Image Although it is neither a ‘ling’ nor a ‘cod’, the Pacific lingcod is found all the way from the chilly waters of Alaska down the coast to Punta San Carlos in Baja California. While it’s large, primeval head and viciously toothy jaw line will never make this fish the winner of a beauty contest, the thick, mild and delicate fillets it yields are a gourmet’s delight.

Often referred to as ‘bacalao’ in Baja Norte, lingcod works well in most recipes from Spain that employ dried Atlantic cod, and it rivals its European counterpart in practically every respect.

Here is a recipe that imparts a Mediterranean flair to help show off the delicious versatility of this locally available species.

INGREDIENTS: 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 cup green olives, pitted and halved 2 Tbsp grated orange zest 2 medium navel oranges, peeled, segmented, membranes removed 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 lbs lingcod or rockcod fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped, or 1 Tbsp dried basil

METHOD: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and then sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the olives, orange zest, orange segments, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the fish to the pan. Spoon the sauce over the fish, then cover and cook for an additional 7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked enough to flake with a fork.

Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Serves 4-6.

ONLINE LINK: http://www.bajatimes.com/columnsDetail.asp?sid=2899

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