Mudcat Café message #4046790 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4046790
Posted By: Steve Shaw
18-Apr-20 - 06:19 AM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
We've got Jamie Oliver on the telly showing us how to cook in a crisis. I tried one of his recipes last night, the one with cod (I used pollock because I had big chunks of it, wot is needed for the recipe) wrapped in smoked pancetta with lentils and spinach. He used one of those pouches of lentils but I started from scratch with puy lentils, which I cooked in weak veg stock with an onion and a bouquet garni (fresh parsley, thyme and a bay leaf, which is wot I had). Once the lentils are cooked, everything happens in one big frying pan (gotta be big).

Season the fish with pepper, then wrap the chunks in the pancetta slices. It doesn't matter if the ends stick out a bit. Fry the wrapped fish in a bit of extra virgin oil, medium heat. Depends how big the fish is, but my big thick pieces needed about ten minutes. Turn them a couple of times. Put the fish aside on a warm plate then throw the lentils into the frying pan with a splash of red wine vinegar. Check the seasoning. When the lentils are warm, push them to one side of the pan and throw some big handfuls of baby spinach in (I used about 200g for two of us).

Pile the lentils on to two warm plates and lie the fish on top. Put the wilted spinach on the side.

This was very classy eating, I can tell you. A couple of points: I do have pouches of lentils, but one 250g pouch wouldn't have been enough for two of us, and two pouches would have been too much. I started with a dry weight of 180g uncooked lentils, which was just the right amount once cooked. Second, the pancetta annoyed me by promptly dropping to bits as its fat melted away, which sort of ruined my presentation! Didn't spoil the flavour, however. Next time I think I'm going to try prosciutto instead of the bacon, hoping that it'll hold together better. I could use smoked streaky bacon, but I sometimes find that the smokiness is a bit too much for me. But wait until you can get some lovely thick chunks of very fresh white fish.