It's time for this month's Improv Challenge!
The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients. The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.
This month's assigned ingredients were lemon and lime. Great ingredients for this time of year. . . usually. Of course we are having high temperatures in the 40s and plenty of rain here in Wisconsin this week! But I soldiered on, making a summery lemon and lime dish anyway. Another instance of bad timing: The Great Lime Shortage of 2014!! Did you hear about this? There is seriously a huge lime shortage going on right now. Restaurants are paying three times or more for their limes. Have you noticed the limes in your grocery store looking kinda crappy and being more expensive lately? Bingo. It wasn't a huge deal for me, though, because I only needed 2 limes for my recipe. Spending $2 on two limes is a bit ridiculous though!
It wasn't hard for me to choose a recipe this month. I had kind of been hungry for cod, so when I saw this All You recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. It called for flounder, but cod is my whitefish of choice, so I went with that.
Crunchy Cod with Lemon Lime Butter
¼ cup Panko
½ tsp olive oil
½ tsp dried dill
4 (4 oz.) cod fillets, thawed if frozen
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp grated lime zest
Lemon and lime slices for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine Panko and olive oil in a small pan. Toast over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until Panko becomes a light golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in dried dill. Set aside.
Pat cod fillets dry and place flat on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
Stir lemon and lime zest into the melted butter. Set aside 1 tbsp and thoroughly brush the top of each fillet with remaining butter. Sprinkle equal amounts of Panko mixture over each fillet and drizzle with reserved lemon-lime butter.
Bake until fish is lightly browned on top and flakes easily when pierced with a fork, 15-20 minutes. Garnish with lemon and lime slices if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
I made a couple of other changes as well. I used toasted Panko instead of dry breadcrumbs. The Panko stays crunchy even while being drenched in butter. It also gives the fish a gorgeous golden color that you wouldn't get from dry breadcrumbs. I also changed thyme to dill, because I think dill is really great on fish and goes well with lemon.
This recipe got mixed reviews at my house. My three-year-old, Eva, didn't eat it. My six-year-old, Lena, gobbled it up. My husband wasn't a huge fan, but I think it was mostly because his piece of fish was a tad freezer-burned. Oops. He said he liked the flavor, but the texture was definitely off. I liked it ok, but thought I could have used more salt. That's why I added the word "generously" in the directions. I still struggle with liking whitefish, so this wasn't the best thing I've ever tasted, but it was good enough that I would definitely make it again. The lemon and lime flavors are very subtle. Maybe next time I would squeeze a little lemon juice over the top as a finishing touch.
I served this fish with a rice pilaf made with peas, carrots, and toasted almonds. It made a great dinner.
Be sure to check out all the other great lemon and lime recipes below and come back next month to see what I make with berries and cream!
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