When it comes to eating seafood, there is one source that has it all: the waters of Alaska. There is everything a seafood lover could dream of in these teeming seas, something for every taste. Some species have very strong flavors, others mild, and some species are very adaptable to different kinds of cuisine, like fresh Alaska cod. In addition to being tremendously abundant in the Alaskan waters, cod is very versatile in the kitchen, given its excellent texture, its large flakes, and its incredibly smooth flavor.
Few other species of fish have the mass appeal of cod-you might call it one of the least fishy of fish. Apparently, that is a quality many people enjoy, and it makes cod one of the most ubiquitous seafood items in the country, and many places abroad as well. It is one of the most common fish species to use when making fried fish products, as its firmness is ideally suited to extra handling; it doesn’t come undone like many other kinds of fish often do. But frying is only one option when working with fresh Alaska cod: it is great no matter what you do with it, whether you throw it in the oven or under the broiler, whether you steam it, grill it, sauté it or smoke it. The consistency of the flesh-the large, firm (but not at all chewy) and moist flakes-almost always maintains itself very well, and isn’t quite as averse as many other kinds of fish to longer cooking times or higher temperatures. Whereas many such species often turn to soft that you can’t even tell you’re eating meat, cod keeps its ideal texture for a relatively long time (in terms of cooking and/or preservation).
Cod is always best when properly seasoned; its mild flavor really allows a cook to infuse lots of other flavors into a dish. A good way to boost the flavor of your fresh Alaska cod is to let it sit for a few hours (overnight in a closed container for best results) in a marinade with lots of aroma and taste. One such classic concoction can be attained in the following way: in a food processor, chop up a hefty amount of fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano and garlic, and begin to add extra virgin olive oil as the ingredients begin to be turned into a paste by the blades. If you’ve used a few tablespoons of olive oil, then add about a cup of chardonnay white wine afterwards; add some salt and pepper to the marinade, and then pour it over several fresh Alaska cod fillets, immersing them in the liquid as best as possible. After several hours, remove and grill a few minutes on each side, making sure the bars of the grill are well greased.