Pan fried cod with pea, mint and lemon salsaMay 28, 2014
It's been a long couple of weeks of decorating, packing and moving along with both of our jobs seeming to throw EVERYTHING at us all in one go. Needless to say we are both feeling pretty wrung out and in need of some r&r and wholesome nourishment.
The local Hope Street Farmers Market has return to Lippitt Park for the Summer season opening with it's Wednesday afternoon session between 3-6pm. I hopped in the car post work and mad dashed it up to the park in the hope of snagging some local fresh fish for a much needed injection of goodness.
Though the Wednesday offering of stalls tends to be a bit lighter than the Saturday session, I was delighted that 'The Local Catch' pitch up on a Wednesday. I had the intention of grabbing a pair of fillets for dinner but was so seduced by the ice filled tray of local fish and seafood that I ended up coming away with Cod, Blackfish and Scallops- and I don't regret a thing!
Tonight is the turn of the Cod, feeling a little homesick (as we always do when we're a bit run down) I wanted to do a play on the British favourite of fish and chips but in a lighter healthier way. The weather has also been teasingly Summery so a full on fried dinner just didn't feel right with all this sunshine.
I alighted on the idea of pan fried cod with pea salsa (plus a roasted potato salad which will be on the blog soon).
2 fillets of Cod- though this dish would be lovely with any white fish or even some salon.
1 cup of peas- mine were frozen, my thoughts on frozen verses fresh peas and sweetcorn can be found here if you're inclined to read
The juice of half a lemon
A small bunch of fresh mint leaves
Salt and Pepper
Defrost the peas by rinsing them under hot running water, don't boil them in a pan or anything, you want them to be unfrozen but not warm or hot.
Squeeze over the juice of the lemon half then add in finely chopped mint. My small bunch of mint amounted to a generous pinch from the bunch I had on the windowsill and ended up as a good heaped tablespoon of fine choppings.
Scrunch the peas with your hands to mix the ingredients together, by srunching you will creak up some pea whilst leaving some whole creating a nice texture. Unlike the traditional mushy peas, which I use a stick blender to make, you don't want to create a paste, you want a salsa constancy- the lemon and pea juice keeping everything moist and mixed while the scrunched and whole peas give a bite.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside whilst you cook the fish. If you are making this in advance pop it in the fridge, other wise leave it at room temptreture. I don't like it to be fridge-cold over the top of the hot fish as it cools the fish too much.
I cook the fish really simply with a little butter in a medium hot pan for about 3-4 minutes each side (depending on the thickness of your fish) the fillets I had weren't super thick so this was more than enough to cook my fish through and give it a few little golden touches here and there.
Let the fish rest in the turned out pan, off the heat for a minute then douse it with the butter and pan juices before serving up. Heap a generous portion of the fresh pea salsa over the fillet and pair with chips or roasted potato salad (coming soon!).