Friday, 7 June 2013

Now You Sea Me!

Merluzzo con Lenticchie Rossi e Barbabietola Rossa
Cod with Red Lentils & Beetroot

My second dish with fish this week and my second dish with beetroot... and what does that tell us? That I am a down-to earth kind of guy who hates to let food go to waste and that I really enjoy using the same ingredients over and over in different ways each time... I really find that to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of cooking!

And again it was a long working day, with me only returning home at 10pm! So what do you cook at that hour, if anything at all? Well, let me tell you, I almost did without... I almost considered a carry-out or home-delivery service... but then I thought to myself hell no! I only eat one full meal a day, so I figured I had deserved a decent one!

Both fish and lentils are cooked in a very short time, which is great... and the beetroot was left over from a couple of nights ago- which made this very quick and easy to prepare...

I began by boiling the lentils in just enough water to cover them for 4-5 minutes and whilst that was happening, I placed the cod onto my steamer above them, so that it would be precooked by the time the lentils were ready. After 4-5 minutes, most of the water had been absorbed by the lentils and they were almost good... but not quite... which was the perfect time to season and enhance them! I did that by adding some spring onion, finely chopped parsley and a tablespoon of tomato paste. I stirred these in with the addition of some olive oil, salt, pepper and a little coriander powder and then returned them to the heat for the remaining time on a lower setting.

Whilst the lentils gently finished cooking, I heated a little clarified butter in my frying pan and added a slice or two of ginger and a hint of crushed garlic. As soon as these began to sizzle, I added the cod and let it sizzle and sear on the spot for 2-3 minutes. I seasoned the cod with salt, pepper, some ground fennel seed and a little grated lime zest. I then carefully flipped the fish over and gave it a light sprinkle of seasoning, a squeeze of lime and then turned off the heat.

By the time I had spooned the lentils over my finely sliced beetroot, the fish was done- perfectly juicy and flakey and delicious! I added a strip of lemon zest that I had cut into slices and blanched for 20-30 seconds, to reduce the extreme sour taste, but sprinkled these over the fish and added a drizzle of lime juice and a hint of good olive oil. The finishing touch was a little vinegar, blended with oyster sauce, which gave everything an exotic sweet and sour flavor- perfect for the lentils in particular- but great in combination with the fish too.

Quick, easy and eye-catching yet again! I told you cooking was fun! 

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