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BOSTON BAKED SCROD

American Classics
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Cod fillets average about one pound at most markets. If you cut each fillet in half crosswise, you will have enough for four servings. To keep the thinner pieces from the tail end from overcooking, fold these pieces in half before placing them in the casserole dish.
Serves 4
 

INGREDIENTS

    TOPPING
    • 2 slices high-quality sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm, quartered
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    SCROD
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 medium shallot, minced
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced very fine
    • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 2 skinless cod fillets (each about 1 pound), cut in half crosswise
     

DIRECTIONS

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Adjust one oven rack to the upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heat source) and the second rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Pulse the bread in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade until processed into fairly even 1/4-inch pieces about the size of Grape-Nuts cereal, about ten 1-second pulses.

Spread the crumbs evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast on the lower rack, shaking the pan once or twice, until golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.Toss together the bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; set aside.

3. FOR THE SCROD: Increase the oven setting to broil. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until the foaming has subsided. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and garlic and saute until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, add the lemon juice, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and swirl to incorporate. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

4. Season the scrod liberally with salt and pepper. Fold the thin tailpieces in half to increase their thickness. Place the fillets in a shallow 9 by 13-inch casserole dish and pour the melted butter mixture over. Broil until the fish is completely opaque when gently flaked with a paring knife, 14 to 15 minutes. Baste the fish with the pan drippings and top with the bread crumbs. Continue broiling until the crumbs are golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a metal spatula, transfer the fish to individual plates and pour the basting juices around the edges of the fish (not on top, or the bread crumbs will become soggy).  Serve immediately.
 

 

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