Summer has had this effect on me that all I want to eat is fish, sea-food, seaweed and so on. I am craving the sea taste. If I could, I would just pour myself a large glass of sea water and drink it (not really, but you get the idea). I wonder if it my body’s way of telling me that I need iodine or my stress levels crying for a relaxing holiday by the sea? Probably a little bit of both I guess… Unfortunately, holidays are off the radar this year and the most I could indulge in is probably a day in Brighton, which – don’t get me wrong – would be amazing (shopping in The Lanes, strolling by the promenade, getting wind and sun burnt on the pier, and of course ending a perfect day with dinner at my favourite fish restaurant EVER Riddle & Finns!).
In the meantime, I can indulge in this fresh, light and summery stew. This version uses bacon, but for a no meat Monday recipe, replace them with thinly chopped anchovies – you can’t actually taste them but just like the bacon they bring a nice saltiness and richness to the dish.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 people)
- 750 grams of frozen broad beans (or podded fresh ones)
- 250 grams of smoked bacon, sliced into lardon-sized strips. No-meat option: 3-5 salted anchovies chopped very thinly.
- 2 spring onions, chopped roughly
- 2 baby gem lettuces, washed and chopped in 2 lengthways.
- 30 grams of butter
- 1 tbsp of caster sugar
- A handful of fresh mint, chopped
- Salt & pepper
- 2 large fillets of cod cut into 4 pieces, boneless but with skin left on.
- 4-5 new potatoes per person, depending on size
- Cook your new potatoes skin-on in a large pan of salted water.
- Soak your frozen beans in lukewarm water and pod them. If using fresh beans, here’s how to prepare them.
- Saute your smoked bacon / anchovies in a casserole pan.
- When the bacon / anchovies starts colouring, add the chopped onions, lettuce leaves, broad beans and sugar.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Add a little bit of water if needed (you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan) and adjust your seasoning before adding the mint.
- Simmer on very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the stew is simmering, season your cod fillets with salt & pepper and cook skin side down on a frying pan. Keep the heat rather low as you want to cook the fish through slowly and without frying it. It should take about 10-12 minutes. You can also finish it up by placing your pan under the grill for a couple of minutes. I personally prefer to remove the skin for this recipe but I guess this is up to your taste!
Serve the stew in a deep plate with the fillet of cod placed on top and the potatoes on the side. This will be delicious accompanied with homemade mayonnaise, or just a squeeze of lemon juice!