This is easy to prepare, but guaranteed to wow every time. And if you are concerned about the sustainability of cod, any firm white-fleshed fish can be used and the under-utilized members of the cod family like pollack and coalfish (coley) work well in this recipe.
Crispy Lemon Cod with Crushed Potatoes and Lemon-parsley SauceServes: 4
Ingredients:500g (1 lb) baby new potatoes
150ml (3/5 cup) fish stock
150ml (3/5 cup) white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cod fillets (with skin) — each about 200g (7 oz)
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
175g (6 oz) unsalted butter
50g (2 oz) cream cheese
small bunch of fresh chives
150ml (3/5 cup) double cream
2 tbsp fresh parsley
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and cook for between 8 and 10 minutes, or until tender.
Combine the stock and wine in a small pan, bring to a boil and cook until the volume has reduced by 2/3.
Drizzle 1 dessert spoon olive oil over the cod steaks, rubbing them all over to coat then sprinkle over the lemon salt before seasoning generously with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Add the remaining oil to a frying pan and when hot add the fish fillets, skin side down. Cook until the skin is beginning to crisp then transfer the fish to an ovenproof dish (put them in skin side up). Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 6) and bake for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Drain the potatoes and crush with the back of a fork. Stir in 2 tbsp of the butter, the cream cheese and the chives (snipped). Season well with salt and black pepper then set aside to keep warm.
For the sauce, stir the remaining lemon juice and the cream into the reduced stock and wine mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced in volume. Dice the remaining butter then slowly whisk into the sauce until slightly thickened.
Chop the parsley and stir into the sauce.
To serve, pile the potatoes on four plates. Sit a fish fillet on top then drizzle around the sauce. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve.