This pan-fried cod was not originally what I had planned for this month’s #FishFridayFoodies challenge issued by April from Angels Home Sweet Homestead, but sometimes you just have to make do with what you’ve got. This week what I’ve got is way too much anxiety and an under the weather kitty cat to deal with. That’s right y’all, little Ms. Brenna Crazypants has not been feeling so hot, and she has truly had me worried. I have no idea what exactly was wrong with her, but thankfully she is feeling better now, and beginning to get back to her normal “Have fun storming the castle!” self. Sometimes I feel like it would be so much easier if she could just talk to me and tell me what was going on in her little world, but then I think “Oh Dear Lord, NO!” I’m pretty sure most of what she has to say isn’t what I want to hear, and I would be forced to endure a lot of backtalk from her sassy little mouth. It’s bad enough having to hear her kitty words on certain days when she’s feeling especially unhinged, perhaps we’ll just leave the human words to the humans for now.
So anyway, this cod was originally meant to be cornbread crusted, which means I didn’t have to change anything there. However, I was hoping to serve it with roasted tomatoes, feta, olives, and then literally smother it in a Greek olive oil and lemon butter sauce; my tummy just seriously growled while writing those words y’all. Alas, I was forced to make this recipe very last minute and determined that going to the market to buy tomatoes wasn’t on my list of things I was necessarily willing to do last night. Instead, I dug through the refrigerator and found some cauliflower rice that I had purchased last week at Trader Joe’s, along with some buttermilk that I picked up to make this Southern Honey Drenched Jalapeno Cornbread, Westover Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, and eventually Buttermilk Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. Somedays you just need to experiment and let whatever happens happen and not worry too much about it. In this case, it worked out in my favor; the fish was perfectly paired with the light and slightly tangy cauliflower rice. Even Ms. Brenna Crazypants took a time out from storming the castle to grab a quick sniff before heading off to battle with the ever-present and torturous hallway shadows upstairs, leaving me once again quite content not to know what deranged logic that “special” girl has got going on inside of her wee lil’ head.
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3 Cups Cauliflower Rice
- 2 Cod Fillets
- Sea Salt & Finely Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Buttermilk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
- Leaves from 1 Sprig of Fresh Thyme
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and place over high heat.
- When the water comes to a boil, add 1-teaspoon of sea salt and the cauliflower rice.
- Cook for 15 minutes and then drain well.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, season the cod fillets on both sides with salt and pepper, dredge in cornmeal, and then set aside.
- Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1-tablespoon of unsalted butter and 1-tablespoon of olive oil.
- When the butter melts into the olive oil and begins to bubble, carefully place the fish fillets in the sauté pan.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip the fish over, cover again, and then cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
- Remove the fish from the pan, place on a plate, and cover with foil.
- Add the buttermilk, 1/4-teaspoon sea salt, 1/4-teaspoon finely ground black pepper, and fresh thyme to the sauté pan.
- Cook for 3 minutes; set aside.
- After you have drained the cauliflower rice, add it back into the hot saucepan it was originally cooked in.
- Add the buttermilk sauce and 1-tablespoon of additional unsalted butter.
- Stir-fry over high heat for 5 minutes.
- Serve the fish on top of the cauliflower rice.
- You can make cauliflower rice at home by grating raw cauliflower on a cheese grater or by pulsing cauliflower in a food processor.
- Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the cauliflower.
- Garnish with additional fresh thyme.
- Add 1-tablespoon of capers to the cauliflower rice.
- Squeeze fresh lemon over the fish just before serving.
- Add paprika or ground chipotle to the buttermilk sauce.
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