Fast and Easy Baked Cod

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: easy

‘A baked cod … with a simple cooking method. And actually, perfectly manageable to cook when you get home from work for two, or a family of 4. Mum loves to have fish on Fridays, it’s her thing. Oli the cat knows this too – meows a few times, which is mums cue to fill his bowl with scraps. A beautiful dish, with fresh feel-good ingredients.’

Leo Williamson
'Here's a healthy, easy Baked Cod recipe from Dad. Delicious fish on the bone that holds in all the juices, garnished with black olives and basil.'

What you need

700g – 800g thick loin fillets of sustainable cod – or other white flaky fish

750g waxy potatoes such as charlotte, wash, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 medium onion cut in half and sliced thinly

125ml white wine (optional use stock or water instead)

250ml fish stock, chicken stock or water – plus extra if needed

1 small bulb of fennel thinly sliced

1 green or red pepper sliced

1 medium leek washed and sliced into thin rings

2 cloves garlic – crushed or chopped

2 bay leaves

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped

400g cherry tomatoes

2 tsp oregano

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Black olives

Fresh basil or parsley to garnish

2 lemons



Dad's Recipe Tales

What’s the point of baking fish?

Fish cooks so quickly you can’t help thinking it’d better off in a frying pan. Besides fish doesn’t brown like meat, so it will not have the delicious crust you get on a joint of meat. Also slow-roasted fish just dries out, unlike a slow-roasted joint of meat, whose sinews and collagen denature to give moist, gelatinous and tender texture.

But there are good reasons for roasting fish. Fish is at its best when roasted whole on the bone – the bones keep the moisture and flavour in the flesh. But if you can find a good thick fillet of fish, roast it on a bed of vegetables and the juices from the fish will make a delicious sauce in the roasting tin – as it does in the recipe posted here…

How Dad Cooked It

This recipe is wholesome, tasty and good to eat. It does include a potato base, but due to the little fat in the remaining ingredients it actually quite light. The cooking method is easy and healthy. It’s basically a ‘technique’ which can be adapted to suit your tastes and ingredients. Vegetables are roasted in the oven and the fish is added at the end. Potatoes are used to create a gratin-like base, however these could be substituted for brown rice or other whole grains. Use the tin foil to tightly cover the roasting tray and cook the rice and vegetables like a pilaf. Then finish with the fish and tomatoes.

Preheat the oven to 200C, Gas 6

Cook the vegetables. In a large roasting tin, mix the sliced onions, potatoes, leek, fennel, pepper, chilli, garlic, bay leaves and 1 tsp oregano. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and a good glug of olive oil. In a separate pan boil the wine and reduce by a quarter add the stock and bring back to the boil. Add the liquid to the roasting tin and cover loosely with tin foil. Put in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for 10 minutes. If the veg looks dry add more stock or water. Add the tomatoes cook for 10 minutes.

Add the fish. Place the fish and black olives on top of the potatoes, sprinkle over the oregano and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning. NB: if you are left with excess liquid, drain it from the pan and boil to reduce into a sauce.

Garnish and serve. Place portions individually on plates or transfer all the fish and potatoes to a large serving platter or simply put the pan on the table. Serve with lemon quarters and garnish with basil.

 

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