The juicy flesh of blue cod works so well here with the zingy, citrus flavoured fennel salad.
As a stickler for pan-frying fish in butter, I have done so but you could use a little olive oil or a mixture of both butter and oil.
Recipe Created By Kathy Paterson.
600 - 700g blue cod, cut into thick strips (like chicken tenderloins)
butter for pan-frying
2 teaspoons freshly ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons bittersweet smoked paprika
salt and pepper
finely grated zest of 1 lemon or large lime
Salad + Dressing
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
350g small potatoes, scrubbed
2 small bulbs fennel with fennel fronds, trimmed
2-3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 lemon or lime, peeled with a knife and cut into segments
Combine the seasoning mix ingredients and set aside.
Make the dressing by shaking the oil, lemon or lime juice, sherry vinegar, mustard and a good few pinches of salt together in a jar. Taste and adjust acidity or if too sharp, add more salt.
Simmer the potatoes in a saucepan with enough salted water to cover them, cooking until tender. Drain and once cool enough to handle thickly slice, placing in a bowl as you go. Drizzle over enough dressing to moisten and gently toss to coat. Set aside.
If you have a mandolin (otherwise use your favourite sharp knife), slice the fennel bulbs so they are paper thin and place onto a serving plate. Scatter over the spring onion slices, the potato slices and the lemon or lime segments. Roughly chop a few leafy fennel fronds and scatter over before drizzling with enough dressing to moisten.
Rub the seasoning mix into both sides of the blue cod strips.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a good knob of butter and when it sizzles place in the blue cod strips, in batches, so not to overcrowd the pan. Pan-fry for about 4 minutes, turning once. Try not to get the pan too hot as you don’t want to burn the spices. If necessary, wipe out the pan with kitchen paper before adding a little more butter and the next batch. Place blue cod on top of the fennel salad. Drizzle with a little more dressing and a few more chopped leafy fennel fronds.
Tip – when pan-frying fish, remove the fish from the pan just before it is completely cooked as it will continue to cook more in its own heat.