20/08/2013

Steamed Cod & Parsley Sauce

Steamed Cod & Parsley Sauce
Classic British ... and kept Primal!

This is definitely one for the lactose tolerant amongst us and some folks will take issue with my use of the word Primal, there, but I am in no doubt that it is - yes, it's dairy, milk even, but well sourced and not thickened with a traditional roux or cornflour.

Traditionally, you'd begin with a roux of flour and butter into which infused milk is poured.Flour is out, as is cornflour ... which would be added at the end. Arrowroot is right out since it lends a slimy texture to the sauce which is not appealing.

How, then? Here's how ...

Begin with good milk. Raw, preferably. I used some Jersey cow milk which is of the A2 type, less problematic than the potentially allergenic A1 type, even for those who are lactose tolerant.

Half a pint is good for two people - we are going to reduce this, but we're also going to add some cream at the end. Half a pint is good, in a saucepan ... into which we add half a chopped onion, some tarragon, a couple of bay leaves and some white pepper to flavour up the milk.

Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Strain off the solids and return to the pan to reduce along with a generous amount of chopped parsley. Don't do this too quickly, but after another 10 minutes, or so, simmering, the liquid will be visibly thicker.

Meanwhile, prepare and cook the meal through - it'll only need maybe 10 minutes anyway.

Fish - I went with cod, which can be steamed in a kitchen foil lined steamer. I have a stacking steamer set, so this goes up on top.

Veggies - carrot, potato and peas, all in the base pan to boil through with spring greens in a steamer on top. Cod in a steamer on top of that, remember.

10 minutes ...

If your sauce is still reducing, just turn the heat off under your veggies and fish - they'll keep warm.

With your sauce now well thickened, add a dash of double cream, perhaps some salt to taste and if really necessary, a touch of cassava flour will just thicken it perfectly. Cassava flour, tapioca flour or even potato flour will do, as a beurre maniƩ.

There I go again with French phrases ... relax, it's just butter and flour mixed together into a paste, which is dropped into the sauce in chunks and whisked in until just right.

Serve out ...

Cod down, veggies alongside and sauce over the cod. Grind of freshly milled black pepper, grab your diggers and ... erm ... dig in! Perfect! Gorgeous comfort food, kept Primal.

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