Cod stocks are low, but over the past few years I have noticed an increase in the size of it coming through the back door of the restaurant. Hopefully the EU fishing regulations are beginning to work because this fish if beautiful and should be treated with total respect.
This dish will also work with Haddock, Whiting or Hake, the key to a good fish dish is FRESH FISH and keep thing simple. So get the freshest of leeks, runner beans and local bacon if you cannot get your hands on gubeen.
2 medium leeks
50g of runner beans
200ml of cream
60g of smoked gubeen bacon
1 tblsp of grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and white pepper
1tsp of English mustard
4 x 75g of fresh Cod fillets
Remove the root and tops of the leeks and split in half. Slice as finely as possible, wash under cold running water. For the runner beans, remove the strings from the side and chop them into fine slices on a slant across the bean. Place the leeks and beans into a saucepan and cover. Place them over a gentle heat and stir every few minutes, the cooking liquid will come from the leeks. This will take 4 to 5 minutes after which strain the juice off and put them back into the sauce pan with the cream, parmesan, mustard, salt and pepper. Cook for a further few minutes. This can be made in advance and reheated at ease.
Slice the bacon into lardons and fry in a little oil until it becomes crisp and beautifully golden, set aside.
Preheat the oven to the max temperature. Add some oil to a hot frying pan. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper and fry flesh side down until golden, 4-6 minutes. Just before turning add a good knob of butter and turn off the heat. Put the pan into the preheated oven for a further 3 minutes.
Place a good spoonful of the leeks and beans in the centre of a plate, sprinkle the bacon around and place the fish on top of the vegetables. Serve at once and enjoy the fruits of your labour