Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Recipe corner: Cod with Parma ham and spiced lentils

Readers, I have given up.  I am simply going to stop trying to make my photographs of food look good.  I’m just not prepared to spend the time and energy lining up the perfect shot – not to mention the fact that I’m not prepared to eat cold food.  No, instead, I am going to Instagram the crap out of everything and pretend that I am being abstract and arty.  Here, for example, we present “Cod noir”.

Cod Noir

So.  D and I have been together for quite a long time – even if you knock off the year that we spent apart (but still saw each other on an almost daily basis.  We were BAD at being separated).  Anyway, it has been a long time, so it is nice that he can still surprise me.  Recently, he declared that he was going to cook a dish of cod and spiced lentils.  I was dubious.  It didn’t sound like the kind of thing that would particularly float either one of our boats.  I tentatively suggested that he wrap the fish in some sort of bacony product (reasoning that everything tastes better with bacon) and then left him to it, expecting to find it all rather meh.

How wrong I was – dear Reader, this was SUPER tasty.  The salty bacon and the fragrant, deeply savoury lentils are the perfect accompaniment for soft, sweet flakes of lovely fish.  There is spice but very little heat (D suggests upping the chilli content).  And it is very good for you.  I would definitely commend this one to your attention.

If you omit the oil altogether, you save 4pps per portion.  Which is nice.


Tbsp. oil
Tsp. mild curry powder
Tsp. Garam Masala
Tsp. turmeric
2 x thick cod fillet (loins are good for this)
4 x slices of Parma ham

120g dried Puy lentils
Tbsp. oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
Red onion, finely chopped
Tsp. ground cumin
Tsp. ground coriander
Chicken stock cube (or pot, which is what we use)
Lemon – zest of whole and juice of half

4 tbsp. low fat natural yoghurt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground coriander
Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Serves 2, 15 pro points per portion

Preheat the oven to 200.

Cover the lentils with water and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until they are tender.

Combine the yoghurt, coriander (fresh and dried) and cayenne pepper and set aside.

After the lentils have had 15 minutes, put an ovenproof frying pan lightly coated with oil a tablespoon of oil over a high heat.  Coat the fish with the dried spices and wrap in Parma ham.  Fry for 2 minutes until the ham has started to crisp up and then transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 5 minutes.

Once the cod is safely confined, turn your attentions to your lentils.  Drain thoroughly and then heat a further tablespoon of oil in a clean pan and put the onion into soften.  After a couple of minutes, add the garlic and dried spices, and, once all of these are cooked you can add the lentils and stock pot and combine thoroughly.  Add the lemon zest and juice and season to taste.

Serve the lentils topped with the cod and a generous dollop of yoghurt.

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