Seared Skinless Cod with Beer & Sweet Onion Butter Sauce

  • Author: Resha from CarnalDish
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 or more servings


Serving size will depend on how much of everything you prepare.


For the Beer & Sweet Onion Sauce

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 35 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • lemon-pepper, or black pepper, to taste
  • herbes de provence, to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 bottle Corona beer (or any light colored beer)
  • 3 small anchovy filets, finely chopped into a paste
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped (dill and/or tarragon will also work)
  • zest of half a lemon, plus 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice, to taste
  • *2 tbsp unsalted butter, to finish

For the fish (see note below)

  • Cod filets (skinless or skin-on)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • oil for searing

For the Spinach, Rice and Quinoa

  • 1 large container organic baby spinach
  • salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 package of 90-sec rice & quinoa (use any brand or version of this you’d like)
  • oil and butter as needed
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, optional


**Read the captions under each photo for detailed instructions**

  1. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, pepper, herbes de provence, crushed red pepper and sugar. Stir to combine. If needed, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the onions until softened and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beer, carefully! Stir to combine. Bring the beer to a simmer, and allow it to reduce for about 8-10 minutes. Once it’s reduced by half, give it a taste and adjust if need be. Turn off the heat and puree the mixture until smooth, by way of immersion blender, food processor, or blender. Don’t strain it. Add the capers, fresh herb, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Finally, stir in the cold butter until emulsified and melted thru. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until searing hot. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Test skillet’s level of heat with a few drops of water. If water dances around the skillet, it’s ready. Add some oil, just enough to cover the bottom very thinly, you can always add more as you’re cooking. Oil should start to smoke (not terribly, just wisps), then immediately add the fish, making sure there’s enough oil under each piece to prevent sticking. The should not be too much oil in the pan, we’re not deep-frying it, just giving it plenty of fat since it lacks its own. Make sure you swirl the pan around so that the oil gets around each side of the fish. If the pan is too dry, the fish will stick terribly. If using a non-stick skillet, a lot of these potential problems won’t be an issue. Leave the fish to sear until it releases somewhat easily from the pan. Depending on the size of your filets, the type of skillet, and the amount of oil used, this can take anywhere between 4 and 7 minutes. Once you’re able to flip the fish over, sear until the fish is cooked through. You can tell when it starts to flake and is opaque all the way thru. Set fish aside on a plate and keep warm under foil until ready to eat.
  3. With whatever is left in the pan from the fish, add a little more oil if necessary and begin to sauté the spinach over medium heat. Season it up to your liking. When the very bottom layer is wilted, you can turn the heat off. The residual heat will continue to cook and wilt the spinach down. If you have an excess amount of spinach juice, you can drain some of it off, or keep it — it’s up to you. Add a little butter and toss through. Microwave your 90-sec pouch of rice & quinoa mix, then add it to the sautéed spinach. Gently mix until evenly combined, then add the zest of the lemon and some lemon juice if you’d like.
  4. Plate everything and serve immediately.


If you are absolutely terrified of your skinless fish sticking, etc. You can very lightly dust your cod with either a teaspoon of all-purpose flour, rice flour, or corn starch. This will create a protective outer crust that will help it release better from your skillet. If using a non-stick skillet, do not use a metal spatula on it because you can ruin it.

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