For my second look at Iceland Catch I’ll be reviewing the Cod Fillet Portions they sent me recently. Like their Haddock Fillet Portions, Iceland Catch Cod can currently be found at Market Basket Supermarkets here in New England. I thought their haddock was good quality and I expect the same for their cod. However, I like haddock much better than cod and apparently I’m not alone here in Gloucester, the port that made cod famous.
I asked around some of my family members and friends, most of them involved someway with our local fishing industry and they fall into two camps: Either they like haddock much better than cod, or they can’t tell the difference! I should preface this by saying that I mean fresh cod. Salt cod, baccala, baccalau…that’s a different story.
Cod and haddock are both flaky white fish that are closely related, but cod has larger flakes than haddock when cooked. Cod has a distinctive flavor that some people really enjoy. It’s not a fishy flavor but it does have a certain boldness compared to incredibly mild haddock. I guess it comes down to what you grew up with, and we usually ate haddock. One of my buddies, who has caught plenty of cod in his time, won’t eat it.
I can’t say I don’t like cod, but it is sort of a threshold for my seafood tastes. Other local fish like Atlantic pollock, which is another cod cousin, is just too strong tasting for me the few times I’ve tried it. Alternatively, I have found Alaskan pollock to more similar to Atlantic cod in flavor. Although there are always exceptions: Cod is really good fried, in fish and chips, a fish sandwich. And I’m pretty sure some of those people that told me they don’t like cod would not pass up a plate of fried cod cheeks – a local favorite.
About Iceland Catch Cod
Like their haddock fillets, the Iceland Catch Cod is line-caught in an MSC-certified sustainable fishery and quickly processed in their state of the art facility. The Iceland Catch 1.5lb value packs have 4 perfectly portioned and vacuum sealed pieces of cod. Although I cooked all 4 fillets, you could use a pair of kitchen shears to separate the sealed fillets and use them one at a time.
Quality cod fillets are pretty firm, even if skinless and should not fall apart after thawing. The Iceland Catch Cod fillet portions were firm, dense, and clear of any blemishes after thawing overnight in the fridge. Out of the very little experience I have with store-bought frozen Atlantic cod, Iceland Catch is easily the best looking right out of the package.
As for how to prepare these cod fillets I decided it was time to try my version of a Livornese sauce again. I made it with haddock a while ago but the bolder flavor of cod could be a better pairing with the olives and capers.
Recipe: Iceland Cod Livornese Style
- 1.5 lbs Iceland Catch Cod (thawed, rinsed and dried)
- 1 can Whole, Peeled Tomatoes (crush the tomatoes)
- Olives, pitted and chopped (kalamata and green)
- 1 small jar Capers, drained
- 1 Shallot, diced
- 1 stalk Celery diced
- 2-3 cloves Garlic (I substitute garlic infused oil)
- Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
I like to make the sauce ahead of time: Saute the shallot and celery until softened then add the diced olives and capers. Cook until fragrant then add the tomatoes and juice, let simmer 8-10 minutes. Add chopped parsley and drizzle with garlic oil (if not using garlic).
Preheat oven to 400F and season the cod fillets with salt and pepper. Add a layer of the Livornese sauce to the bottom of a baking dish then add the fish. Top the cod with the sauce and cook for about 20 minutes. Serve with pasta, or like I did, with toasted crusty Italian bread.
The Verdict: How Was Iceland Catch Cod?
If you like cod then you will love this sauce with it. If you’re like me and cod is not your first choice, a Livornese sauce just might change your mind. The olives, capers and tomatoes give a bold flavor that would go well with any fish, but I really enjoy it with the flavor of cod. There are various ways to make this kind of sauce but I like how it comes out in my process. The simmering on the stove then the time in the oven concentrates the flavors and the fish is very moist from cooking in all the flavorful liquid. I don’t know if this counts as poaching since the sauce is so thick.
Much like their haddock, Iceland Catch Cod is a high quality frozen seafood product. A great choice for affordable, convenient and sustainably-caught cod portions anytime you need them. Thanks again to Iceland Catch for letting me sample their quality seafood.