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Blackened Cod with Creamy Pan Sauce

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Is there such a thing as having too many cod recipes? Not in my book! This Blackened Cod with Creamy Pan Sauce is a prime example of simplicity, meeting flavor. The blackening seasoning adds just the right amount of kick, balanced beautifully by a velvety pan sauce. Believe me, If you’ve never tried blackened fish, you’re in for a delightful surprise.

A white platter of three blackened cod filets covered with a creamy pan sauce and garnished with fresh chopped parsley.
Spoon the creamy pan sauce over the blackened cod. Garnish with cracked black pepper, fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Understanding Blackening Technique

Blackening is a cooking method or technique that involves searing seasoned protein, typically fish or chicken, in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. The process creates a dark, flavorful crust on the exterior, while locking in moisture. This cooking technique results in a succulent, tender protein. Here’s how to achieve optimal results when blackening cod:

  1. Prep the Seasoning: Combine a blend of aromatic spices, including garlic powder, paprika, oregano and cayenne pepper, to create the blackening seasoning.
  2. Coat the Cod: Drizzle the cod with fresh lemon juice. Coat with the blackening seasoning, ensuring even coverage on all sides.
  3. Heat the Skillet: Preheat a cast-iron skillet until it’s smoking hot, then add a drizzle of oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Sear the Cod: Carefully place the seasoned cod fillets in the skillet and allow them to cook undisturbed until a crust forms, approximately 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  5. Finish Cooking: Once the cod is beautifully blackened on the outside and cooked through, transfer it to a platter and keep warm until ready to serve.

Using a Cast Iron Pan to Blacken Cod Indoors

  1. Preheat Properly: Ensure your cast iron pan is well-seasoned and preheated over medium-high heat.
  2. Use High Smoke Point Oil: Choose cooking oils with high smoke points such as olive oil or avocado oil for blackening. These oils can withstand the high heat required for blackening without burning.
  3. Don’t Crowd the Pan: To achieve a good sear and prevent steaming, avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook the cod fillets in batches if necessary, leaving enough space between them for proper browning.
  4. Avoid Flipping Too Soon: Allow the cod fillets to cook undisturbed for a few minutes before flipping to ensure a nice crust forms. Trying to flip too soon may cause the fish to stick to the pan or lose its crust.
  5. Ventilation: Blackening can create smoke, so make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated by turning on the exhaust fan or opening windows.

Alternatives to using a cast iron pan indoors:

  1. Non-Stick Skillet: If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a non-stick skillet instead. Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat and follow the same blackening technique as you would with a cast iron pan.
  2. Outdoor Grill: Blackening can also be done on an outdoor grill.
  3. Broiling: Another alternative is to broil the cod fillets in the oven. Preheat the broiler and place the seasoned cod fillets on a broiler pan or baking sheet lined with foil. Broil for a few minutes on each side until blackened and cooked through.
  4. Grill Pan: A grill pan can also be used indoors to achieve grill marks and impart a smoky flavor to the cod. Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat and follow the same blackening technique as you would with a cast iron pan.

Ingredients to Make Blackened Cod with Creamy Pan Sauce

Most of the ingredients for this fish dish, excluding the protein, are likely staples found in your fridge or pantry, making this recipe convenient and accessible for everyday cooking.

If you want to switch up this recipe a bit, here are some adequate substitutions:

  • Cod: Easily substitute with any white fish, salmon or shrimp. For a non-seafood option, try chicken breast or tofu.
  • Blackening Seasoning: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper, to your liking.
  • Butter: For a dairy-free option, use coconut oil or vegan butter.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Substitute with coconut cream or non-dairy heavy cream for a dairy-free alternative, or use half-and-half for a lighter option.
  • Chicken or Seafood Stock: Vegetable stock can be used as a vegetarian alternative, or simply use water for a lighter flavor.
  • Fresh Parsley: Substitute with fresh dill.

