With salt cod croquettes, and spinach, chorizo & lentil sauce
250g fillet salt cod
2 litres/31/2 pints milk
2 bay leaves
Rind of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 large potato, boiled and gently mashed
1/4 finely diced small red onion
1/2 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Fresh breadcrumbs, preferably sourdough
Start by preparing the cod. After curing, rinse off in cold running water to wash off any excess salt. Place in a large saucepan, covering with milk. Add the bay leaves, whole peppercorns and lemon rind. Gently bring almost to the boil and let it simmer until the cod is cooked through (roughly 20 minutes).
Strain the fish out of the milk, place in a bowl and gently pound with a pestle, making sure there are no bones or any skin. Then, season with lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt if necessary.
Combine the poached cod, potato, onion and parsley, seasoning with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary. Mould into small long shapes and coat first in flour, then the beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs. (To make these, tear up bread into small pieces and slowly add to a food blender while pulsing until finely ground.) Leave in the fridge until ready to fry.
When ready, carefully fill a heavy-based saucepan halfway with vegetable oil, and gently warm. (Alternatively use a deep fryer set to 180C.) Fry the croquettes in the oil until golden brown. Drain well.
The Chorizo and Lentil Sauce
100g puy lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
150g dried chorizo
1 tsp smoked paprika
Cook the lentils: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil; add the lentils. Simmer for 30 minutes or until just done – be careful not to overcook them. Drain well and set aside.
In the same pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the Madeira sauce and let reduce slightly, for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the lentils to the chorizo along with the paprika and salt to taste. Toss to combine. Serve warm.
The Madeira Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
15 black peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 c. Madeira
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 c. chicken stock
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until the shallots and garlic have softened.
Pour in the Madeira. Reduce until thick and sticky. Stir in the honey, followed by the chicken stock.
400g of baby spinach leaves
Pinch of nutmeg
Wash spinach in cold water. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the spinach and wilt.
Season with nutmeg and salt, then drain in a sieve.
Pan-fry the cod loins and serve with spinach, salt cod croquettes and lentil and chorizo sauce.
Buy Cod Loin from Bradley’s Fish Factory