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Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc Sauce

        

What’s wonderful about this dish is that its name alone sounds as if you’ve gone to an inordinate amount of trouble making it.  In reality, it’s one of the easiest things on earth to get on the table.  This recipe is as close as I could come to a dish that’s an all-time favorite at Sag Harbor’s “Dockside” restaurant.  Now “Dockside” at 26 Bay Street (Tel: 631-725-7100) is an anomaly. It’s situated in one half of the American Legion Hall. Dockside’s bar is decorated with the crests of the service branches the Legion represents.  Believe it or not, there’s a dearth of places in the Hamptons with water views.  While Dockside is not port side, it is right across the road from the yachts and sailboats moored and docked at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club.  It has an outdoor
terrace that’s a wonderful place for lunch on a sunny day. And for small town Americana, what could beat the Sag Harbor Community Band’s Tuesday night concerts?  These are held directly in front of the Legion every Tuesday in July and August. If you’ve lucky enough to snag a table at Dockside, which does not take reservations, you’ll be serenaded with rousing music in the style of John Phillip Sousa. “Dockside” is a second generation restaurant owned by Stacy Sheehan’s father before Stacy took over and transformed the place from a hamburger joint into a really great place to eat wonderful local food.  Among the offerings is a version of Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon Beurre Blanc.  Now that Dockside has closed down for the season and won’t reopen until February 13 th, I couldn’t wait to make this at home.  But first, of course, I had to check on the cod.

       

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I use www.seafoodwatch.org every time I go to prepare fish.  This site, from the Monterrey Bay aquarium, is an invaluable source of information about fish.  What to buy, what to avoid, what’s good for you, what’s good for the oceans is all there. You can even get a free app for your phone when you’re eating out.   Quite honestly, the Cod section is hard work to understand.  Atlantic Cod, one of the most reliable and largest fish colonies, has been overfished to the point where it was almost an endangered species off our shores.  However, most cod, including the fish I bought, are now imported from Iceland and Northeast Arctic from an abundance of fish and sustainable ways to catch them.  In fact, www.seafoodwatch.org rates them as a “Best Choice”. But it’s certainly ‘best’ to inquire about their origins.  In this case, it was full speed ahead. 

I bought 1 lb of the fish for the un-heard-of price of $7.99 lb.

I got a filet that was over an inch thick and cut that into equal sized pieces.  The bread crumb mixture was a snap to make in the Cuisinart. Fresh breadcrumbs are combined with parsley, garlic and lemon zest.  I banked the breadcrumbs on the fish and into the oven it went. While it cooked, I made the Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc. If you’re intimidated by sauces, don’t be by this one.  What’s essential is to reduce the starting ingredients – shallots and white wine—down to almost a trace amount.  Then the butter gets added and the sauce thickens. The rest of the ingredients are added and Voila! Your fish has a delicious sauce. While I cut the fish recipe in half for the two of us, I made the entire recipe for the Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc.  There’s just never enough sauce! Since “Dockside” serves theirs with sautéed spinach and potatoes, I saw no need to alter the formula for this quick and delicious meatless Monday meal.  Here are the recipes:



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