Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cod with a creamy citrus sauce

Photo by Juta Kübarsepp

One of my recurring new year resolutions is to eat more healthily - meaning eating more vegetables and oily fish, and less - a lot less - chocolate. However, I must confess that I'm still in the process of learning how to like fish. As a child, I was a very - and I mean VERY - picky fish eater. I'd refuse any fish on the table, apart from freshly smoked flounder, still hot from the smokery. When I grew a bit older, I allowed canned tuna & canned mackerel in tomato sauce onto my plate. Few years on, and I'm still reluctant to eat fish with lots of bones and served with the head still attached. And I will not touch herring, which is a staple back home and which caused me many an embarrassing moment when I was an exchange student in Denmark in 92/93. I swear, every single dinner I was invited to during that year began with a plate of cold herring..

But I'm trying, even if it sometimes means disguising the fishiness. Here is an easy and tasty dish with orange and lemon, which is not too fishy and would also suit picky eaters like me. This is not the first time I'm using orange to brighten up my fish - I also have a recipe for salmon with rosemary & orange. Both are delicious.

Cod with creamy citrus sauce
Adapted from a recipe in a Swedish magazine Hemmets Journal.

Serves 4

(Photo updated in August 2008)

500 grams cod (fillet or loin piece)
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp plain flour
200 ml hot (fish) stock
200 ml single cream
0.5 lemon, juice only
1 orange, juice and finely grated zest
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a generous handful of finely chopped flatleaf parsley
crushed black pepper

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the flour and stir until combined.
Add the stock (I made mine from Marigold Vegetable Stock Powder) and cream, mixing thoroughly to avoid any lumps. Let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the lemon and orange juice, bring the sauce to simmer again. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the cod fillet or loin into chunks and add to the pan, spooning some sauce on top of the fish. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on a low temperature for about 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
Add the garlic, parsley and orange peel to the saucepan and stir very gently - you don't want the fish to break into too many pieces.

Serve with boiled potatoes and any other vegetable(s) of your choice.


Alanna said...

The only bad fish I knew from Finland was kalakukko. Now THAT was truly vile! Yours looks delicious!

MM said...

Cod is a fabulous fish and married with oranges, it is truly divine. Love the recipe. It's different from how I would usually cook cod with orange - no cream in mine but I definitely want to try this out. Yums!

keiko said...

This looks/sounds delicious, Pille - I'm going to love it for sure! One of my recent favourite cod recipes has ginger and lime.

Pille said...

Ak - uuu - I haven't had the pleasure of trying kalakukko yet, but I don't really like the sound of it anyway. I like my fish, pork, bacon and bread all right, but not all at once..

Matt - believe me, this is not fishy at all:) Yes, it is a fish dish, but a nicely disguised one. So do give it a go. (I wouldn't even try this one with truly fishy fish like mackerel or herring obviously)

Mm - I agree, I like (now:) both cod and haddock and both are widely available here in Scotland. Will you share your no-cream cod&orange recipe with us?

Keiko - thanks! And I'd really like to try your lime&ginger cod dish - please-please post/send the recipe!!!

MM said...

Mine is fairly simple. I take an orange and slice some discs from it, juice it and mix the OJ with a cinnamon stick, half a star anise, grand marnier and ginger with a little brown sugar. I reduce this a little to get all the spices infused into it and to concentrate the taste. Then I just steam the cod with the orange segments above it in with some sesame oil. Halfway through the cooking process, I remove the orange segments, set these on the side of the fish, pour sauce over and finish cooking.

Maybe when I next cook this I will post this on my blog. Or maybe I will try yours first. Oh, decisions, decisions ... so many recipes, so little time!

Pille said...

MM - this sounds delicious, thank you so much for giving the recipe! I'm cooking salmon for 2 visiting Egyptian friends tonight, but next time I buy cod, I'll try out your recipe. Though seeing a picture on your blog first would be helpful! :)