Catch of the day – cod, prawns and summer vegetables with a shellfish broth

This is a simple but hearty dish, where many of the elements can be prepped in advance and then just assembled together. Do salt the cod in advance – this may appear to be a bit odd at first, but the salt firms up the fish and takes away that slightly wet texture. You will be amazed at the difference it makes to both the texture and the flavour – but don’t forget to wash the salt off before cooking it !

Serves: 4
For the sauce:
500ml shellfish stock (I use Waitrose 1 as you want a good tasty base)
200g  passata or tomato juice
1 slug brandy
10 cm finely chopped cooking chorizo
1 tsp smoked paprika
50 g butter

For the vegetables
half a p chopped and diced
1 courgette chopped and diced
2 small fennel (base and top removed) halved
8 small new potatoes, peel and cut into large dice or left whole
a few strands of saffron
knob of butter and a slug of olive oil

For the fish
150g large raw prawns
4 cod loins around 100g each cut into neat rectangles
2 tsp salt
knob of butter and a slug of olive oil
chopped parsley

Put the cod into a plastic container and add the slat all over the fish. Then make the base, tip the stock into a large pan, add the passata, smoked paprika, brandy and chorizo and bring to the boil. Simmer until you have reduced by about a third to a half, then add the butter a lump at a time until you have glossy well flavoured sauce.soup base. It should be not to thin just thik enough to coat the back of a spoon. Keep warm until needed.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add all the vegetables (except the potatoes) and boil for 3 minutes. Drain but keep the water for the potatoes. Refresh the veg in cold water, to stop them cooking, them separate the fennel from the courgettes and pepper. Add the saffron to the veg water and bring to the boil, and add the potatoes. Cook for around 15 minutes or until just cooked. Drain.

When you are ready to cook, heat the oil olive and butter in 2 small frying pans. Rinse the cod off to remove the salt and dry well on kitchen paper. Add the prawns to one and cook for a couple of minutes until pink and cooked through. Remove the prawns and add the fish to the pan. Cook the cod for around 5 minutes turning halfway through – until the flesh has turned white and is firm. Add the fennel and potatoes to the other pan and cook until lightly caramelized. Meanwhile tip the other veg and the prawns into the sauce to warm through.

To serve, place the fennel and the potatoe cubes into a deep bowl, add the sauce with the veg and prawns. Top with the fish, scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread.


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