Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Pan Fried Cod Fillet with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

Pan fried cod fillet with roasted Mediterranean vegetables

Cod in the UK is probably most often battered and deep fried or shallow fried in breadcrumbs. It would also traditionally of course be served with chips. While I absolutely love cod and other white fish served that way on occasion as much as anyone, I've got to say that I much prefer it cooked and served in a Southern European/Mediterranean style. The beautiful weather here the past few days has had me thinking of summer, so this was what I came up with for my dinner just last night.

Supermarket pack of mixed Mediterranean vegetables

Ingredients (Serves One)

Supermarket pack of assorted Mediterranean roasting vegetables*
Rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
Generous pinch dried basil
Generous pinch dried oregano
1/2 pound cod fillet (skin on)
2 or 3 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
Freshly chopped basil to garnish

*Buying the vegetables in a pack like this is not just convenient, it costs a fraction of the price. If your local supermarket doesn't sell packs like this, you can of course buy the vegetables individually. This pack was made up of red onion, cherry tomatoes, sliced courgette (zucchini) and sliced bell peppers.

Mediterranean vegetables ready for roasting

Directions

Put your oven on to preheat to 450F/220C/Gas Mark 8.

Drizzle the vegetables liberally with rapeseed oil. Season with salt, pepper and the dried herbs. You could use a spoon to mix them well and ensure even coating but I always use my hands. It's much quicker and easier. Put them in to the hot oven for half an hour.

Fresh cod fillet

When the vegetables have been in the oven for about twenty minutes, pour two or three tablespoons of oil in to a large, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Scatter the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper.

Seasoned flour for dusting cod on skin side

Pat the skin side only of the cod in the seasoned flour before adding it to the frying pan, skin side down. Season the flesh side of the cod with a little more salt and pepper.

Starting to fry cod fillet

It's not possible to give an exact cooking time for the cod fillet as it will depend on its thickness. The idea is to leave it on the skin side on a medium heat until you can see it is cooked at least three-quarters of the way through. That took about six minutes in this instance. You should then reduce the heat to low and carefully turn it with a fish slice on to its flesh side for a couple of more minutes.

Cod fillet is finished off frying on flesh side

The vegetables can be removed from the oven while the cod is finishing frying on its flesh side.

Oven roasted Mediterranean vegetables

Use a slotted spoon to arrange the vegetables on a plate as a bed for the cod.

Roasted Mediterranean vegetables arranged as a bed for cod fillet

Carefully lift the cod from the pan and on to the bed of roasted vegetables. Note that it should be plated skin side up. Garnish with the freshly chopped basil leaves.

Cod fillet is laid on roasted vegetables bed

The skin should easily peel clean off the cod fillet in one piece, though you may need to start by loosening it at one corner edge with a knife.

Skin is peeled easily from fried cod fillet

The beautiful white cod flesh should virtually fall apart in to chunks at a touch of your fork.

Cod fillet should easily separate in to large flakes for eating

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