fish. The fresh, savoury taste of the cheese, herbs and lemon sit well alongside the almost sweet Cod.
Plus, as it’s so quick and easy to cook you’ve really got no excuse to not try it yourself.
Cod with Lemon, Herb and Parmesan Crust
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 25 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 25 g Parmesan grated
- 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley finely chopped
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Mixed Cajun or Caribbean Spices
- 1 Lemon juiced and zested
- ½ tsp Sea Salt flakes
- ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 2 Cod Loin Fillets around 150-200g each
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Preheat your grill to a medium-high setting.
- Make the breadcrumb crust for the fish. Mix together the breadcrumbs, oil, parmesan, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt, spice mix and pepper and set to one side.
- Lightly season the fish and cook on one side in an ovenproof frying pan until just starting to colour – about 2-3 minutes. Turn the fish over and add a generous amount of the breadcrumb mixture to each fillet, before putting under the grill.
- Cook under the grill for a further 4-5 minutes until the fish is opaque and cooked through and the crust starting to turn golden. Remove from the grill to save anything from burning.
- Add the butter and lemon juice to the hot pan around the fillets. Swirl the pan gently until the butter and lemon mixes with the juices and to make a light sauce.
- Serve immediately.