Lemon Butter Pollock

Today brings us to our last leg of the 12 Days of Oscar, and to films that are nominated for Academy Awards this year.  The first of this year’s nominees to appear here is Wes Andersen’s Moonrise Kingdom.  Orphan Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman), a Khaki Scout spending his summer at Camp Ivanhoe on the New England island of New Penzance, meets Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) who lives on the same island with her attorney parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) during a play in 1964.   Sam and Suzy are pen pals until the following summer, and agree to reunite and run away together.  The two make their way to a secluded area on the island, which they name Moonrise Kingdom, and where they spend the night until they are found by Suzy’s parents, the police, and Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton).  After a series of twists, Suzy and Sam manage to escape again but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, and I’ll leave it at assuring you that it is most definitely worth seeing.  Moonrise Kingdom is nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

moonrise kingdom sam and suzy

There are various food options in this film, from the beef jerky that Sam offers to Suzy early in their hike to Moonrise Kingdom to the hot dogs that Police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) serves to Sam later in the film.  Traditional camping recipes seemed most appropriate, and during one scene Suzy reels in a fish which Sam cooks for dinner.  Cod was my first choice for this because not only is it one of my favorites, it’s very often associated with New England where the film takes place.

Sadly, the blizzard we had meant that fresh seafood deliveries were a little scarce for a while and I had to settle for pollock instead.  Pollock is a perfectly good substitute in any recipe that calls for whitefish, and are found in the waters of New England (although not as readily as they are found in waters elsewhere).  With the addition of a few staple ingredients, this is a quick entrée, taking less than half an hour from start to finish.  If you’re a camper, this is easy to make over a fire just like Sam cooks their fish fillets in a cast iron pan over a camp fire.  I served this with roasted potatoes and green beans but it also lends itself to a side of pasta or rice.

lemon butter pollock

Lemon Butter Pollock


  •  4 (6 oz. each) pieces of pollock (or any whitefish)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper or salt and lemon pepper
  • 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley (or 2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)


Sprinkle both sides of the pollock with salt and pepper or salt and lemon pepper.

Dredge each fillet in flour and shake off excess flour.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet (cast iron is great for this) over medium heat.

Place the fillets into the skillet and cook 5-7 minutes per side, until the fish is flaky and no longer translucent (cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets).

Place the remaining olive oil and butter in a small skillet and heat over medium low.

Add garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until garlic softens.

Add lemon juice and parsley and stir to combine.

Spoon the garlic mixture over the fish fillets and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Diana Dishes original


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