Catching up: cod tongues

Cod tongues. Something I hadn’t had in quite a while. I grew up with my grandfather bringing packages of them and other Newfoundland delights to Montreal each year, where he spent winters after my grandmother died.

I hoped to have some a couple of years ago when my sister and I went to Iceland (they call them cod chins there), but never got around to that or puffin or other strangenesses of the land.

I had a hankering for cod tongues, yes I did.

I saw these in the freezer cabinet at Mike’s at the St. Lawrence Market — oh gosh: must be over a year now. And so I bought them. And being a fool, I left them in my refrigerator’s freezer, which goes through freeze/thaw cycles fast enough to create ice crystals in two months. I should have put them in my chest freezer.

Alas, it was a long time before I rescued these from the freezer. They were vacuum packed, but still showed signs of freezer burn.

I cooked these (almost) the proper way. The truly proper way would have been to start by making a brunoise of salt pork fat and frying it until it renders enough fat into the pan to cook the cod tongues. I didn’t have any salt pork, so I put some olive oil in the pan.

The cod tongues were dredged in flour to which some salt and pepper has been added, then plunked into the medium frying pan. Depending on the size, you could fry them up to 5 minutes a side.

They don’t look revolting. Actually, they look pretty much as they should.

But boy, were they tough! And tough is not what you expect from cod tongues. Some parts of it should be almost jelly-like in texture.

I ate a few with some horseradish mustard (and ate the kale) and I hate to say, put the rest in the compost bin. Next time I’ll not leave them in the freezer so long.

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About pat

Photographer and writer. I love taking pictures of food that make it look irresistible. Prime interests is field-to-table food, closely followed by gardening and urban nature.

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