Long before the Helmsleys and their spiralizer- some 18 years ago in fact, I served up zucchini (courgette) noodles as part of this dish at a dinner party in Oxford. Softly poached, flaky fish cooked up with a layer of mushrooms and topped with a soft, aromatic and herby crust. The toppings and a flavourful cooking broth keep the fish moist and tender as it cooks in this delicious poached cod recipe. It’s next to impossible to mess this part of it up.
Mushrooms are water laden, so you need to cook them till the water seeps out and evaporates off. This amplifies the flavour and will stop the topping getting soggy as you cook the fish. Use a food processor for speed but it is fine to cut it by hand, just chop the mushroom into thin slices. Use a dry frying pan and then when the slices are cooked use a little cream to bring them together. Any left over mushroom duxelles would make a great sandwich filling/dip/pate.
The cooking broth starts with a traditional french base of 3 vegetables. Mirepoix is a mixture of vegetables, roughly chopped and used as a base for soups and stocks. We used leek, carrots and garlic. A little wine (optional) and some sage adds further depth of flavour.
The herb crust is a fun and easy topping. The best way is to make up the breadcrumbs fresh – lightly toast some sliced bread and then toss it in the food processor or blender (we have our Froothie Optimum blender that does this job in a matter of seconds). We have seen fresh breadcrumbs in the supermarkets too though if you prefer. You do need them to be soft, not crispy. Coriander and basil were our herbs of choice, but parsley and a small dose of mint could also work well together.
As for the zoodles / courgetti – we use a mandolin to achieve the noodle shape but in the past I have made do with a good sharp knife and steady hand! Simply fry up in a touch of olive oil and seasoning. No need to add more since the sauce is very flavourful.
- 200g (7.5 oz) mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon double cream
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 leek peeled and chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 500ml (2 cups) fish stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 100ml white wine (optional)
- 100ml single cream
- 80g (3oz) fresh breadcrumbs
- 30g finely grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoon chopped basil
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 Cod Fillets
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 medium zucchini (courgettes) cut into julienne strips or spiralized
- Chop the mushrooms finely (by hand or in a food processor).
- Heat them in a dry frying pan until they sweat, lose their water and dry out.
- Add the cream to bind the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
- In the frying pan, heat the olive oil and then add the leek and carrot. Heat until the vegetables are softened a little.
- Add the garlic and heat till translucent
- Add the fish stock and bay leave. Simmer until the volume is reduced by a third (takes around 20 minutes)
- Add the wine and continue to simmer gently until the volume is reduced by another third.
- Blitz the breadcrumbs with the cheese and herbs in a food processor and bind it together with the olive oil (2 tablespoon).
- Roll the herb crust out and cut into rectangles sized to fit the cod fillets.
- Preheat oven to 200DegC/400DegF
- Use a teaspoon of olive oil to heat the zucchini in a pan and season with salt and pepper until softened - around 3 minutes.
- Spread a smear of mustard on each cod fillet, then a layer of the mushroom duxelles and finally the herb crust.
- Place the fish in an ovenproof frying pan and add the stock to cover the fish but not the topping.
- Bring to the boil on the stove then transfer to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the fish then reheat the sauce on the stove, add the cream then blend using a hand blender.
- To serve, place the zucchini noodles on the plate, top with the fish and then serve the sauce around it.
Disclosure – we were paid for the time taken to develop this recipe for the ‘Just add mushrooms’ campaign. We hope you like!
Some more mushroom inspiration:
These Mushroom Banh Mi from Kellie
Jeanne’s Crab stuffed portobello mushrooms
Becca’s Savoury bread pudding with garlic mushrooms
These home made ravioli with mushrooms from Emily