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7 of our favourite easy cod recipes

8 of our favourite easy cod recipes

by Great British Chefs 12 June 2018

This magnificent fish is one of the most popular in the UK for a reason – its thick, pearlescent flakes and meaty yet delicate taste makes it a standout choice whatever time of year. These recipes make the most of cod’s wonderful flavour.

Whether it’s deep-fried in batter, pan-fried in butter or poached in an aromatic broth, there are few things more satisfying than gently prying apart the white flakes of a cod fillet as you sit down to dinner. And provided you’re buying good quality cod from a sustainable source such as Norway (which exports some of the best cod in the world and provides the UK with a lot of fish), it is always delicious. No wonder, then, that it’s one of the UK’s favourite fish.

As with all fish, knowing how to cook a fillet or loin to perfection is key to doing it justice, but it’s so much easier than a lot of people think. Cod is incredibly versatile, and is as happy in a pan as it is in the oven, en papillote or in a poaching broth. As fantastic as fish and chips are, there are so many different dishes that put cod centre stage – take a look at some of our favourites below and get planning tonight’s dinner.

1. Cod loin with pimentón, spinach, pine nuts and raisins

The Spanish love cod, particularly when it’s salted, and this recipe from chef José Pizarro pays homage to the country’s most iconic flavours. Spinach is wilted with sweet raisins and crunchy pine nuts to create a bed for the cod, which has been briefly salted for half an hour. With heady pimentón (use paprika as a substitute if you don’t have any), a generous amount of garlic and the tang of sherry vinegar, this is a smoky, slightly spicy way to prepare cod with bundles of Spanish flair.

2. Skrei with chickpea and chorizo stew

If you haven’t come across Skrei before, it’s a type of migratory cod that’s found off the coast of Norway during the winter months. If it’s in season then it’s definitely worth seeking some out, but you can use regular cod as a perfectly acceptable substitute. Let the fish steal the limelight by keeping it clear and simply pan-fried; the chickpea and chorizo stew below complements the delicate, sweet fish but allows it to sing at the same time.

3. Pan-roasted cod loin with pea and asparagus risotto

This Italian-inspired dish is perfect for spring, as British asparagus and fresh peas will really make the risotto stand out. Basting the cod loin with butter as it cooks in the pan adds plenty of rich flavour, and do take the time to make your own vegetable stock – cubes and pots from the shops are often too salty and may overpower the more delicate ingredients.

4. Cod with spring vegetables

Another way of cooking cod during springtime, this deliciously simple dish is the way cod should be prepared – simply. Chef Jeremy Lee prepares a combination of artichokes, Jersey Royals, peas, broad beans and asparagus, drenches them in a pool of silky buttery sauce, adds a smattering of fresh herbs and places a fat, thick piece of cod on top. Bliss.

5. Pan-fried Skrei with cannellini beans and squid

The versatility of cod (or Skrei, when in season) means it can be the star of seasonal dishes in spring, summer, autumn or, in this case, winter. Served with a rich tomato stew filled with the flavours of paprika, wine, rosemary and garlic, the beautiful piece of fish is bolstered by creamy cannellini beans and gently braised squid. Squeeze the lemon on top before serving to lighten the dish, and you’ve got a bowl of something perfect for cold dark nights (although, to be honest, we’d equally devour this on a blazing summer day).

6. Skrei en papillote with olives, spinach and herbs

Cooking Skrei (or cod) en papillote essentially means placing it inside a tightly sealed piece of parchment or baking paper with other ingredients and placing it in the oven to steam. This is a very forgiving way of cooking fish, and has the benefit of saving on the washing up – you can even bring the parcels to the table for people to open up themselves, which adds a bit of theatre. Ensuring there’s plenty of garlic, lemon, herbs and olive oil will add a lovely background flavour, while the courgettes, olives and spinach play perfect supporting acts.

7. Roast cod loin with fennel and buckwheat

For something a little more robust, try serving cod alongside an earthy mix of nutty buckwheat and fragrant fennel. The flavours pair perfectly with the sweetness of the cod, and once you add the umami-rich dressing, full of the flavours of tarragon and anchovy, everything comes together in a cacophony of deliciousness.

8. Steamed cod in a light Japanese broth

Rosana's gorgeous steamed cod recipe shows how the simplest preparation is sometimes the best. She marinades her cod in sesame oil and yuzu before steaming it, and making a flavourful Japanese broth with dashi, chilli, peas and mushrooms. The two go together beautifully, and best of all, you can have it on the table in just 45 minutes.

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