I am continuing to explore some spices and herbs that I do not often use. Having spent much of my childhood inspecting a myriad of largely unlabelled, differently sized pots of spices, nuts and herbs in my mother’s kitchen, the scent component of flavour is an important one to me. This recipe then is one that uses 2 very heady and distinctive spices. Saffron and Fennel Pollen. They are both somewhat floral in character and they work well together in this recipe.
I have used a low temperature to cook the cod and it makes the fish flaky and tender. The gentle roast gives time for the flavours to meld, the herbs and spices infusing the cod with a scent and flavour that is reminiscent of Southern Spain or North Africa. A light dish, this is perfect if you are watching your calorie intake. It is also a perfect family dish, since the soft roasted cod and potatoes are very amenable to mashing for infants and cutting into small pieces for young children.
Cod is less ‘fishy’ in taste than many other fish varieties and may therefore be more likely to be accepted by young children. My advice is lots of fish from a young age. Not only will it mean they are adapted to it and accept it better, but it is high in omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids. Aside from being important in maintaining cardiovascular health in adults, recent work has suggested omega 3 and other essential fatty acids may help brain development in young children.
Pot Roast Cod with Saffron and Fennel Pollen
Time: 15 Minutes preparation, 30 Minutes cooking
Recipe (serves 2)
2 Cod Loins
350g Waxy potatoes (Charlotte, Jersey Royal or New) Peeled and Chopped
Half an onion, chopped finely
2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence
Pinch of Saffron
Half a Teaspoon of Fennel Pollen
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 160 Deg C
Parboil the potatoes until just soft, then cool them down in cold water and let them drain off excess water.
Layer them in a wide casserole dish.
Heat the oil in a frying pan .
Add the Onion and cook until softened.
Add in the garlic and continue to stir.
Pour the oil, onion and garlic onto the potato.
Lay the cod loin on the potato and scatter with the herbs, saffron and fennel pollen
Scatter with capers and cover with foil or lid
Roast for 15 minutes then check how well cooked the cod is, uncover and roast for a further 10-15 minutes
Do you have any favourite ways to cook cod (other than battered or crumbed!) – all ideas most welcome!