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Cod with Mushrooms, Garlic & Vermouth

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Serves 4

  • To learn more, read:
    Quick Fish
  • by Leslie Pendleton from Fine Cooking
    Issue 90

This recipe is the epitome of weeknight elegance. It also works well with many types of fish. Mahi mahi, pollock, haddock, sole, flounder, sea bass, and halibut make perfect substitutes; just reduce the cooking time for thinner fillets.

  • 4 Tbs. cold unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. white or baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 3-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more to taste
  • Four 6-oz. skinless cod fillets

In a heavy 12-inch skillet, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring only occasionally, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the vermouth, 3 Tbs. of the parsley, the vinegar, salt, and pepper and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, lightly season the cod with salt and pepper and add it to the pan (tuck under the tails if necessary to even out the thickness), nestling the fillets into the mushrooms and spooning some of the mushrooms on top.

Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, cover the pan, reduce to medium low, and simmer until just cooked through (use the tip of a paring knife to check), 7 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. With a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to serving plates or a platter. Over low heat, whisk the remaining 1 Tbs. butter into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with rice pilaf or Sour Cream and Leek Mashed Potatoes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 280; Fat (g): 13; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 240; Cholesterol (mg): 95; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

A real depth of flavours. I would probably increase the mushrooms, just because I really like them

I have made this dish literally dozens of times since the recipe first appeared years ago in Fine Cooking. We usually use haddock if it's available, and use less fish (1 lb+), since we're usually only cooking for two. We keep the rest of the recipe the same but add considerably more garlic and parsley. Every guest we have ever served it to loves it, as well. Best recipe I've ever seen in Fine Cooking!

Delicious - very easy to make, also.

Except for adding more mushrooms, because I had them and like them a lot, I followed this recipe to the letter, using cod and mahi fillets that were extras from our Christmas Eve cioppino. I've also made the dish with tilapis fillets, cutting down on cooking time accordingly, and liked it a lot better -- simply because it's my own preference over the other types of fish. This is a great go-to recipe with plenty of flavor when you want something nice without a lot of labor or extra shopping. We like it with boiled parsley potatoes, a green veggie, and a salad. It's good with papardelle, too.

This was excellent! We picked up fresh cod today and used that in the recipe. Everyone loved it....simple and tasty. The only thing I didn't do was let the sauce reduce enough so it was a bit runny.....we were just too hungry to wait. I will definitely make this again.

this is an excellent recipe with tilapia. i doubled the mushrooms.

This recipe is fantastic. We made it first with pollock and are trying it with cod tonight. One of those times that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

Most of my fish recipes are "summery" and this is a good "wintery" one. I used very thick cod filets. And I cut down a little on the butter. Very nice with pinot noir.

Great recipe!

this looks good enough to try in the next few days..Cod benefits from this style of cooking,,,in parchment paper pockets! Thank you, Gremolata

I loved this dish, it was packed with layers of flavor and tasted like a real gourmet dish. I used cod which was delicious but fell apart. Next time will try talapia or sole. Also, I reduced the sauce longer than supposed to and had too little to keep pouring on top of fish while cooking. (That might have something to do with my also drinking the vermouth besides pouring it in the pan while I was cooking) However a fine time was had by all!!!!

This was an excellent recipe. It was easy as advertised and extremely good. The local supermarket didn't have cod, and we used mahi-mahi (a suggested alternative), and I'd say that a lighter fish is better. The balsamic vinegar and vermouth gave you that wonderful rich sauce with a bite. I'd double the mushrooms the next time I make it.

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