Friday, 28 February 2014

Thyme for some Lemon

Merluzzo Involto in Pancetta & Patate Rosse al Timo & Limone
Bacon-Wrapped Cod & New Red Potatoes with Lemon & Thyme

Every now and again, I go out of my way to make a fish dish... I like the sound of that, "fish dish"- kinda fun! And this actually was kinda fun, even for someone who is not the greatest fan, generally speaking. I like cod and sword fish, mahi-mahi and monkfish are also nice... and I love shrimp, octopus or cuttlefish... the rest... not so much- what's a guy to do? 

Of course we all have preferences in food as much as in any other aspect of life... and maybe even more, which is why I at least try to stay open minded and to give things a try, maybe in a slightly different way than what I am used to- and on occasions when I do that- dishes like this one happen and I even surprise myself!  ;-)

The typical herbs to use with fish are parsley and dill, generally speaking, but I was in the mood for something a little more Mediterranean I guess and the thyme was just asking for it- lol! I wanted to use some stronger flavors and tangy lemon and thyme are favorites of mine, which would also work well with the sweet, new potatoes... and with a touch of salty bacon to add a nice contrast and a little extra depth of flavor, I decided I was on to a good thing... and got busy preparing it!

This was an amazingly simple little dish top prepare and only took 20-25 minutes or so- which is another good thing about it, right there. The only prep-work to do on it is to a.) boil the potatoes- which in this small size took only 10-15 minutes at the most and b.) to wrap that little bit of fishie up!

I did that by simply cutting a slice of lemon, laying it on top of the cod, adding some thyme and then wrapping it up with a couple of rashers of lean bacon. I cut another couple of slices of lemon to add to the potatoes later on and sliced a couple of cherry tomatoes in half as a juicy little extra, turned on the broiler in my oven ready for action later, grabbed my frying pan- and let the cooking begin!

I turned up the heat on a non-stick pan and gave it a minute or two before adding the cod and lemon parcel, then waited a minute or so until the bacon began to sizzle. I then carefully flipped it over, pressed it down and added a pat of butter. After just a minute or so, I flipped it back over again and then set it to one side. Thats right- it was just in the pan for 3-4 minutes at the most- basically, to get the bacon lightly colored, to get it to shrink a little so that it would hold together more tightly- and to get some thyme and bacon flavor onto the base of the pan... ready for the potatoes to be added!

They were boiled and soft and tender by now, so I drained them and set them onto my chopping board, gave them a squeeze with the flat-edge of my knife so that they gently popped open and then added them to the pan with a sprinkle of thyme, a few pieces of lemon and another pat of butter. I gave them a quick toss to get them nicely shiny and coated and once they too began to brown, after just a couple of minutes, set them to one side too... because next came the tomatoes!

They of course also went into the pan with a touch more butter- this was just a little pat each time folks- you can see in the images that this was not a fatty dish! You just need enough to add a little moisture and a lot of flavor... not a lot of fat and a butter overload!

After just a minute or so, I flipped the tomatoes over and pushed them to one side, then added the potatoes and the fish again. I fried them separately in order to avoid the tomatoes getting mashed-up and making the pan sticky whilst frying everything together as I wanted everything to stay clean and dry and retain its own flavor... and I wanted to avoid having unnecessary washing-up to do!

In any case, once everything was back in the pan, I added salt, pepper and a tiny drizzle of honey- just a little bit! This would bring out the best of the tomatoes, potatoes and bacon in combination with the tangy lemon and thyme... you are going to love it! I gave them a gentle flip over so that I could do that from either side and popped them under the broiler to come back up to temperature and finish cooking to completion. And to lightly caramelize and turn super-delicious... and it took no more than 3-4 minutes- just enough time for me to grab a plate and get ready for a lovely light supper!

If you love fish- you will like this... if like me, you don't- then this will be a pretty safe bet if you want to go out on a limb :-) haha! And with each time that I do that... I start to like fish just a little bit more- which can only be a good thing, right? Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment