Together, the multiple species of Pacific rock cod make up a California iconic fishery. But I find them uninspiring. My husband just brought home some rock cod for dinner--again. Any inspiration?
Chris, what is usually sold as "rock cod" is not a true cod. It generally falls in that category of plain old rock fish. Do you have thick fillets? Thin fillets? Or steak like mass? One of my favorites to use is sold as "black cod" but also known as sable fish. The fillets are thick, meaty and adaptable to a number of preparations. For rockfish, simple fish tacos would be pretty easy. For something like sable fish I would think about the grill or else pan seared until cooked through. The thinner species can be worked into a bouillabaise.
Hey, I'm a marine biologist! I know what I have, and boy are you right, it's not a true cod, and it's not sable fish. It's rock fish. And you're right on with your menu--I decided on a sort of Mexican preparation with tomatoes and chilis. It'll be fine.
But here's a funny story. I was whining to my husband that I've asked him over and over not to buy rockfish, and he said, "But it always reminds me of being back East." But he grew up in Delaware, where rockfish is the common name for striped bass. Not the same, of course, and he's a marine biologist too!
Time to stop whining. Great that we have fresh and local seafood at all, especially one that will go great with a margarita.