Thursday, 10 March 2011

Cod with Bacon, Leek and Mushrooms

The fish we picked up didn't have the skin still on,
so the fish started falling apart when I  got it out of the pan..

Inspired by this post over on Gourmet Chick and in an endeavour to eat more fish at home...

The mister made comment when we were out at dinner one night that I always seem to order seafood when we are out.. (scallops - I LOVE them.. always have.. ever since I was little...; prawns... seafood chowder, cullen skink - a Scottish fish soup, a lot like chowder but without all the other seafood... ) so I must really like it, which I do.. I love seafood, but I don't love it any more than say.. I love a good medium rare/rare steak... or a well done lamb shank.. or rack of lamb... mmmmmmm I love lamb chops... to the extent that when I see lambs in a field.. I go "mmmmmm you would be yummy on my plate!!" - Seriously.. that is my first thought.. not.. Oh cute! fluffy lambs... but YUMMMM!! (does this make me a bad person??)  Gah! I digress...

So, I had a good long think before I replied to the mister's 'accusation' that I must really like seafood, and came up with the fact that I tend to order it when I'm out because it's stuff I am less likely to make at home... Seafood tends to a) make the house stinky and b) quite often be tricky to make at home.. Anywhos.. somewhere within that conversation we decided that we both really liked fish and should try to eat it more at home... so when I saw the recipe on Gourmet Chick, I took note! Especially as it involved bacon.. and we really like bacon in our house.. there has been very few weeks where we don't consume bacon... and the one weekend that our meals did not involve bacon, I went a little bit loopy...

Anywhos! Here is my take on her dish...
This was the boy sized portion...
Adapted from Gourmet Chick  via  Hix Oyster & Chop House

2 fillets of cod loin (I think ours came to about 400g total) - this was the only option we could find at the supermarket that day.. not really ideal, especially since they had no skin.. (which I didn't realised until I got it out of the packet :( I wish we had a local fishmonger!)
Salt and pepper
200g of snow peas (mangetout) or whatever else you might call them, top and tailed and chopped in half - her recipe called for peas.. I'm not a fan of peas, so I substituted snow peas...
170g mushrooms
75g butter 
6 rashers of bacon, derinded and chopped (I think we used 8, like I said.. we like bacon!)
2 leeks trimmed and cut into rough squares
200ml double cream
2 tsp vegetable oil

Bacon, Leeks & Mushroom.. swimming in cream... and butter... mmmmmm...

1. Season the fish with salt and pepper and quickly blanch the snow peas and then drain.

2. Melt 50g of butter in a heavy based saucepan and add the bacon, mushrooms and leek. Cover and cook gently over a medium low heat for 3-4 minutes stirring until the leek is soft.

3. Add the snow peas and cream to the bacon and leek and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes until the cream is reduced and is just coating everything.

4. In another pan cook the fish fillets over a medium high heat, skin side down first. Cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured then turn the fillets and add the rest of the butter to the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes until the fish is cooked through.

5. Serve the fish on top of the leek, bacon and pea mixture.


Our veges came out absolutely swimming in the cream sauce... maybe I didn't have the patience to let it reduce.. but we left it a good few minutes and there was still tonnes, so next time I would probably only use half or three quarters the cream.. maybe adding as I go rather than adding the whole lot in one go... easier to add than to take away!!

I'm also not sold on needing butter in the pan for the veges.. especially since you add cream to it... next time I'm going to try EVOO and see if we taste a difference.. can always add a knob of butter for effect if necessary...

I'm definitely not sold on adding butter to the fish while it's cooking... it just made the fish a bit greasy, and I found it completely superfluous..  so not doing that next time!

But all in all the dish was delicious and a different way to serve fish (albeit a bit rich for home cooking for me), and I'm all for more fish dishes in my repertoire!  I usually bake fish with a drizzle of EVOO and salt & pepper, or slices of lemon.. and serve over rice.. so this was very different for me!  We had loads of the veg/sauce left over which the mister was more than happy to polish off just on its own, so maybe more fish next time and we MAY have some for lunch the next day!

All in all, a nice way to make a hearty meal out of something which is usually (for me) fairly light... I would def make this again, but try to lighten it up by substituting the butter and maybe not as much cream!!

Happy cooking!!

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