Everyday Cooking

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blue-Eye Cod with Cherry Tomato Stew

Fish. I just don't cook it enough. I love it but my creativity with fish usually stops at baked salmon. Having found a fish I love will definitely change this, though. Blue-eye cod (Trevalla) is firm, delicately-flavoured and just lends itself to so many ways of preparing.

Blue-eyes are huge for eating fish. The four cutlets I picked up from the fish monger weighed almost 1.6kilos. That's 400g of succulent fish meat in the photo above. I'd normally stay away from large fish as I haven't really got the knack for preparing them. Tuna and swordfish seem to always turn out too dry, obviously from overcooking. However, Blue eye was easy to get perfectly crisp on the outside yet moist and tender on the inside.

I was going to prepare this simply fried with a bit of tartare sauce on the side but the husband came home with an interesting loot after a fishing trip on the river. No, he didn't manage to bag a decent catch (the bream were too small and had to be tossed back in) but his fishing buddies sent him home with a bucket of beautiful, juicy cherry tomatoes and a few fresh bay leaves from their garden. These went nicely into a ratatouille-style vegetable stew that beautifully-complemented the fish.

Blue-Eye Cod with Cherry Tomato Stew
serves four

olive oil
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 medium brown onion, sliced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 c very ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped finely
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
3 bay leaves, torn
1 yellow capsicum, sliced thinly
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 x 400g Blue-eye cutlets
1/2 Tbsp tumeric (optional)
1/2 c flour
salt and pepper

To prepare the vegetables, heat up the olive oil in the pan and toss in the fennel and onions.
Cook until soft. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar. Mix around until the tomatoes are soft. Throw in the bay leaf and cover with the heat on low. Simmer until the sauce has thickened up.
In the last few minutes of cooking, add the capsicum and cherry tomatoes. Mix around until thoroughly heated up. Do not let the tomatoes get overcooked. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

In the meantime, lightly dredge the fish cutlets in a mix of flour, tumeric (if using), salt and pepper. Fry on both sides until golden and the outsides are crisp.

Serve with the tomatoes and capsicum stew. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley.


Manggy said...

Great idea! Plus, instead of the tartar sauce you get more veggies.. I have a hard enough time finding monkfish here, sigh.. Also, my problem with big white fish such as halibut is that often there'll be no flavor in the center :/

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love fish and like you don't cook with it enough.
What a great idea!

Marvin said...

You might not cook fish enough, but I don't think I cook with fennel enough. I don't think I've ever even used the stuff once!

Kevin said...

That is a tasty way to serve some good fish. I will have to look for some blue eye code to try.

Cynthia said...

One of my favourite ways to have fish is curried.

Laurie Constantino said...

Mmm. Great on the spot improvising, to use the ingredients that unexpectedly came your way. This sounds wonderful. So you may not cook with fish often enough, but when you do you hit a home run.

tigerfish said...

Blue eye cod? I'm thinking if I have tried that before. Usually I just get cod.

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michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Fantastic recipe for fish,fennel bulb and all. I am going to try it. I am glad to visit your blog.

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