This recipe for Grilled Cod Cheeks with Szechwan Peppercorn Marinade is something I developed after visiting Newfoundland and Labrador last summer. Though my friends in Newfoundland will think it’s blasphemy, I used west coast Ling Cod Cheeks as fresh Atlantic cod cheeks were not available to me at that time. I’ve also used halibut cheeks when they are in season and they’re delicious too.
For folks living in the land-locked Prairies or west coast, I highly recommend Skipper Otto as a sustainable source of fish. Here in Calgary, you can actually get Fogo Island Fish Hand Line Cod from a company called Meta4Foods. The recipe follows.
This recipe for Cod au Gratin is inspired by my visit to Newfoundland and in particular, Fogo Island Inn, last summer. We ate it our first night at the Inn when we attended a “shed party”. It’s warm, cheese-y goodness cuddled right up to the freshly steamed crab legs, homemade buns and other good things that made the evening so memorable.
But, here we are in an unprecedented time of COVID-19 quarantine and I’m not able to dash out to the store to look for those fresh vegetables. What I found in my pantry was a can of artichokes. In the fridge I found a stash of rich French Comte cheese. In my freezer I found some cod.
All in all, I’m pleased with how this variation came out. I hope you’ll give it a try and I encourage you to change up the elements to your own liking. I think a little bacon would be a great addition. Maybe a dice of red pepper. Keep it simple. That’s the secret. It’s a recipe that’s as resilient as the people of Fogo Island. Enjoy!