Adding a crust to your fish helps to keep it beautifully moist, as in this herb crusted cod recipe from Pengelly’s
You will need
- Thick skin-on cod fillets 4, pin-boned and descaled.
- Baby stem broccoli 200g
- Baby vine tomatoes 4 vines (with about 12 tomatoes on each vine)
For the crust:
- Good quality bread 4 slices
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese 30g
- Parsley a handful
- Oregano a few sprigs
- Fresh thyme a sprinkle
- Unsalted butter and olive oil for frying
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh lemons 2
- Plain flour and semi-skimmed milk for the white sauce
- Wash and dry the fish, and place each fillet onto an oiled baking tray, skin-side up.
- Season the fish with a little salt and pepper.
- Place the bread, parmesan and herb leaves into a blender bowl. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and blitz the mixture. Pack the crust on top of each fillet to a depth of about 1cm.
- Preheat oven to 200°c/gas 7.
- Place the tomatoes on the tray next to the fish, and drizzle them with balsamic vinegar. Place the tray into the oven for 20-30 minutes.
- When the crust is nicely browned and the fish is fully opaque, turn the heat off.
- Boil the broccoli in a little salted water for 5-6 minutes, or until just tender. Strain them.
- For the white sauce, melt a small knob of butter in a pot. Add a spoonful of plain flour and whisk the roux. Start adding milk, a little at a time, allowing the sauce to thicken each time. Finish with a little salt and pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon juice (it should be just thick enough to coat a spoon).
- Plate up by placing each fillet in the centre of the plate, add the tomatoes and broccoli on either side, and drizzle the lemon white sauce across the fish to finish.
Chef’s tip: ‘Any thick fillet does well with the crust-baked method, as the crust keeps the moisture in the flesh ensuring your fish is soft and moist. Try it with sea bass, monkfish or even salmon, and modify your crust for different flavours,’ says Brian Kraemer-Banks
Photography by Helena Bliss. www.helenablissphotography.co.uk