It has been a while since I reviewed a frozen seafood product from my hometown’s Gorton’s of Gloucester. My father, who works for Gorton’s brought me a package of their Pub Style Beer Batter Cod not too long ago and I’ve been waiting to give it a try. Problem was, I was getting acclimated to my low-FODMAP diet, and breaded seafood is off the list. However as part of diet, it is important to sample various foods to see what your tolerance will be – these ingredients are not supposed to be off-limits forever, just the ones that trigger a bad reaction.
Things have been going pretty well with the diet so I decided it was time, once again, to see what the Gorton’s Fisherman has in store for me. I have to admit that first impressions were good.
The Pub Style Beer Batter Cod has nicer packaging for these premium fillets compared to the typical yellow box or bag . What I like immediately is that the packaging allows you to see the product, you can even slide the shrink wrapped fish out of the cardboard sleeve to get a close look. When it was time to open it up I also realized that this isn’t some flimsy cellophane sealing the fish, it was heavy-duty shrink wrap.
The back of the box has some information on the quality of their wild-caught cod. Gorton’s has gone to great lengths recently to ensure the public of the quality of their fish, which is all wild-caught and sustainably harvested. According to some friends that work in the plant, the batter coating is made with a well-known beer that many of us drink. A listing of the ingredients shows no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
I’ve been curious about these fillets for a while, they look really good out of the box. They were a good size, two fillets taking up a good portion of the baking sheet. they are not as thick as the haddock fillets I reviewed previously but good sized. The beer batter looks thick and of good quality as well, but good looks don’t mean anything if it does not taste good. I’m not expecting the pub experience, but my expectations are higher than usual based upon what the product looks like out of the box.
Just followed the package instructions for oven cooking: 425F for 30-35 minutes, flipping at 20. At the suggestion of the box, I did not use foil and used parchment paper instead. During the cooking process the fish gave off a not-too-strong aroma of battered fish. At flipping time I noticed that there was some liquid on the parchment, but the fish itself was crispy and did not stick. However I know that if I used foil it would have probably been stuck and maybe even a little mushy – definitely use the parchment.
Although the package said it was two servings, I ate both of course. I served the fish with some arugula and cheddar mashed potatoes I picked up at a local supermarket. To go with my usual squeeze of lemon, I jazzed up some mayo with a bit of tarragon, savory and a little diced dill pickle to make a quick tartar sauce.
I’d have to say overall, they are not bad. They came out crunchy, the batter is flavorful and the cod is flaky and tasty. If you are only familiar with Gorton’s fish sticks, which use Alaskan pollock, these are better. If I had two big rolls, these fillets easily become a fish sandwich dinner for two. Or accompanied by a big pile of golden French fries for a quick weeknight fish and chips.
Now, it’s not like having real beer battered fish at your favorite pub, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having a few of these in the freezer. A couple of steps up from fish sticks, but just as convenient. In my opinion, the Gorton’s Pub Style Beer Batter Cod is a winner.