I was looking on the LoveFood website for an easy fish dish to prepare as I had some cod fillets in the freezer when I came across this recipe for cod and lentils from Omar Allibhoy.
Omar trained under both Ferran Adria (El Bulli) and Jason Atherton (Maze) before becoming head chef at El Pirata de Tapas and then founding Tapas Revolution in Westfield, London. They have also just opened a second site in the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent.
- 800 g (28.2oz) cod
- 1 Packet or tin of cooked lentils
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 red chillies
- 7 tbsp Spanish olive oil
- 1 quarter of a Spanish onion
- 30 ml (1.1fl oz) Amontillado sherry wine
- 1 tsp sweet pimenton
- 1 handful flat parsley leaves
- 1 pinch salt & pepper
Method of Preparation:
- Drain the lentils from their liquid and put aside.
- Thinly slice garlic and onion and begin frying these over a medium heat until light golden.
- Sprinkle in the sweet pimenton and quickly add the lentils and the shot of Sherry wine.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the flat parsley just before turning off the stove.
- Place another non-stick pan over a medium heat, pan fry the cod skin side down with a drizzle of olive oil for around 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the loin) before turning over and cooking for a further minute or so. Season to your liking.
- Serve the cod with the lentils and a drizzle of Spanish olive oil on the top.
The recipe says it should take 5 mins prep and 10 mins cooking which is very accurate (depending on how long it takes you to slice 5 garlic cloves). I was only cooking this for two so I halved all the ingredients and it worked really, really, well.
I do have to point out one slight problem with the recipe in that it mentions the use of red chilli in the ingredients but it’s not mentioned in the method. I just sliced mine quite thinly and put it in to cook with the onions and garlic at step 2.
I didn’t have any sweet pimenton so I used paprika, I didn’t have any Amontillado sherry so I used dry Manzanillo and I didn’t have any Spanish onion so I used spring onion. If these changes made the dish any less tasty then using the proper ingredients must produce an instant classic.
Just remember that just because you don’t have exactly what your recipe demands it usually won’t be a problem to make approximate substitutions based on what you have in the cupboard. I don’t cook a lot of Spanish dishes but I was able to bring this dish together using the ingredients I use more often than not in my South East Asian cooking (spring onion, paprika and dry sherry).