Cod with Clams and Parsley Broth on a Potato and Cheese Fondue

Almost by accident, I devised a recipe that is a little like a fonduta, a little like an aligote, but different from both. When I boil potatoes for mashing, I often keep the cooking liquor for soup. If the potatoes are particularly floury, the liquid separates with a thick potato layer at the bottom. I used this layer to add to a white sauce, into which I then beat grated cheese. The resulting potato and cheese β€˜fondue’ was delicious. I spooned it into hot soup plates, placed a piece of cod fillet on top, and poured around it a moat of parsley and clam broth with a few very fresh steamed clams.

Ingredients

  • 1 small to medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 250 mls (8 oz) milk
  • 50 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated salt
  • pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 Γ— 200 g (7 oz) pieces of cod fillet, skinned
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500 g (1 lb) fresh clams, well scrubbed
  • 1-2 tablespoons parsley, very finely chopped, or pounded
  • 100 mls (4 oz) each water and good dry white wine

Method

Boil the potato in about 150 mls (ΒΌ pint) water and, when soft, mash to a pulp, without straining off the water.

Using the butter, flour and milk, make a white sauce in the usual way, and then beat in the cheese and the mashed potato. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Keep it warm while you first cook the cod fillet in a frying pan with the olive oil, and cook the clams and parsley in the wine and water until the clams open.

Serve as described above.

Mussels can replace the clams. The cooking juices should be quite green with parsley, to provide a nice contrast. If you have a juicer, you can even add some parsley juice.

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