Cod a la Empire. fresh cod fillets filled with a herb and almond stuffing then wrapped in prosciutto and baked before being served with a fresh garlic and tomato compote.
A couple of key Newfoundland ingredients take centre stage today as I celebrate the fourth anniversary of Rock Recipes with an impressive but easy to make stuffed cod recipe. On September 25, 2007 I posted the first recipe to this blog, an eye tempting Blueberry Mousse Cake which was a real foreshadowing of the hundreds of indulgent desserts that have appeared here since.
On that day I was mighty pleased because the site got 169 page views and with the encouragement of friends and family I was on my way. The site now regularly get thousands of page views a day, has millions of total views, has been read in 200 countries and has posted hundreds recipes and photos.
People continue to discover my little corner of the web, as readership continues to grow month after month and I hear from transplanted Newfoundlanders all over the world who have encouraged me from the beginning. A big thanks to all who have supported my blog over the years and I hope I have a few more recipes left in me yet. Stay tuned.
Getting back to today’s recipe, the two key ingredients I mentioned earlier are fresh Newfoundland North Atlantic cod, the best in the world, and THE favourite Newfoundland grown herb, summer savoury, which has been the essential element in poultry stuffing in every kitchen in the province for decades.
I normally don’t fuss with fish; pan fried cod or fish and chips is just fine with me but I do on occasion enjoy stuffed cod with traditional Newfoundland Savoury Stuffing, so I’ve taken that simple dish as inspiration for this delicious meal.
The prosciutto wrapped around the outside keeps the fish incredibly moist and the quickly cooked, garlicky tomato compote adds a sweet, slightly spicy finish to this terrific dish. Because all of the prep work can be done in advance and the fish popped into a hot oven at the last minute, it is an ideal dinner party dish and one that will, no doubt, be served up repeatedly at my table.
Oh, in case your wondering about the name of the stuffed cod dish, it comes from Empire Avenue, the street I live on here in St. John’s. I figure an anniversary is a good occasion to indulge in a little tongue-in-cheek pretentious recipe title. 😉
Like this Stuffed Cod a la Empire Recipe?
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If you liked this stuffed cod recipe you’ll definitely want to try:
- 2 lbs fresh cod fillets
- 8-10 ounces of very thinly sliced prosciutto this should be the deli sliced almost paper thin prociutto
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 small red onion diced small
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups whole wheat bread cut in 1/2 inch dice
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 3 tbsp dried summer savoury tarragon, dill, or basil make good substitutes
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 to 2 ounces warm water
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 8 large ripe tomatoes
- 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp chilli sauce or chilli flakes optional or to taste
- salt and pepper to season
Tail sections of cod are best because they are thinner, making them easier to roll up and the triangular sections can be placed beside each other in opposite directions to form a rectangle. If the cod fillet is quite thick, simply slice it in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces.
Prepare six fish portions in roughly 5x7 sized rectangles. Overlap slightly if using two pieces of fish to prepare the portion.
Squeeze handfuls of the stuffing into sausage shaped portions the width of the fish fillet and place at one end, roll the fillet rectangle all the way around the stuffing.
Lay out slices of the prosciutto again in about a 5x7 rectangle and place the prepared cod and stuffing at one end.
Roll the prosciutto tightly around the cod and place in a lightly oiled shallow glass baking dish. Do not crowd the portions in the baking dish; allow at least an inch or two between the portions for good air circulation in the oven. If cooking all six portions at once use two 9 x13 or similar size glass baking dishes. Crowding the portions in the pan will not allow the prosciutto to seal the portions properly and the cod will dry out.
Preheat oven top 400 degrees F and bake the portions for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving with warm tomato compote.
Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil until softened but not browned.
Remove from heat and toss together with the remaining stuffing ingredients.
Saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat for just a minute before adding the tomatoes, brown sugar, chili sauce, salt, pepper.
Continue to cook until the tomatoes soften and the compote reduces to a jam-like consistency. Add the balsamic vinegar in the final minute or two of cooking before serving.
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