When I was a child I would eat pretty much anything that could legally be called food with the sole (pun very much intended) exception of fish – unless it came in batter. I’m still not entirely sure why, but I have my suspicion it goes back to the horrific way that so many British restaurants used to present it – a horridly bland lifeless fillet of fish covered in an overly rich, oily sauce with boiled potatoes on the side.
In fact maybe it’s the boiled potatoes that are to blame… To be clear I’m talking about the truly soul destroying sight of translucent, watery, ghosts of potatoes that would often be sitting near some soggy cabbage and a thin gravy. Stripped of their skins, their flavour, their dignity. I disgress…
A lot has changed since and we now try and have a fish or seafood meal at least once a week, though we are often quite predictable and stick to the tried and tested threesome of Salmon, Sea Bass and Prawns. All other fish is usually saved for other people to prepare, be that in a restaurant or at the local chippy – so I thought it best to try out some other ways of working with fish, of which this was my first.
Parmesan Crusted Cod
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 25 g Panko Breadcrumbs (use homemade if you'd rather)
- 25 g Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Good Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed
- 1 Lemon, zested
- 0.5 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 0.5 tsp Paprika
- 0.5 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Cod Loin Fillets (150g-200g each)
- 20 g Butter
Preheat your grill to a medium-high setting.
Make the breadcrumb crust for the fish. Mix together the breadcrumbs, oil, parmesan, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt, paprika and pepper and set to one side.
Lightly season the fish and cook on one side in an ovenproof frying pan until just starting to colour - about 2-3 minutes. Turn the fish over and add a generous amount of the breadcrumb mixture to each fillet, before putting under the grill.
Cook under the grill for a further 4-5 minutes until the fish is opaque and cooked through and the crust starting to turn golden.
Add the butter and lemon juice to the pan around the fillets, allowing them to mix with the juices and make a light sauce. Serve immediately with your choice of potato and green beans.