Paleo Pacific Cod Picatta

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I love this recipe because it is very simple, it incorporates Paleo ingredients, and it dabbles in the Primal category with the inclusion of Grass Fed Butter. I am no Nutrition Nazi and I love me some butter, so this preparation “takes the cake” when it comes to fish preparations.

The Food Lover’s Companion defines Piccataas: 1. The Italian word for Veal Escalope. 2. A classic dish of a seasoned and floured veal escalope that’s quickly sauteed and served with a sauce made from the pan drippings, lemon juice and chopped parsley. Chicken is also sometimes prepared in this manner.

Well, today, we are preparing cod in this manner. While we’d do well to pan fry these suckers and use the pan juices as suggested, it doesn’t work so well when cooking in bulk. However, if you are only making two pieces, then just use enough oil to pan fry them and then follow that up in the same pan with the sauce ingredients…

If I remember correctly, Jesse the cameraman said that this was one of his favorite meals he’s eaten in the year and a half we’ve been shooting together. If that alone is not enough to persuade you, Cod is cheap and capers are cool, so please give this one a go…

We’ve got this one of the new pig pit. Take note of that hat on the ground…

And this one of the custom lid that Mr. Craig fabricated…

As you can see, Mr. Craig has been busy. He is as excited as I am, both for the pig roast and for the moonshine! 😉 Stay tuned as we document the pig roast from pen to pit to plate…

In the meantime, take it easy on the moonshine and do your best to…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

In case you forgot what it looks like when I give Mr. Craig a one-armed hug. Check out that hat!

Pacific Cod Picatta

Ingredient List:

  • 1.25 pounds cod, cut into four five-ounce filets (I used the frozen cod from Costco.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ~ ½ cup coconut oil (amount will vary depending on type of pan you use)
  • ~ ½ cup olive oil (amount will vary depending on type of pan you use)
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped to caper size
  • 1.5 tablespoons capers
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Leaves of 3 sprigs of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Mix almond flour, kosher salt and Italian seasoning together.
  2. Beat egg and dip cod into egg.
  3. Preheat oils in cast iron skillet to 350°F. Then add two filets at a time to the pan following the procedure described in the video. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. We want the minimum temperature the oil reaches to be 330°F.
  4. After approximately 60 seconds, flip the filets. We are looking for a light golden-brown crust, so aim for that and we can always do what I did in the video if we feel like the color is lacking.
  5. After approximately 60 more seconds, remove the fish from the oil and set aside on a wire rack. Repeat steps with remaining filets, and then proceed to making the sauce. If you want to temp the center of the fish, we are looking for 120°F.
  6. For the sauce, heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and garlic and shake pan until garlic begins to toast. Then, add capers and watch out for the flame! Give them a quick toss and then add the lemon juice, chicken stock and parsley. Reduce to half the volume, then add the butter and shake pan until butter melts and creates a nice emulsion.
  7. Transfer fish filets to a plate and top with the sauce. Poila! You’re a Culinary Ninja!

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (12)

We have 20oz. of uncooked fish. We’re going to estimate that that cooks down to 18oz. There are 1.5oz of cooked cod in one protein block. So, we have 12 protein blocks of fish.

Carbohydrates: (>1)

The sum of all of the carbs in this dish is equal to less than one block, so we are not going to count them.

Fats: (63)

We have three fat sources going on; the breading, the oil, and the butter.
Almond flour comes in at 64 grams of fat per cup. We use approximately 1 cup for four pieces, so 14 fat grams per piece. At 3 grams of fat per block, we have approximately 21.33 blocks of fat from the almond flour.
Oil is 1/3 tsp. per block. We’ll estimate that each piece of fish soaks up 2 teaspoons of oil. So, we have 24 total fat for the cooking oil.
Butter is 1/3 tsp. per block. We have 2 tablespoons, so 18 blocks total fat for the butter.

We have a total of 63.33 blocks of fat.

The Balancing Act:

We can look at this as a 1:5 Protein to Fat ratio. Since fat is glycemically neutral, it is not a huge deal to consume it in these quantities. However, if weight loss is your goal, then you will want to cut back on all of the fats. You could do this by breading the fish and then baking it with a light spray of coconut/olive oil. You could also reduce or completely eliminate the butter.

I’m going to say that I’m a fire breather who has an activity factor of .85. I wouldn’t worry about the fat. I’d eat one piece of fish with some sauce and one sweet potato and call it a 3 block meal.

If I’m trying to lose weight, I’d have one piece of fish with no butter in the sauce and I’d use the baking method described above. I’d eat this with 3 cups of steamed broccoli and call it a 3 block meal.

This is mainly a Protein and Fat source. We have some trace Carbohydrates, but we’re not going to count them because they are so few.

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