So this recipe is one that comes about as my wife and I am changing our eating habits slightly and wanted to introduce more fish into our diet. We also wanted to introduce new flavours for the kids too as they we believe that we should continually keep introducing new flavours to them. Even if they do not like them then at least we know they have tried. Now…. Do we make them try again…of course we do as the palette changes all the time and they may learn to like the flavours, smells and textures introduced to them. I know I can list many foods I never liked as a kid but love now. On this occasion this was a treat for my wife and I.
Now to this recipe! Knowing that I enjoy most fish dishes my wife’s palette is not so exhaustive so of the two I know she enjoys, cod and prawns, I looked online for some recipes and this was one of the first that appeared on BBC Good Food. Well the recipe was just for the risotto and I adapted this to include a nice firm crisp skinned cod fillet on top.
There is something wildly exciting about making risotto, a patience that is needed to ensure the pure enjoyment of stirring in each ladle of stock, watching as you stir gently, the stock slowly simmers, bubbling and melting away into the rice. Nearer the end of this dish as you add the prawns and tangy lemon and vibrant peas you know you’re in for a treat.
I really like the cod with this dish as the meaty yet soft and flaky white fish melts away along with the creamy risotto. Followed with the firm prawns and crisp skin the sensations and feelings you experience all superbly marry in your mouth as you elegantly enjoy your dinner.
And the verdict…an empty plate and vivid smile upon my wife’s face sealed the deal. We will most definitely be making this dish again and testing on the kids.
Pan Fried Cod with Prawn and Pea Risotto
- 4 x 120 g Cod loin fillets
- 400 g Raw prawns
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 red chilli deseeded, half sliced and half finely chopped
- 1½ ltr Vegetable stock
- 25 g Butter
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 300 g Risotto rice I used Arborio rice
- 200 g Frozen peas
- 2 tbsp. Chopped parsley plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 1 lemon zest and juiced
- Bring the stock to a rolling simmer and add the sliced chilli. Take the cod out of the fridge and leave on a plate to the side until needed. In a medium pan heat half the butter and a tbsp. of oil over a medium to high heat. Cook the onions for about 5-8 minutes until they start to go soft and try not to colour too much.
- Add the rice and stir until the rice is covered in the glisten of the butter and continue stirring until the edges of the rice become translucent then reduce the heat to medium heat.
- Start to add the stock a ladle at a time to the rice and stir continuously until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is cooked with a slight bite to it. This is called cooking to al dente. The rice will be of a thick soup consistency and very creamy.
- Add the prawns and peas and continue to cook until the prawns have turned pink and cooked through and take off the heat and stir in the remaining butter, chopped chilli, chopped parsley and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. At this point heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat.
- Heat a 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in the pan and lay the cod fillets skin side down and cook for 3-5 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden. Turn over and cook for a further minute and then add a little of the remaining stock, boil for second and remove from the heat as you get ready to serve.
- To serve spoon some of the risotto onto the centre of the plate then place a piece of the cooked cod on top. Serve with lemon if required a twist of cracked black pepper and a parsley sprig.