Pan Fried Cod with Luxury Peas and Baby Potatoes


It’s early January, so everyone is on a health kick. However, for many, it’s also the first day back to work after a long and wonderful festive holiday. And when you down tools at the end of what feels like the longest day ever, what do you crave? Comfort food is my guess – I certainly did today. And when I walked past the fish and chip shop on the way home, it was as though it was calling out to me.

But I resisted, because I knew I had some delicious ingredients lined up for this lovely meal at home. It’s basically got all of the ingredients of fish, chips and mushy peas, so it tastes great, and it’s just that little bit better for you, so you can eat it and feel (a little) angelic at the same time!

This will serve 2 (the peas and potatoes are enough for 4, but as usual we’ll have the leftovers for lunch as a glorified potato salad. You can easily expand it to serve 4 by increasing the amount of fish), and will take about 30 minutes to make.

This recipe is also part of my Cheap Eats project.

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Pan Fried Cod with Luxury Peas and Baby Potatoes

2 boneless cod fillets

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp plain flour

160g cubed pancetta

1 onion

1 small glass of white wine (optional – only if you have the dregs of a bottle in the fridge)

75ml single cream

300g frozen peas

600g baby potatoes

10g butter

Small handful fresh chopped parsley, or 1 tsp dried parsley

1. For the potatoes, put a large pan of water on to boil. Halve any large potatoes and add them all to the pan, put a lid on and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes. When cooked, drain and add the butter and parsley. Mix well.

2. For the peas, tip the pancetta into a saucepan. Cook over a high heat until they start to crisp, then add the chopped onion and turn the heat down to medium. After 2 minutes, tip in the wine, if using, and allow to boil down. Then tip in the cream and peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the peas are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

3. For the fish, heat the oil in a frying pan. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper and dust with the flour. When the oil is hot, add the fish and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden and flaky.

4. Serve a portion of the fish with a mountain of potato and a mound of peas. Enjoy!

Chorizo and Pea Pearl Barley Risotto


This isn’t technically a risotto at all; it’s made with lovely pearl barley (I had some left in the cupboard from my Pearl Barley, Vegetable and Bacon Broth) which makes it comforting, light and less labour intensive than a normal risotto.

You already know I love the flavour combination of chorizo and pea (Chorizo and Pea Pilaf, Creamy Chorizo and Pea Gnocchi) and they work just as well as always in this tasty recipe. Mixed with parsley and just a little crumbling of feta (instead of the parmesan you’d normally have on a risotto) it’s a winner.

This will take about 40 minutes to make and will serve 4.

Chorizo and Pea Pearl Barley Risotto

225g chorizo ring

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

350g pearl barley

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 litre chicken stock

250g frozen peas

1 handful chopped parsley

10g feta

1. Slice the chorizo and put in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook until golden and crisp, then remove from the pan.

2. Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Sizzle for 30 seconds, then add the pearl barley. Stir to coat it in the chorizo oil, then tip in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 25 minutes, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

3. Throw in the peas, heat for another 2-3 minutes until the peas have cooked through, then season with salt and pepper.

4. Stir in the chopped parsley and the chorizo. To serve, top each bowl with a little crumbled feta.