This is an unusual recipe but one that is oozing with flavor. Baby octopus is easy to cook and you can replace it with baby squid or even squid rings, since all these ingredients would go with the cod and they are all cooked in the same way – they just need two or three minutes in the pan or on the grill and they’re done. Squid are really tasty and you might have tried calamari before. You can get them all year round and they are good fresh or thawed. You can switch the cod for haddock if you prefer.
This is quite an oily dish, as most Spanish inspired fish recipes are, largely thanks to the pancetta. The Spanish would probably use extra pancetta, cut it into strips, and fry them with the fish. It is up to you whether or not you want to do that. Surprisingly the combination of fish, chicken (stock) and pancetta (which is made from pork) all works well together.
Paella is a good example of another Spanish dish which commonly features meat, poultry, and seafood and that dish has global fame. This one works on a similar principle, with the chickpeas, onion, garlic, tomatoes and paprika binding the meatier flavors together. This is quite easy to make but do not underestimate the end flavor, because it is really amazing.
- 4 cod filets, 7 oz each
- 8 oz drained, canned chickpeas
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 4 oz chopped pancetta
- Handful baby octopus, baby squid, squid rings, or a combination of these
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 skinned, de-seeded tomatoes
- ⅔ pint chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Sauté the onions in some olive oil in a big pot, then add the garlic and chopped pancetta and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, paprika and chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season the fish with salt, and then fry it, skin side down, in oil.
- Transfer the cod to a baking dish and bake it for 5 minutes or until the flakes separate when you press down on it.
- Meanwhile, cook the baby octopus or squid in the skillet the fish was in for 2 minutes or until done.
- Serve the cod skin side up on the bean mixture, garnished with the baby octopus or squid.
You can see that this picture features a big strip of pancetta behind the fish. That is optional because the dish is flavorful enough without it but if you want to serve extra pancetta (remember, some is in the bean mixture too), simply cut strips and fry them for five minutes per side or until they are crispy. The baby octopus and cod works together magnificently and the interesting bean mixture is also beautiful with this easy cod recipe. This is a Spanish inspired dish, as cod and chickpeas are both really popular there. Be very careful not to overcook the fish or the seafood. The cod’s ready when it begins to flake and the seafood only takes two, perhaps three, minutes at most.
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