Enjoy roasted Norwegian cod with pepperonata and basil
I'VE been lucky enough to travel out to Norway twice recently and my second trip was all about line fishing.
We were out on the cold, clear Norwegian waters in the height of the Skrei cod season.
Skrei is a seasonal cod migration and typifies all the qualities of Norwegian cod, a superb quality fish with large succulent chunks, super-fresh and completely sustainable.
The fish were so abundant — Norway has the largest-growing cod stock in the world — it was astonishing.
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We caught 8-10 kilo cod, fish after fish after fish, eating some of it right there on the boat, sashimi style.
The rest we took back home and cooked — just like the recipes here.
Pepperonata is an Italian stew of peppers and onions, it's great with any fish and especially works well with our favourite fish, Norwegian cod which is available all year round.
Use Skrei when available between December and March. Serves four.
4 pieces Norwegian cod loin, about 180g each
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
good pinch of cumin
juice of one lemon
1 red pepper, finely shredded
1 yellow pepper, finely shredded
few basil leaves, roughly torn
splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar
HEAT some olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, onions and thyme and cook gently for 10-15 minutes without colouring. Add the tomato paste and sugar and gently cook, add peppers and gently cook for a further 30-35 minutes until softened and the whole mixture is really stewed down.
Add the saffron and cumin and continue to cook down, and then add a good splash of red wine vinegar to balance the sweetness.
The pepperonata should be a soft and really cooked down — tasting almost sweet and sour from the natural sweetness of the ingredients and the vinegar.
Pre-heat a frying pan and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, season the fish and then place in the pan until golden on one side. This will only take four to five minutes. Turn the fish over then place the whole pan in the oven which is pre-heated to 240 to finish the cooking for a further four to five minutes.
Warm the pepperonata and stir in a few basil leaves and a little squeeze of lemon, season and serve with or alongside the fish.