Darling husband had a trip to the allergy specialist this week to investigate suspected seafood allergies, which meant a trip to the fish market for me to collect samples of everything we wanted him tested for. Being quite eclectic eaters, I found a very patient staff member and proceeded to circumnavigate one of the larger outlets collecting: 1 clam, 1 oyster, 1 mussel, 1 octopus (damn I forgot the squid), 1 scallop, 1 prawn, 1 crab and 1 lobster. Each went into its own ziploc bag and into a chiller bag. And the great news? He is allergic to none of these, so expect some seafood recipes in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, I picked up a lovely big fillet of blue eye cod for dinner. I like to cook fish at least once or twice a week for the family, and blue-eye cod (or as it is more correctly known, blue-eye trevalla) remains a favourite for all of us. It is a white fleshed fish that is meaty enough to withstand roasting or panfrying without being at all dry or tough. With the freezer challenge from Chris at Mele Cotte in mind, I decided to make a recipe I had spotted earlier on the Cuisine.com.au website for Pancetta-wrapped Blue Eye Cod. I knew I had a parcel of pancetta in the freezer that needed using, and the combination of fish and pancetta is lovely. It creates a pairing of crispy texture with the softness of the fish and salty taste from the pancetta with the creaminess of the fish. This recipe comes from Tobie Puttock who is making a name for himself in Australia as a cookbook author and head chef of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant in Melbourne.
Pancetta-wrapped Blue-eye Cod
adapted from a Tobie Puttock recipe on Cuisine.com.au
1 600g blue-eye trevalla fillet, skin removed and pin-boned
grated zest of 1 lemon
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
10 thin slices flat pancetta
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C. Season the fish with zest and pepper. Place fish on an oven tray, and wrap slices of pancetta around the fish, overlapping each one and tucking the edges underneath. Drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (NB The original recipe calls for panfrying the pancetta wrapped fillet before baking, but I didn't, and my pancetta was still crisp and my fish was cooked, so my advice would be don't bother).
The original recipe was served with salsa verde, but I forgot to buy my verde, so I created a salsa from pickle, anchovies, olive oil and lemon juice whizzed together in a blender. Delicious!