© David Loftus
cod, potato and scallion stew
The inspiration for this one comes from conversations with Icelandic and Danish friends who prize their cod. Traditionally, they prepare it in lots of different ways; pickled, salted, dried or smoked. This stew is similar to the way in which they slowly stew salt cod after soaking it (so that the excess salt seasons the other ingredients in the soup, like the potatoes). Good salt cod is quite hard to find these days, so I've adapted the recipe to use fresh cod, but you can also use hake, bass or halibut.
In an appropriately sized large pan, slowly fry your onion and leek with around 5 tablespoons of olive oil for 5 minutes, until soft and tender. With a teaspoon, remove and discard the fluffy tasteless core from the zucchini and grate the rest into the pan. Chop the potatoes into rough 1-inch dice and add to the pan. Give everything a good stir and then add the anchovies. Turn the heat up and add the white wine. Allow to cook down by half before adding your milk and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour, until the potatoes are tender. At this point add your cod and simmer for a further 15 minutes, until the flesh flakes away feel free to stir and break up the fish, but its quite nice to leave some big chunks as well. Season carefully to taste with salt and pepper. Divide between your bowls, and serve with a small handful of parsley and scallions dressed with a little olive oil and lemon juice.
Try this: Sprinkle a little orange zest over the parsley and scallions. It really works with the cod.
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, washed and finely sliced
extra virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
2 1/4 lb potatoes, peeled
1 wine glass white wine
2 cups milk
2 cups stock
2 1/4 lb cod fillet, skinned and pinboned
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 bunch of scallions, finely sliced
juice of 1/2 a lemon