Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blue Eye Cod and Vale Joan Campbell

Without realising how timely I was, I had picked a Joan Campbell recipe to cook this week. Joan Campbell passed away a couple of weeks ago at the grand old age of 95. In food circles in Sydney, she was a legend, spanning both catering and journalism, as well as cookbook writing. As a teenager, I used to pore over her work in Vogue Entertaining, and still have a well-thumbed collection of the annual cookbooks they published. Amongst the faux French pretentious food that was being peddled at the time, her recipes distinguished themselves as dependable and delicious. Many of the recipes I learnt from her, I still make decades later. If you ever find them in a bookshop, titles from Joan Campbell that are worth buying include: Five Minutes in the Kitchen and Bloody Delicious.

The recipe below comes from "From Market to Table: Recipes and Ideas for Fresh Produce" by Joan Campbell and Barry McDonald. It is quick and easy, and even my kids loved it. If like me, you have nights where you want something satisfying that can be cooked inside 30mins, this is a good pick. Blue eye is a lovely white fish; feel free to substitute any other white fish that looks good to you (thicker fillets are better than thin for pan frying). Don't be afraid of the celeriac or the fennel; after cooking, both are very mild flavours. In fact this recipe might be a good way to introduce new vegies to your table.

Hope you enjoy.

Blue-Eye Cod With Winter Vegetables
adapted from "from Market To Table" by Joan Campbell and Barry McDonald
1 cup peas (frozen are OK)
8 baby pencil leeks, trimmed (look a bit like spring onions, with a milder taste)
125g butter (depending on your taste and your arteries, feel free to halve this)
salt & pepper
4 x 180g fillets of blue eye cod
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup white wine
2 baby fennel, trimmed and shredded finely
1 cup celeriac, peeled and sliced

Cook the peas in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until bright green and tender. Drain and set aside. Cook leeks in a separate saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Season the fish fillets and cook for 1-2
minutes. Turn the fish over and sprinkle with lemon rind, garlic and wine. Cover and cook over low heat for four to five minutes, or until just cooked. Remove from the pan, cover with foil and
keep warm.

Place the fennel and celeriac in the frying pan. Cook over medium heat stirring occassonally, until tender. Add the leeks and peas to warm through. Serve with the fish.

Serves 4.

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