If you want the absolute definition of scrod, or schrod as it is sometimes spelled, you will be disappointed to learn there is none. The Parker House, Boston’s oldest and most famous hotel, claims to have invented the term and the dish of scrod. Their official version of Boston scrod: baby cod, split, bones removed, skin-on, oiled, covered with breadcrumbs and broiled. Of course you can cook any member of the cod family this way, but if you call it scrod, you may create some controversy.
- 4 baby cod fillets, skin on, bones removed, about 8 ounces each
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups white breadcrumbs (see Note)
- Vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Note: Bake or buy a loaf of unsliced white bread the day before. Trim off the crust and allow the bread to become a bit stale by leaving it out overnight. Make the breadcrumbs the next morning in a food processor or by rubbing the bread through a colander or sieve.
- Preheat the broiler. Season the scrod with salt and pepper on both sides. Mix the parsley and breadcrumbs.
- Dip the scrod into the oil. Remove the fish from the oil, allowing it to drain and then quickly dredge it in the breadcrumbs. Place on the broiling pan skin side up.
- Place the pan on a lower shelf of the broiler so that the crumbs don’t burn before the fish is cooked. After about 5 minutes of cooking the fish should be more than half cooked and the skin side should be crisp and brown. Remove the pan from the broiler and quickly turn the fish. Sprinkle the top of the fish with a little more breadcrumbs and drizzle with melted butter. Return to the broiler for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the fish is golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges, boiled potatoes and seasonal vegetables