what’s cooking wednesday: cuoricini di merluzzo in bianco

My fellow Americans…Happy Fourth of July!



In grand tradition, we probably should be firing up the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers (yes, we have them both here, buns and everything!), but back home we also ate a lot of hardshell crabs to celebrate, so we’re going to keep with the seafood theme for this week’s What’s Cooking Wednesday.

Unfortunately, we don’t have good crabs here (they’re so tiny!) but we do have excellent cod.

This dish is called “Cuoricini di Merluzzo in Bianco,” which is literally “Small Hearts of Cod in White.” Sounds romantic doesn’t it?

First, let me explain a little about cod. The best description of the different types in Italy I’ve found is here, and it’s broken down like this:

merluzzo: fresh cod

baccalร : conserved, in pieces, under salt (many Italian-Americans have this for Christmas Eve but even more of you probably recognize this as a name from a certain gangster TV series that recently ended)

stocco: dried and sold whole

I believe we’d call “cuoricini di merluzzo“cod medallions–round pieces about the size of the palm of your hand.

Note here that we’re talking about “pieces of cod” as opposed to “codpieces.” Hah! Go ahead, click on it. I’ll be here when you get back.

We used frozen cod because someone had given me a bag, but you could also do this with fresh fish (haddock as well, in which case my mom would probably call it “Poor Man’s Lobster”).

This recipe is so easy and so delicious, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try it–unless you don’t like cod of course. It’s great and light for the summer with a simple salad on the side, or you can do it as part of a larger meal with this as an appetizer.

Cuoricini di Merluzzo in Bianco

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 kg frozen cod medallions (about eight)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt to taste
water, enough to cover cod in pan
juice of a lemon for serving

Defrost cod (submerge in cold water if you’re in a hurry).

Put olive oil in pan over medium heat, add garlic and allow to cook for a minute or two.

Add cod, salt, and parsley, and let cook on one side of the fish for a few minutes (you’ll see it start to brown a bit in spots), then flip.

Turn down heat to low, add enough water to come up to the fish but not cover completely, and let cook for 20-25 minutes. The sauce will be boiling, so just let it as such, giving the pan a shake every so often, until it thickens enough for you.

Serve hot with sauce from pan poured over the fish.

Garnish with a good squirt of fresh lemon juice and a sprig of fresh parsley.

Buon appetito!


[tags]merluzzo, cod, cuoricini di merluzzo, cod medallions, fish, recipes, cooking, what’s cooking wednesday[/tags]

28 Beans of Wisdom to “what’s cooking wednesday: cuoricini di merluzzo in bianco”
  1. Cherrye


    Happy 4th!!!

  2. Gil

    Happy 4th! Cod sounds better than the hotdogs (wurst) and hamburgers I had in Naples years ago.

    Shortly after we got married my boss at that time told about a real romantic place in Canada. It was called Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. We stayed in a small motel, on the sea, run by an old Scottish couple. The husband was a fisherman and had a small dock for his boat behind the motel. He invited me to look around. I took a stroll down the dock and he was in a little shed salting cod fillets in barrels. Without a blink of an eye he said he was putting up salted cod and looking at me said “baccalร  as you Italians call it”. Said he knew that I was of Italian descent.

    In twenty four hours I’ll be eating fresh Italian seafood.

  3. in the Alps

    Thanks for the recipe. It looks delicious!

  4. Sharon

    Like your fireworks…beans and hot dogs are on the menu here!

  5. sognatrice

    Cherrye, thanks, and thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gil, woohoo! You’re almost here! And it’s good to know that baccalร  is famous even in Nova Scotia ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In the Alps, no problem. I was amazed at just how delicious it was the first time I ate it. And so easy!

    Sharon, mmm, beans…I just may have to doctor up some borlotti. I *do* have some pancetta….

  6. Antonino Condorelli

    HAPPY HAPPY $th July at all my american friends, and at all italians living in US

  7. Antonino Condorelli

    OOOPPPSSS 4th July not $July.

  8. J.Doe

    Cool video! Happy 4th to you too.

  9. Erin

    Okay I just about died laughing at the “codpieces” write up! Ha! Love it. Learned something new today at What’s Cooking Wednesday. Always very informative. Happy 4th of July, hope it’s a good one : )

  10. chris & erin

    Happy 4th to you too! Enjoy your meal today!

  11. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    Happy 4th. Nice fireworks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Shan

    Happy 4th!!

    As always, looks stunning.

  13. Carole D.

    Happy 4th! Love your picture and your recipe.

    Good luck with the move.

  14. Aimee

    looks very yummy!!

  15. my melange


    You know I am ALL ABOUT easy, flavorful dishes. Fish is usually great, it doesn’t need to cook for that long. This is a wonderful, easy recipe…I will give it a try for sure! Happy 4th to you!


  16. Kathy

    Happy 4th to you!

    We’re getting ready (well, in a few hours, it’s only 13.30 here) to have BBQ hamburgers and corn on the cob. We’re topping it off with mudslides!

  17. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Happy Fourth of July to you too, dear Sognatrice, my PSOK… ;o)-

    Glad to see that the colors and love for both countries runs so deep.

    Now I’m off to my local Italian Restaurant to see if they can’t whip this dish up for me.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  18. Kimberly

    Oh my…looks lovely and sounds delicious! I may just try this one!

  19. it's me, Val

    Happy 4th to you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. sognatrice

    Antonino, I’d take a $th July as well! Thanks for the wishes!

    JDoe, glad you liked the show ๐Ÿ™‚

    Erin, so happy to be of service!

    Erin, enjoyed the meal, I did–thank you very much ๐Ÿ™‚

    NYC, Shan, Carole, Aimee, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    My Melange and Kimberly, this is truly tasty and fast–not even a lot of prep work or keeping an eye on it. Cooks itself basically. Hope you like it!

    Kathy, mmm, corn on the cob and mudslides…hope you enjoyed!

    Scarlett & V, I even wore my American flag t-shirt yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚

    Val, thank you much my dear! I had a lovely day despite no fireworks (other than on my screen) ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. BecsLifeOnline

    Mmmm now this looks divine!

  22. sognatrice

    Bec, thanks–your latest food posts look awfully appetizing as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. IRENE

    Hello Sognatrice,
    Thank you, thank you for your beautiful comment, the other day.
    I am going to try your recipe tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes. Sending you a fragrant white wine to enjoy with the cod!

  24. sognatrice

    Irene, grazie for the wine ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. anno

    First, this sounds fabulous! Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s on my list for next week.

  26. sognatrice

    Anno, can’t wait to see how it turns out ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Julie

    Those cod medallions look delicious.

  28. sognatrice

    Julie, well I’m biased, but I sure think they are ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for commenting!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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