A nice piece of cod: Cod with Thyme Oil
Although fish has never been one of my favourite foods, this trip to New Zealand and the Kiwi dependence on fish and chips as a fast food while travelling is changing all that. Rather than just taking the scoop of chips, I’m a fully paid up member of the battered fish-eating fraternity now. While I’m content to leave the cooking of fish and chips to the chippers around the country, I have decided that it’s time that I learned how to cook fish myself – especially given the largesse of the seas around New Zealand.
Saturday night was designated fish night this week but we were nearly thwarted from the outset when the great fishmongers shop in town turned out to be closed and the place we thought was a fishmongers wasn’t. Thankfully we eventually managed to get our hands on some cod from Akaroa, a small fishing village near Christchurch, before we had to retire home and then there was only the job of figuring out how to cook it!
With a nod to Nigel Slater’s recent Grilled Monkfish with Lemon Thyme in the Observer Food Monthly, I decided to cook the cod with a thyme oil made in my new, perfect pestle and mortar. But, rather than grilling or frying it, I made my life much easier by baking the cod – less fishy cooking smells that way – and the experiment was a success! The thyme oil gave the cod a lovely, herby flavour and it was a fabulous dish served with Roasted Vegetables and on top of Creamy Lentils with Bacon.
Cod with Thyme Oil
Cod – 2 x 200g fillets
Fresh thyme – a handful
Peppercorns – 10
Sea salt – ½ teaspoon
Olive oil – 3 tablespoons approx
Shuck the thyme leaves from the stems and put them into a mortar. Add the peppercorns and salt and crush well. Add the olive oil and mix well. Rub the thyme oil into the cod then place in an oven dish. Roast at 200°C/400°F for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.
Just curious if Cod is not an endangered species down there in New Zealand? Up here in Ireland the poor Cod has been overfished almost to the point of extinction, and has been replaced by none other than New Zealand Hoki.I love a good bit of cod but both the high prices and the guilt trip make it not as enjoyable as it used to be.
Not to add to the guilt trip, but the boyfriend is just telling me that there’s a question of how sustainable Hoki actually is. Having said that, it’s easier for New Zealand to enforce fishing quotas than Ireland. The cod that I used in this recipe was from sustainable sources in Akaroa, near Christchurch, but it’s easily to substitute it in this recipe with halibut, sole, haddock, whiting or hake. It all depends on what your local fishmonger has in stock.
Saffron strands and paprika can make a really good spice rub for cod, excellent recipe though, many thanks.