March 2, 2021
Salmon has long been thought of as the healthy go-to for fish, and tuna is so widely consumed it is even referred to as the chicken of the sea. One of the most popular fish worldwide though is significantly less flashy, but just as tasty: cod.
Where does cod come from?
Cod is the common umbrella term that covers the two main species of cod: the Atlantic cod and the Pacific cod. The Atlantic cod lives in deep sea areas of the Atlantic, living and spawning in cold waters far offshore. Cod you can find at Calgary Co-op originates from the icy waters of Iceland and is Ocean Wise recommended, meaning it’s harvested sustainably.
The Pacific cod behaves similarly, primarily found in the western and eastern regions of the Pacific. The average weight of a harvested cod is typically around 20 to 30 pounds, and they can be roughly two or three feet long. While most cod sold is still primarily caught in the wild, in the past 30 years many farming methods have been developed to meet demand and ease the burden on wild stocks.
Cod is good for you
Cod has been consumed for centuries, which probably comes as no surprise if you’ve tried it. Cod is a very versatile fish, with a pleasant, mild flavor, and flaky flesh. Cod is a terrific lower-calorie option for a protein source, and an affordable staple for healthy cooking. Cod, and particularly cod livers and cod oil, are a great source of many vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Cooking with cod
When cooked, cod has a nice moist texture that produces large flakes, making it an excellent option for baked and fried recipes. Cod is one of the more popular fish used for fish and chips, but also makes terrific tacos if you are searching for a healthier fried option. The dense texture and flavor make cod a great option for soups and stews as well, as the fish does not impart an overwhelming flavor and is capable of withstanding these preparations without falling completely apart. The mild flavor often has very little trace of the traditional “fishy” flavor and can be a convenient option for introducing fish into the diets of picky eaters. Cod is often also smoked, as it develops a soft texture and deep flavor when prepared in this way.
That’s why we’re cooking with Icelandic cod this week. If you need recipe ideas that are fast, or perfect for the whole family, using cod as you base is a surefire winner. Try a Mediterranean take on dinner with our Greek-style Baked Cod or swap cod into tacos for a light and healthy supper in these Roasted Cod & Cauliflower Tacos, or go old school with this Cod Chowder recipe that can make extra for the freezer for work-from-home lunches that will keep you warm all afternoon.
1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small red, yellow or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
3 Tbsp. flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half & half or 2% milk
2 thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and diced (don’t bother peeling them)
1 frozen, fresh or canned corn kernels
1 lb. fresh cod
¼ cup chopped curly or Italian parsley (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.
2. Once the foam has subsided, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
3. Add the red pepper and celery and cook for a few more minutes, until they soften as well.
4. Add the flour and stir to coat, then add the stock and cream and bring to a simmer, stirring often, until thickened and smooth.
5. Stir in the potatoes and corn, bring back to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.
6. Add the cod—it should cook through in a few minutes.
7. Stir in the parsley (if you’re using it), and season with salt and pepper
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