How to Prepare the Creamy Pan Sauce and Finish this Fish Dish

This velvety, cream sauce for the blackened cod comes together quite easily:

  1. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and minced garlic.
  2. Stir constantly for about a minute to prevent browning, or burning.
  3. Pour in heavy whipping cream and chicken or seafood stock. Season with black pepper.
  4. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens, and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Reduce the heat and stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh chopped parsley.
  6. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt, if necessary.
  7. Spoon the creamy sauce over the cooked cod fillets.
  8. Garnish with cracked black pepper, fresh chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Serving and Storing Blackened Cod

Here are some ideas for what to serve alongside this Blackened Cod with Creamy Pan Sauce:

  1. Steamed Rice: Fluffy white rice or fragrant jasmine rice pairs well with the creamy sauce.
  2. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes provide a rich and hearty side that compliments the flavors of the cod and cream sauce.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Colorful roasted vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots or Brussels sprouts add a satisfying crunch and vibrant flavor to this fish dish.
  4. Crusty Bread: Serve with slices of crusty bread or dinner rolls for dipping into the creamy sauce and savoring every last bit.
  5. Side Salad: A fresh green salad with crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and a tangy vinaigrette offers a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the blackened cod and sauce.

Storage

  • Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently in the oven, or on the stovetop to maintain the texture of the cod.

More Cod Recipes to Love

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A white platter of three blackened cod filets covered with a creamy pan sauce and garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

Blackened Cod with Cream Sauce


Description

This Blackened Cod with Creamy Pan Sauce is a prime example of simplicity, meeting flavor. The blackening seasoning adds just the right amount of kick, balanced beautifully by a velvety pan sauce.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4, (5-6 ounce) cod fillets
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons blackening seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken or seafood stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper and lemon wedges for garnish

Blackening Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the blackening seasoning. Mix well.
  2. Pat the cod fillets dry and place them on a platter or plate. Drizzle the fillets on both sides with the juice from 1/2 lemon. Sprinkle the blackening seasoning generously over the fillets, coating them evenly.
  3. Heat olive or avocado oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  4. Carefully place the seasoned cod fillets in the hot skillet and cook without disturbing for about 3 minutes, until a crust forms and the cod naturally releases from the pan.
  5. Gently flip the fillets and continue cooking until cooked through, about another 3 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, transfer the cod fillets to a platter and keep warm in a 200°F (93°C) oven.
  7. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and minced garlic. Stir constantly for about a minute to prevent the garlic from browning or burning.
  8. Pour in heavy whipping cream and chicken or seafood stock. Season with black pepper.
  9. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  10. Reduce the heat and stir in the remaining lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh chopped parsley.
  11. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt, if necessary.
  12. Spoon the creamy pan sauce over the cooked cod fillets.
  13. Garnish with cracked black pepper, fresh chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
  14. Serve immediately paired with steamed rice and vegetables.
  15. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

Blackened Cod Recipe with Creamy Pan Sauce! This blackened cod recipe is a prime example of simplicity, meeting flavor. The blackening seasoning adds just the right amount of kick, balanced beautifully by a creamy pan sauce. This is a quick, and relatively easy fish recipe that can be on your dinner table in less than 20 minutes! #cod #fish #fishrecipe #dinnerideas #easyrecipe #blackened #seafood #quickdinner #recipesoftiktok #foodtiktok

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Notes

  • After patting the cod filets dry, squeeze on lemon juice for both added flavor and to allow the blackening seasoning to adhere to the fish.
  • Zest the lemon first. 
  • Adjust the amount of cayenne seasoning to your liking.
  • Season all sides with the blackening seasoning. 
  • Store remaining blackening seasoning in a jar for up to 3 months. 
  • If you are concerned the fish will stick to the cast iron or you do not want to “smoke” up the house, easily use a non-stick pan (see post for tips and alternative cooking techniques).
  • Easily make this recipe using a cast iron pan on the grill. 
  • Try not to move or touch the fish until ready to flip. Flip gently.
  • Don’t overcook the fish. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).
  • Keep the fish warm by placing the platter in the microwave (do not turn the microwave on) or warmed oven.
  • Prior to adding the butter and garlic to the pan, remove any really dark bits.
  • Be sure to turn down the heat prior to adding the butter and garlic to the pan. 
  • After the sauce has simmered, and the lemon juice and zest has been added, taste for salt. 
  • Serve immediately with steamed rice and your favorite steamed or roasted vegetables.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Fish and Seafood
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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