Breaded cod and roast potatoes

Another Saturday morning trip to Wards. Cora was with me and I gave her a choice of haddock or cod. She chose cod. There were great slabs of them – line caught from Scarborough – pearly white on the ice. Simon then tempted me with with a small pack of smoked cod’s roe. It should make for a good Irish themed taramasalata next weekend when I attempt to empty the fridge full of cheese.

Saturday afternoon was spent in the garden cutting off branches on some of the big trees at the back to be sawn up for logs.

There was an autumnal feel about Sunday. Brown leaves are gathering on the lawn and in a few weeks I am going to have to start raking them up. It seemed to get dark halfway through the afternoon as the grey sky turned black and rain swept across the garden whipped up by the wind.

There were still some potatoes left in the bag we brought back from Kilcrohane. I peeled and par-boiled them. They only need a few minutes in water at a rolling boil.

I rescued a few pieces of stale old bread from the bread bin, sliced off the mouldy bits and put it into a very low oven for an hour. Once it had cooled it went through the magimix with a bit of seasoning and a thick pinch of paprika until it had been reduced to a fine crumb.

The potatoes went into a tray with hot oil and then into a very hot oven for half an hour.

Whilst the potatoes were roasting I put some water on to boil for the peas and set myself up for frying the cod. Two eggs were cracked into a bowl and a heap of flour went into another bowl. The cod was taken out of the fridge and cut up into handy chunks.  The cod was then floured, put through the eggs and covered in bread crumbs. My fingers became thick with the egg, flour and breadcrumbs.

I used a wok for the deep frying pouring in a litre of sunflower oil. I used some of the gunk that had stuck to my fingers to test if it was hot enough. Flicking in a small pinch into the oil and waiting for it to gather a fierce bubble and rise to the surface.

It was then a quick routine, placing five or six pieces of cod into the hot oil, turning them over after a few minutes and lifting them out and leaving them to drain in the hot oven whilst the next lot went in. Half way though I put the peas into the boiling water.

Ten minutes later it was all done and we sat down to eat tartare sauce and tomato ketchup on the table listening to Roy Harper.

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