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A Fish With a Past, and a Future!

Posted on: January 20th, 2012

It’s finally here!  Fresh Cod from the Pacific Northwest, the mildest and easiest to cook fish ever!  Read on for a simple recipe that the whole family will love – and there’s not a deep fryer in sight!

Cod wrapped in prosciutto di parma with fresh sage and chèvre.

Atlantic Cod

Big juicy flakes of snow white fish that even kids love, cod is hard to resist and universally loved.  Historically the Atlantic cod is the Western world’s most important fish.  It’s been of great commercial importance since Viking times (800 AD), and after more than 1,000 years of heavy fishing, stocks in the Atlantic have crashed.  Hopefully with time and aggressive management they will recover in our lifetime.  If you love fish and love history, I strongly recommend the book “Cod – a biography of the fish that changed the world” by Mark Kurlansky.  Named one of the best 25 books of the year by the New York Public Library.

Pacific Cod
Stocks of the Pacific Cod are strong and fishing for them far less damaging to the environment, and since fishing cod is tightly managed, this should continue for some time.  Personally, I will not eat Atlantic Cod (or sole, flounder, hake, haddock or Bluefin tuna for that matter), opting instead for more sustainable choices – and now that the Pacific Cod season is open, I can have all the wonderfully mild fish I can eat, without guilt!


Cod Saltimbocca

Cod fillets, 6-8 oz per person
olive oil
Chef Mick’s Tuscan Grill Rub; or Italian herbs, salt and pepper
chèvre cheese
Prosciutto di Parma, sliced thinly
Sage leaves
Butter, melted

Cut cod into 3-4 oz pieces about as wide as a slice of prosciutto, thinner or uneven pieces can be pieced together and will cook beautifully – just make sure they are the right size to be wrapped 1.5 times in prosciutto.  Feel every inch of the fish for bones and cut them out if needed.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with my Tuscan Grill Rub, or a blend of Italian herbs and seasonings.  Place a slice or two of chèvre on one end of the prosciutto, add 1 large of several small sage leaves, place fish on top and cover with more sage leaves, to taste.

Carefully roll fish, cheese and herbs in prosciutto, shaping into a log, and set aside.  (Note: I used the pre sliced Fiorucci brand, separated by thin sheets of plastic, it’s very easy to roll.)  Repeat with remaining pieces of fish and prosciutto.  The fish can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and move rack to top shelf.

Melt about 1 tsp butter for every cod roll, blend with 2-3 tsp breadcrumbs and sprinkle over fish.  Place fish on a flat pan lined with oiled parchment paper.  Roast on the top shelf, convection fan on if available, until the fish is done, about 150 degrees internal, roughly 15-20 minutes depending on conditions.

A perfect pair with pasta tossed with Tony’s Vodka sauce.  Pairs beautifully with a brisk white wine.

– Chef Mick Rosacci, www.TonysMarket.com

Prosciutto-wrapped Fish and Pasta
Here’s an similar recipe with greater detail.

Buon Appetito – Salute!

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