Recipes from food stylist Nicolas Ghirlando: Fish fingers to Friday nights.

Cod Almighty

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Cod is a great fish. I love how simple it is, how it doesn’t try too hard. It’s ugly and a dull colour, not showing off like plaice with its orange spots. But hiding behind that is what makes it such a versatile fish. You can enjoy it’s delicate taste with a little butter or you can punch it in the face with tapenade and so on.

There are certain members of my family who would shoot me for cooking lettuce. That’s why I’ve done it alone here. The whole dish really takes about 15 minutes to make if you work quickly, so be organised. Warm plates also help.

You can’t really go wrong with caper butter and fish.

Ingredients for two. Or one large portion if someone hates cooked lettuce
300g cod loin, cut in two
Wholegrain puffed rice, crushed
The white of a medium leek, thinly sliced
4tbsp butter
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 little gem, halved lengthways
1tbsp capers
100g prawns, shelled
2tbsp chopped parsley
1 spring onion, sliced
Salt and pepper

Method
Sauté the leek in some butter until soft then sprinkle in the chilli flakes. Season well.
Add the little gem cut face down and cook on high until starting to caramelise. Add a splash of water, turn off the heat and leave to rest.
Season the fish well, coat in the rice crumbs and sauté in hot, foaming and starting to brown butter for about 3 minutes on each side. Baste with the butter as you cook. Add more to the pan if you need to stop it burning. I do this rather than add olive oil here as I don’t want to dilute the butteryness, but it’s really up to you.
When the fish is cooked, remove from the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes while you cook the prawns.
Get the pan hot again and throw in the prawns, more butter, capers and parsley. Cook until the prawns are pink all over then season.
Put the leek and lettuce on plates, add the prawn and caper mix then top with the fish. Pour over the juices from the pan and serve.

2 Responses to “Cod Almighty”

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