Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Italian Roasted Cod with Lemon & Parmesan Courgettes

If you keep an eye on my Instagram grid and stories, there's always loads of pictures of food that I've been cooking. However, I've been just bone idle when it comes to writing down recipes and it hit me last week, as I messaged yet another recipe to a friend, that I really need to start writing them down again.  As part of the "force Russell to eat more fish" stealth campaign, he's been getting more fish than he ever wanted, so I need to up my game and take the focus off the fish and onto the flavour.  His highest compliment is to tell me that "the dog would love this" and he means it in a positive way, honestly!  Sandie the world's greediest Shihtzu would eat my dinner, his dinner and then sit there with a hungry look on her face, claiming that she hasn't been fed in weeks.  She'd love this...

This Italian Roasted Cod with Lemon & Parmesan Courgettes is very simple to put together and cook in under half an hour.  My recipe feeds two people and you can scale it up to feed a crowd by doubling, trebling or even quadrupling the quantities.  Just add a salad or some new potatoes and you've got a delizioso dinner!

Italian Roasted Cod (serves 2)

2 x 150g Cod fillets
10 Basil leaves, finely shredded
7 Plum or baby San Marzano tomatoes, each cut into 3 crosswise
3 slices of Parma Ham
Black Pepper

Preheat your oven to 200c / 180c fan / Gas Mark 6 and line a baking sheet with baking paper (don't use foil as the fish might stick.

Place two slices of Parma ham onto the baking sheet, a few cm apart and plonk the cod on top.  Sprinkle each fillet with half of the basil, then artfully arrange the tomato slices over the basil and season with black pepper.

Cut the other slice of Parma ham widthways and cover the cod fillets with each half.  Wrap the rest of the bottom slice over the fish like a little parcel.

Bake for 20 minutes until the cod is opaque and flaky.  Once the cod has gone into the oven, start preparing & cooking the courgettes

Lemon & Parmesan Courgettes (serves 2)

1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Courgettes, halved, centres removed & cut into slices
2 Shallots, peeled, halved and finely sliced
1 clove Garlic, crushed
30g Parmesan, grated
Zest of half a Lemon, grated
1 tsp Parsley, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

Heat a large frying pan and add the oil.

Fry the courgettes for 5 minutes on a medium heat until they start to brown, then add the shallots and cook until they soften.

Reduce the heat to low & add the garlic, cooking gently so it doesn't burn.

After 3-4 minutes, add the parmesan, lemon zest & parsley (I'm a big fan of frozen chopped parsley & use it all the time - easiest to find in the German supermarkets)

Taste the courgettes and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

By this stage, the cod should be ready, so stick it on a plate, pour a large glass of wine (stick with the Italian theme and find a nice Falanghina) and enjoy your dinner.  Saluti!

Monday, January 7, 2019

I'm Still Saving For A Rainy Day

I know, long time no speak.  Please accept my apologies for the radio silence -  it's been a little bit busy in work and at home so Babaduck got sidetracked for a lot longer than planned.  The very lovely Cherry Sue kindly told her Bargain Hunting Mums on the Run group about my savings plan & I figured out it was time to start writing again.

One of the few good habits I've acquired over the years is to save a few bob for a rainy day.  Something always breaks down, radiators leak (today's drama) or there's a fancy holiday on the horizon... Something we've done at home for the past 5 years is gradual saving - we start with €1 on week 1 of the year and increase it by a euro every week.  And if you stick to the plan, you end up with over €1,370 on New Year's Eve!!!

If the thought of shelling out €50 in December scares you silly, just pre-pay it during the year if you have a bit of spare cash, or you can even do it in reverse if that suits you better.

2018's money is now locked away safe to use as our spending money for this year's fancy holiday to Florida.  What will you do with yours?