Friday, 16 September 2011

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Filetto di Merluzzo Speziato con Insalata di Faro e Lenticche 
Savory Cod Fillet on a Barley and Lentil Salad

I decided it was time to cook up the second of my 3 cod fillets tonight... fittingly so, on a Friday I thought. I woke up with that thought on my mind and put some lentils and barley in a pot to soak- it just shortens the cooking time if you do so. So I did so. And it all went to save me time in making my second of possibly many more delicious fish dishes... which can only be a good thing- and which looked something like this...

Oh, fish! it is not so much the flavor, but much more the consistency that most often than not disagrees with me. Often it is the preparation and the lack of imagination when it comes to seasoning too. Sure- there are tried and tested combinations, which simply work well... but for me as a creative gastronaut, I need room to experiment and discover. 

I started out by preparing the lentils- as the fish hardly takes any time at all to fry- so it was a combination of celery, carrots, spring onions, parsley, dill and spices that went into the barley and lentils to make them so delicious. I put the lentils and barley into a dry pan with some finely chopped bacon and turned up the heat pretty high- enough to let the bacon start to give off its juices, which of course get soaked up. Next came a little vegetable broth, the celery slices and the julienne of carrot and the finely chopped spring onions and the whole thing cooked for 3-4 minutes. I used a little Ras el Hanout spice, salt, pepper and cayenne, which I stirred into a dressing, along with lime juice and olive oil. I added a little finely chopped parsley and dill and that was it basically! Easy, huh?

To make the fish more fun, I made a little seasoned salt again- just to do a little something different. I ground a little coriander seed, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, caraway and fennel seed together with some orange zest, a hint of sugar and some mustard seed. Yes indeed, that is what I sprinkled the fish with. I popped it into a dry pan, with the underside pointing down, für just 1 minute and sprinkled it with the salt/seasoning mix. After the first minute, I cranked up the heat, flipped over the fish, added a tiny pat of butter and another sprinkle of the salt/seasoning. I gave it another minute, 2 at the most, which was all it took to get it lovely and golden... and ready to serve!

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