It's hard being a mostly pescatarian living in Phoenix, Az. A pescatarian who also happens to hate the heat and loves tall boots, sweaters and scarves. The choices when it comes to seafood here in the southwest are Tilapia, and Salmon which are usually farmed and injected with color and Cod which is my least favorite fish. It's not that I hate it but I find it a tad fishy and usually slightly rubbery for my taste. Maybe I'm having flashbacks from my childhood as well when we ate plain or lemon peppered Cod once or twice a week with broccoli or steamed spinach, gag!
Like I said, the choices are super slim here in the Phoenix desert when it comes to seafood, go figure, so I make do with what's available and try my best to doctor the fillets up a bit. I have nice conversations with the meat guys at Safeway who are probably tired of me asking for fish other than the aforementioned.
Me: "Do you have any Orange Roughy today?"
Meat Counter Guy: "Nope, it's too fragile a fish."
Me: "Fragile? Oh. How about Sablefish?"
MCG: "Ummm, No."
Me: sighhh "How about Wolf Fish?"
MCG: "Are you serious? What's a Wolf Fish?"
Me: "Never mind. I'll take the Cod please."
So since my childhood I've had an aversion to lemon pepper seasoning. Nostalgic gag reflex even from the smell. Funny, I hated fish for a long time, well into my 20's because of the type of fish we were served, how it was prepared (no offense mommy) and how often we had it. Or maybe most kids just hate fish, 2 of mine included, one of my boys says "Fine, I'll eat it but I'm gonna call it chicken."
Thank goodness I gave fish another try, it's been my main source of protein for over a decade now. I'm constantly trying different types of fish (when I can get my hands on some) and different ways to prepare and season it. This is one of my new favorite ways to flavor up a plain white fish.... like cod. This is such a simple and effective way to make fish taste like a gourmet recipe from a top notch eatery.
Toasting the whole cumin, coriander and mustard seeds really make a huge difference in the flavors. If your a coffee drinker you might appreciate this. Fresh is always best and when talking about herbs and fish it's of the up most importance.
Place the toasted seeds into a coffee grinder and pulse a few seconds until they turn into a powder. Sprinkle your fish with salt and pepper then generously sprinkle the herbs on both sides.
Place the fish pieces into a pre-heated skillet with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 small slab real butter.
Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on how thick your fish is. When the fish flakes easily with a fork it is done. Don't over cook your fish or it will be dry (and rubbery if it's cod ;)
Serve with a wedge of lemon and fresh chopped parsley. That's it, simple right?
Don't forget your greens! Serve with a big tossed salad or roasted asparagus.