Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Arabella really made me chuckle the other day - we were practising her spellings and she got them all right so I praised her and told her what a clever little girl she was. Her reply was "Of course I am mummy, I eat a lot of fish!" 

Since as long as she can remember I have been telling her fish will make her clever and improve her memory...I think it is working!!

No surprise then that we were having fish again tonight, in typical fashion Pascal complained but I was looking forward to it as I have been eating the smokey bacon and two cheese pasta every meal since Sunday!

I chose a Sainsbury's recipe as it looks delicious and only takes about 35 minutes in total to prepare and cook as it's our busy Wednesday. I am looking forward to next term as Arabella and I have decided  that both ballet and gym after school is too much.

Ingredients for 4 people:

2 tbsp of olive oil
250g pack of smoked bacon lardons
1 onion, finely chopped
4 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced
1/2 x 15g pack fresh thyme, leaves and picked (I hate picking at herbs)!
2 x 410g tins green lentils in water, drained
260g pack of skinless and boneless cod fillets, cut in half
Plain flour for dusting if you prefer to fry the fish rather than grill or oven cook
300ml vegetable stock
5 tbsp double cream
1/2 x 28g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, washed and chopped
A white baguette (optional)

There are a few different ways you can cook the fish, the recipe card suggests you dust each fillet in flour and then fry it. As I am always trying to be that little bit healthy I oven cooked mine after seasoning it and spraying it with olive oil. It probably doesn't have as much flavour as frying it but it saves on calories. I followed the advice on the packet which was to cook it in the oven for 15-17 minutes at 180C in some tin foil. 

Once the oven has preheated and the fish is in, start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil and frying the lardons for about 4-5 minutes until golden and then remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl, leaving all the oil in the pan (Sorry no photo)!

In this same pan fry the leeks and onion for about 8-10 minutes. Pascal wanted to add some more olive oil, I was too tight about it apparently, hence the colour of the pan! 

Next stir in the thyme and drained lentils.

If you would prefer to fry the fish, now is the time. You need to put some plain flour in a shallow dish and dust each cod fillet all over. Then heat a tablespoon of oil in a non stick frying pan and cook the cod for 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

When you are cooking the fish if you choose to fry it, add the stock and double cream to the pan with the lentils and then stir in the cooked lardons. Bring to the boil and cook for about 3-4 minutes and then stir in most of the parsley.

Finally divide the lentil mixture between 4 bowls / plates and top with a piece of cod. Garnish with the remaining parsley and if you like, serve with crusty baguette (sadly for Pascal and Arabella I hadn't bought any)!

It is a good recipe, the lentil mixture tastes delicious with the bacon, leeks and thyme. We had plenty of it left over and I am thinking it will make a nice lunch for me tomorrow on it's own....maybe with some cheese rather than fish though! I was surprised that the recipe only suggests such a small amount of fish per person, you could definitely add more and I think the bread is a good idea as the meal is very "saucy". Pascal, Arabella and I ate all our plates and we enjoyed it, it wasn't our favourite favourite but I would still cook it to continue working on our brains and memory!!

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