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Cover: A dish for all seasons

14Feb 12

Leek, potato and cod stew

leek_potato_and_cod_stewLeeks are in season in January. They are rich in vitamin C, iron and fibre. Leek, cod and potato stew is inspired by a Spanish dish called Porrusalda, and is part of the tradition of Basque/French cooking which includes a lot of fish, and very often cod. You can ask the fishmonger to prepare the fish for you, or do it yourself – or if pressed for time, grab a bag of cod pieces from the freezer section in the supermarket. I make this recipe and then freeze half for an easy meal on a night when there’s no time or energy to cook. It’s a simple, heartwarming recipe for the winter months.

What you need:

  • 4 leeks, washed and cut into medium sized slices
  • 1kg of sliced potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 300g cod – fresh, frozen or dried and cut into small-sized chunks
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Stock cube to taste (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or coriander to garnish

What to do:
1. Prepare the cod and cut into small chunks.
2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based deep pan and add the garlic. Fry for 1 minute then add the leaks. Fry for a few minutes then stir.
3. Add the potatoes and fry for five minutes until just beginning to soften.
4. Cover the ingredients with water and bring to the boil. Add the stock cube at this point (if you are using one).
5. