Grilled Cod on Pommes Sarladaise with Truffle Oil

From Rick Stein's French Odyssey, this grilled cod recipe is combined with a simple but delicious pommes sarladaise. Serve with a fresh tomato and caper salad.

Introduction

I can’t help feeling that sarladaise potatoes are the defining dish of south-west France. Interestingly, most recipes call for waxy potatoes, but I find that floury potatoes, such as King Edward’s or Maris Pipers, produce a lovely sandy finish where waxy ones can he a bit too greasy. The combination of the tomato and capers, the sarladaise potatoes and the cod with a bit of bite to it is my idea of good bistro fish cooking.

Serves 4
Easy

Ingredients

4 x 175-225g pieces of thick, unskinned cod fillet
15g melted butter, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pommes sarladaise:
1kg floury potatoes such as King Edward’s or Maris Pipers
4 heaped tbsp goose or duck fat
3 garlic cloves
25g flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp truffle oil
For the tomato and caper salad:
6 medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tsp nonpareilles capers, drained and rinsed
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 pinch of caster sugar
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

For the pommes sarladaise, peel and thickly slice the potatoes - about 5 mm thick. Heat 3 tablespoons of the goose or duck fat in a large, reliably non-stick frying pan. Add the potatoes and some seasoning and fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the bottom layer of potatoes is golden. Then turn the potatoes over and leave until another bottom layer is golden. Some of the potatoes will remain unbrowned, and as they cook the slices start to break up a little, but don’t worry, this is how they should be. Repeat this for 15 minutes, making sure not to turn the potatoes before the bottom layer has browned. Then turn the heat down, cover and leave to cook very gently for another 10 minutes.

Chop the garlic and half the parsley leaves together to make a persillade. Uncover the potatoes and mix in the persillade and the truffle oil. Cover and leave to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, brush the cod on both sides with the melted butter and season with some salt and pepper. Put skin-side up onto a baking tray and grill for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.

For the salad, arrange the sliced tomatoes over the base of a shallow serving dish and scatter over the sliced red onion and the capers. Whisk together the red wine vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper and then gradually whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle this over the salad, scatter over the parsley and set to one side.

Now uncover the pan of potatoes, turn up the heat and add the last tablespoon of duck fat. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the bottom layer is crisp and brown, then add the remaining chopped parsley and turn over briefly. To serve, spoon the potatoes onto 4 warm plates and rest the cod on top. Serve with the tomato and caper salad.

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