BAKED COD WITH TARRAGON AND FENNEL SEED BUTTER

BAKED COD WITH TARRAGON AND FENNEL SEED BUTTER (for six)

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“Placing the cod fillets on a heavy rimmed baking sheet rather than in a deeper baking dish will provide more direct heat to all sides of the fish and allow the accumulated juices to evaporate, thus baking the fish rather than steaming it. Crushing the fennel seeds in a plastic bag contains the seeds and simplifies clean up.”

 

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

4 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

six 6 to 7 ounce cod fillets

6 very thin lemon slices

6 fresh tarragon sprigs


1.Stir butter, chopped tarragon, fennel seeds, lemon peel and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange cod on a rimmed baking sheet and brush all of butter mixture over. (Cod can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

2. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450*. Bake cod, uncovered, until just opaque in center, about 12 minutes. Transfer to plates. Garnish with lemon slices and tarragon sprigs and serve.

 

from Barbara Fairchild, The Bon Appetit Cookbook

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