26-ounce cod filletsor halibut, bass, salmon, or a similar firm-bodied fish
¼teaspoonground black pepper
2tablespoonscanola oilor grapeseed oil. Do not use olive oil, as it will burn.
2tablespoonschopped herbs of choice*parsley, basil, dill, and thyme are all delicious
1small lemoncut into wedges
Pat the cod fillets very dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil a 10-inch or similar cast-iron or heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shiny (but not yet smoking), gently lower the fish into the oil, moving away from your body with your motion in case the oil splatters. Lower the heat to medium.
Let the fish cook undisturbed on the first side for 2 to 3 minutes, until the underside is nicely golden.
Gently flip the cod over. A flexible, thin metal spatula (such as a fish spatula) works best. The cod might stick a bit at first, but work gently and firmly and you'll get it. Place the butter in the pan. With a spoon, spread the pat around the fish. Tilt the pan away from you so that the butter pools, then baste the fish with the butter a few times.
Continue cooking on the other side until the fish is opaque, flakes easily with a fork, and reaches 145 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 2 additional minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs and squeeze the lemon over the top. Enjoy immediately, with an extra squeeze of lemon if desired.
*If using a stronger herb (such as thyme or parsley), I suggest starting with 1 tablespoon, then adding additional to taste
This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is made. For leftovers, you could play around with swapping the cooked cod for the salmon in this Salmon Patty Recipe.
TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover cod in an airtight storage container for up to 1 day.
TO REHEAT: Very gently reheat the cod in a skillet over medium-low heat, until just warmed through.