04/11/2013

Cod & Puy Lentils [Variation]

Lentils are something that I enjoy eating on occasion, Puy lentils a variety I regard as quite special.

Today, a variation on a classic Cod & Puy - you can read my thoughts on lentils in the link, but generally, I regard them as fairly inoffensive and perfectly good to eat every now and again ... if that's what you want to do.

Puy lentils, a Protected Designation of Origin green lentil variety from the Le Puy region of France owes its distinct character to the terroir within which it grows.

It's autumn, and so I'm bulking this meal out a little ...

We'll have roasted cod over a sort of hash of leek, potato, carrot, puy lentil and spinach, with a green peppercorn sauce.

Constituents

Fish - Cod, athough any white fish will do, along with your favourite paleo fat, goose fat for me

Lentils - Puy lentils, leek, garlic, potato, carrot, spinach, black pepper, turmeric, ground coriander, chilli, fish sauce and your favourite paleo fat, goose fat, here

Sauce - Cream, fish sauce, spring onions and green peppercorns

Lentils

Let's get the lentils going ...

In a heavy based skillet, melt some fat and start to soften some shredded leek with the spices - I wanted a spicier version, although not necessarily a curry, so used ground coriander, tumeric and black pepper.

In with some potatoes and carrots, or any roots you fancy; doesn't have to be what I used. Swish in the fat to colour up with the turmeric.

Pour in drained can of Puy Lentils, topping up with hot water, squirt of tomato purée, chopped garlic and a little fish sauce for the saltiness.

Let that simmer on for about half an hour, over which time the liquid will reduce and the flavours consolidate. Optionally, add a splash of Worcestershire Sauce to boost the umami - I didn't, I like the flavour as is and consider the little tomato purée to do that admirably.

Just prior to serving, stir some spinach through along with a shredded chilli.

Sauce

In a saucepan, pour in double cream, a chopped spring onion, splash of fish sauce for the saltiness and some green peppercorns.

Allow that to very gently simmer on the lowest heat you have, adding a teaspoon of water periodically, if the sauce becomes too reduced. We want the flavours to melt, the sauce to darked ever so slightly and reduce just a touch.

Fish

Simply pat dry and lay on an ovenproof plate over your favourite paleo fat.

It'll take maybe 20 minutes at 180C, sufficient just to colour up without drying out.

I'm guessing that the above prep took about 10 minutes, so we're good to put the fish in now ... if the lentils have to go over the half hour, so be it.

Serve

Spoon the lentils out onto a plate as the base, fish on top and spoon the peppercorn sauce over.

What a buzz! The pepperiness really boosts the dish and works so well with the cod.

Cream sauces tend to work better with smoked white fish, something I'll probably do next time, but it'll be a year or so until that happens, so don't hold your breath ...

n=1

No adverse side effects noticed, not immediately afterwards, an hour after, overnight or the following day. Properly prepared, lentils can be perfectly nutritious ... every now and again.

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