Inspired by the childhood favourite of fish fingers and mash, this 30 Minute Meal of crusted cod, mashy peas and tartare sauce is gorgeous and comes highly recommended.
As with the 30 Minute Asian Style Salmon, don’t cook this dish if you are feeling frugal. The cod ideally needs to come from a fish monger and it’s expensive to purchase the specified 1200g fillets. Having said that, I firmly believe it’s worth the expense as the cod is by far the star of the meal with its crispy breadcrumb topping and punchy tomato sauce. It is indeed a giant, fancy fish finger and a great pleasure to eat.
A food processor is used extensively throughout the preparation and is essential if you want to stick to the 30 minute timeframe; I only have a blender so the recipe took around an hour to make despite the fact that I omitted the salad as it contains pancetta. The quantities of potatoes, broccoli and peas will easily make enough mashy peas for eight people so consider lowering the amount of potatoes if cooking for less.
- Turn the grill on to a high heat and boil the kettle.
- Chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks (no need to peel) and place into a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add salt and cover the potatoes with the boiled water from the kettle then cover with a lid.
- Trim the dry end from the broccoli then separate the florets from the stalk. Place the florets to one side then chop the stalk into 2cm chunks and add to the saucepan with the potatoes.
- Drizzle some olive oil into a large roasting tray or ovenproof dish that will accomodate the cod. Add the fennel seeds, salt and pepper into the dish then coat the cod fillets in the oily mixture. Place the fillets skin side down then put the dish under the grill on the bottom shelf in your oven so that the top doesn't cook too quickly.
- Break the bread into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Crush in two cloves of garlic and some of the olive oil from the tin of anchovies. Blend until you have breadcrumbs then tip them into a bowl.
- Place half of the anchovy fillets into the food processor or blender then add the sun-dried tomatoes and a little of their oil. Add the other two cloves of garlic, the chili, parmesan and the basil. Grate in the zest from the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Add around a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar then process until you have a thick sauce (this took a while using a blender).
- Remove the fish from the oven and spread the tomato sauce over the top of the fillets then finish with the breadcrumbs. Top with the rosemary and thyme sprigs (I sprinked over a few of the dried equivilents) then place back under the grill until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown (around 10 minutes).
- By now the potatoes should be nice and soft so add the broccoil florets and the frozen peas into the saucepan then cover with the lid. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Rinse out the food processor or blender then add in the gherkins, capers, parsley and the remaining anchovies and their oil. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and drizzle in some olive oil. Blend until smooth then transfer into a bowl and mix in the mayonnaise. Taste and add more lemon juice as required then sprinkle over the paprika.
- Drain the potatoes/vegetables and leave in the colander for a while to allow all of the water to evaporate then transfer back into the saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, seasoning and mint sauce then roughly mash everything.
- The fish should be cooked by now so remove it from the oven and take it to the table along with the mash and tartare sauce. Serve with a lemon wedge and chilled white wine.