Mild cod is the ideal fish to serve in a briny clam broth bath, especially when it is given a blast of freshness at the end with cilantro and cherry tomatoes. All that and good looks, too!
- 18 littleneck or other hard-shell clams, soaked with cornmeal (see Notes)
- Olive oil
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ cup (approximately) dry white wine
- Four thick 8-ounce fresh cod or halibut fillets
- Fine sea or kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- All-purpose flour
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Drain the clams in a colander and rinse them under cold water to remove any cornmeal.
2. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a heavy 4- to 5-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, shaking the pan once or twice, just until the garlic starts to take on color, about 3 minutes. Don’t let it get too dark.
3. Slip the clams into the pan with the garlic, pour in the wine, and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and cook just until the clams open, about 5 minutes.
4. Heat enough oil to generously coat the bottom of a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat until rippling. While the oil is heating, season the cod fillets generously with salt and pepper and roll them in the flour to coat on all sides. Tap off any excess flour and lay the cod in the oil. Cook, turning the fillets once, until they are golden brown and barely opaque in the center. The clams will open while the cod is cooking; turn off the heat and let them stand until you need them. Discard any clams that don’t open.
5. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the clams and shake the pot a little so they settle in. Scatter the cilantro over the clams. Let the mixture stand just a minute or two to warm the tomatoes through.
6. Drain the fish fillets on paper towels and transfer them to shallow bowls. (Warming the bowls first is a nice touch.) Spoon some of the clams, tomatoes, and broth around each fillet and serve hot.
Nutritional information includes 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.