CHEF and food blogger Paul James writes for our paper.
THIS is a dish I created myself but please go with me on it – it’s from no country in particular I’ve visited but with all this doom and gloom surrounding us at the moment and not being able to travel, my culinarily brain was led to the Mediterranean.
It came to me as I was reminiscing of places such as Albufeira, Sóller, Palma and Corfu and seeing people sitting outside restaurants enjoying beautifully presented plates of local cuisine.
I remember seeing fish dishes such as Bacalao (salted cod) or a dish called Sopa de caçao, which is a traditional Portuguese specialty made from slices of dogfish shark.
I have fond memories of strolling down the side streets of the old town in Albufeira or wandering around Kassiopi harbour in Corfu with its array of little restaurants and the smell of Greek coffee wafting in the air.
Then there is Majorca with its beautiful beaches and stunning scenery and the nightlife of Magaluf which certainly opened the eyes of my then 15-year-old son as we dodged the good spirited-revellers on the way to the Notorious Sling Shot.
Anyway back to food, I decided to have a quick search in the fridge to try and recreate one of the many fish dishes I had seen on my travels.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any Dogfish Shark – the supermarket must have sold out when I did my big shop on Friday night, so I chose to do this flavoursome dish using cod.
I can see me now serving dishes of this ‘Anise Cod with Lemongrass and Pea Puree’ to holidaymakers and locals on the beach but maybe not the strip in Magaluf.
For more on Paul’s blog, click here.
Anise Cod with Lemongrass and Pea Puree
1 cod fillet (No Skin)
300g of frozen peas
2 Lemongrass stalks
Anise syrup (alcohol free) or small glass of Pernod
Salt and pepper to taste
100ml of milk or water. (For the pea purée)
1. Take two small saucepans and fill them both with 300 ml of water.
2. In the first saucepan place the peas and lemongrass (slightly crushed) cover and rapidly boil for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and leave to sit in the covered saucepan.
3. In the next saucepan add the Anise syrup to the water and bring to a boil. If you have a steamer great, if not use a small colander.
4. Place the cod fillet in the colander and let the anise mixture rapidly boil.
5. After six minutes, turn off the heat and let the cod take in the aniseed flavour.
6. Drain the peas, remove the lemongrass stalks.
7. Put the peas in a blender and add a drop of milk (water) to loosen.
8. Sieve into a clean pan, season to taste and gently heat.
9. Gently flake the cod fillet
10. Pour the puree into a warm bowl and carefully add the flakes of cod fillets.
All the best and enjoy