Cornmeal Crusted Cod

I will be serving cornmeal crusted cod as one of my Thanksgiving entrees. The cornmeal coating will satisfy my gluten allergy guest and serving fish will satisfy my vegetarian son.  What I like about this recipe is how simple it is.  On Thanksgiving so much is going on in the kitchen.  This Cornmeal Crusted Cod has just a few ingredients and cooks quickly.  The sauce can be made ahead, stirred, and served.


  • 1 lb cod or halibut cheeks
  • 1 cup fine or medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1 t. powdered cayenne
  • 1 T. black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 cup olive oil (not the good stuff)
  • 1-3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 T. mustard
  • Oil for frying


Dipping Sauce:

  • In a food processor, add a pinch of salt, the basil, garlic and mustard. Pulse until well mixed, then begin adding the olive oil in a slow drizzle to complete the sauce. The mustard will help keep it from breaking, but if it does, simply stir it vigorously right before you serve.


  • Mix the cornmeal with the cayenne and the black pepper.
  • Heat a heavy skillet  over medium heat and enough oil to come up the sides of the pan about a 1/4 inch.
  • Salt the cod, then dredge in the cornmeal. Shake off excess cornmeal and fry in the oil. Do not over-crowd pan.  Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Turn down the heat to medium if they are cooking too fast.
  • Place cooked cod on a paper towel lined plate and keep in a warm oven until all fish is cook and you are ready to serve
  • Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
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