Cod baked in a cornbread crust

Cod baked in a cornbread crust

Bacalhau com broa

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Serves
2
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The first time I ate this dish, it was made by a good friend of mine, Luís Lucas. Like my father, João, Luís has never been a professional cook but he knows more about traditional Portuguese cuisine than most chefs. This dish is dedicated to him and to my father, who inspired me to make cooking my path in life. Thank you, and I hope I do you justice. The recipe works best with broa (Portuguese cornbread), but you could also use sourdough.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g Cornbread, sourdough or other rustic loaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
60ml dry white wine
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lemon, Finely grated zested and juiced, plus lemon wedges to serve (optional)
a small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
2 x 150g Hearty cod and coriander broth, cured cod fillets
1 large fennel bulb
a large handful green leaves, such as spinach, rocket or watercress (optional)
extra-virgin olive oil, for dressing
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper
cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Cut the cornbread into small chunks, then crumble them into coarse breadcrumbs with your hands (if using sourdough, this may be easier in a food processor). In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the white wine, garlic, lemon zest and coriander, and season with salt and white pepper. The mixture should have the texture of a wet dough.
  2. Place the cod on a baking tray and completely cover it with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cod is cooked through and the crust is golden brown and crunchy.
  3. Meanwhile, trim the fennel and thinly slice it with a mandolin or sharp knife just before serving. Drizzle it with the remaining olive oil and season with lemon juice, salt and cracked black pepper. Mix the leaves in a bowl and dress with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice to taste and salt and cracked black pepper. Serve the cod with the fennel, green leaves and lemon wedges on the side, if you like.
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