One of the duller fish

It was our wedding anniversary last week and we went to a new and excellent fish restaurant in town. Weston-super-Mare is a seaside town, but I don’t think much fish is actually caught of our coast these days. We all had beautiful dishes, and enjoyed the evening very much. I really love fish, and thought I knew quite a lot about it – my dad having been a great angler as well as a great eater of fish. However glancing through the index of my Constance Spry cookery book, I saw a couple of recipes for cabillaud, well, I hadn’t a clue and on turning to page 455 I discovered it is cod. She describes it as ‘one of the duller fish, and… on the whole cod from a fishmonger needs a little help.’ I think that’s unjustified, cod is a fine fish in my opinion! She thinks it so dull she suggests this recipe for it:

Cabillaud au four Flamande

  • 4 slices of cod not too thickly cut
  • 2 large onions, cut in thin rounds, blanched and drained
  • 1 large lemon, zested, pith ad pips removed and cut into quarters
  • 2 or 3 sprays of parsley, stems removed
  • ½ oz butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 cider to cover 
  • browned crumbs
  • a good nut of butter
  1. place onion, lemon zest, lemon quarters, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix
  2. thickly butter a fireproof dish and add half of onion and lemon mixture
  3. place cod on onions and lemons, season, scatter remaining onion/lemon on top
  4. add cider and vinegar si the liquid is just level with the fish
  5. dust with brown crumbs and dot with butter
  6. cook slowly in the oven for about 40 mins or until the liquid has reduced by 2/3
  7. this is also good served cold, but reduce liquid and omit crumbs

I think 40 minutes for fish sounds a very long time, the poor thing would taste of little except onions and vinegar! I think I would omit the onions and vinegar, and cook gently in a pan until it’s cooked but not turned to either rubber or pap!

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