Pecorino-Encrusted Cod in Brown Butter, Dill, and Carrot Potato Mash
This simple cod recipe is a quick fix for a very sophisticated looking dish. It serves as a great weeknight meal and as excellent fare for a formal dinner.
For the fish:
  • 3tablespoons coconut oilor ghee
  • 1 1/2pounds cod filetcut into 3 or 4 pieces, thawed to room temperature (frozen? Try this.)
  • Salt and Pepper
For the Topping:
  • 1/2cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8teaspoon cayenne
For the Sauce:
  • 4tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2tablespoons chopped dill
For the Carrot Potato Mash:
  • 1pound carrotspeeled and chopped into similar-sized chunks
  • 1pound gold potatoespeeled and quartered
  • waterto cover carrots/potatoes
  • 1pinch salt
  • 1/4cup kefir
  • 1tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1clove garlicgrated
  • 1tablespoon chopped dill
  • Salt and Pepperto taste
For the fish:
  1. Turn the broiler on in your oven (ours has two options: high and low; we used low). In a large cast-iron skillet, warm the ghee and/or coconut oil until hot. Meanwhile, salt and pepper the top of the cod filets generously.
  2. Once oil is hot, lay filets, seasoned side down, right in the pan. Cook three minutes, and while it’s cooking, mix together topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Then use a spatula (ideally a fish spatula) to flip the filets over. Spread the topping over the filets, pressing it gently with a utensil into the fish. With oven-mitted hands, move the skillet to the oven and broil the fish for 2 to 3 more minutes, until crisp and golden on top. If you’re going to err, err on the side of less doneness; taste it and stick it back in if needed; if you overcook the fish just by a minute, it could be a little dry.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, letting it turn from solid to liquid to golden to brown, with a wonderful, nutty smell. Add chopped dill.
For the mash:
  1. This may be made ahead of time, and rewarmed. Place carrots and potatoes in a large stockpot and add enough water to cover them. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until everything is soft through, about 45 minutes.
  2. Strain the vegetables, reserving about ¾ cup of the water. Transfer them to a Vitamix or other blender, adding the reserved liquid, and blend until chunky and well mixed, using the tamper if necessary.
  3. Scoop this mixture back into the pot, and stir in kefir, butter, grated garlic, and chopped dill. Mash until it’s the texture you like (we like it to stay a little on the chunky side). Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Serve fillets hot, atop mounds of carrot potato mash. Drizzle with brown butter sauce.