Endive, or Belgian endive as it is sometimes called, is a leafy green vegetable. Its slightly bitter flavor is beautiful with smoky flavors, which means it is perfect to serve with grilled fish recipes and especially grilled cod recipes like this one. The endive can be grilled at the same time as the fish. When the fish is opaque and the endive is golden brown on both sides, they are ready.
Pancetta and cod are a match made in heaven and, if you enjoy this combination of flavors, you might also like bacon-wrapped cod recipes. Bacon and pancetta are also nice with shrimp and bacon-wrapped shrimp are incredible! Make the garlic pancetta (use bacon if you cannot get pancetta) in advance, so you can prepare the remainder of this meal at the grill without having to run back and forth between the grill and the kitchen.
It is best to use cracked black peppercorns for the pancetta mixture. If you only have whole ones, smash them underneath a heavy skillet until they crack open. Sautéing them with the pancetta makes them less piquant than whole peppercorns and perfumes the whole dish with pepper. The peppercorns are large enough to remove before you serve the pancetta but they also make a nice garnish so leave them on if you like.
- 4 cod filets, 6 oz each
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 finely chopped onion
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 whole endives
- 2 oz diced pancetta
- 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
- 1 finely sliced garlic clove
- 1 handful of fresh dill weed, for garnish
- Preheat the grill to medium high and oil the grill rack.
- Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the onions for a couple of minutes.
- Add the white wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Let this mixture cool for 5 minutes.
- Fry the pancetta in 1 tablespoon of oil with the peppercorns and garlic for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the fish and sprinkle some salt on.
- Cut the endive heads in half lengthwise and drizzle two teaspoons of oil over each one.
- Season with salt and black pepper and grill them cut side-down until golden brown on one side.
- Flip them over and cook until the other side is golden brown too, adding more oil if necessary.
- Grill the fish for 8 minutes. Baste it with the white wine mixture and flip it over.
- Cook for 6 minutes more or until it is opaque, basting a couple of times during cooking.
- Drain the excess grease off the pancetta mixture.
- Serve the fish with the endive and pancetta on top.
- Sprinkle the dill over the dish and serve immediately.
This is a great-looking recipe and, as you can imagine, it is also one of those dishes which smells beautiful as it cooks. The aroma of the pancetta sizzling away with the garlic, the smoky, slightly bitter smell of the endive, and the fishy fragrance of the cod all combine to make your mouth water with anticipation of the delightful meal to come. Cod fish recipes using the grill are especially popular in the warmer months but you could also make this on an indoor grill in the cooler ones. A charcoal grill gives the best results though, since the smoky taste really suits this dish.
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