The cod for this recipe is best cut from the middle of large fillets, giving good, thick, rectangular pieces of fish. The best way to serve the fish is sitting on a bed of mashed potatoes with a lemon butter sauce around. Finishing the dish this way creates three complementary textures with the crust, the fish and the potatoes.
Pre-heat the grill to medium, pre-heat the oven to 180–200°C/350–400°F/gas 4–6, and butter and season a flameproof dish.
Melt the butter with the chopped shallots, which should just soften them, then remove from the heat. Add the chopped parsley to the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Gradually mix this with the shallot butter to form a light paste. Place the fish on the prepared dish and cover each cod fillet with the parsley crust. Cook the cod under the grill, not too near the heat. It will take about 8–10 minutes. As the crust slowly colours, the fish will be cooking. When the fish under the crust turns opaque and milky and the crust is golden brown, it is ready. Finish in the pre-heated oven for a few minutes to make sure the fish is completely cooked.
Divide the mashed potatoes between four hot plates, sit the fish on top and spoon the warm sauce around.
© 1994 Gary Rhodes. All rights reserved.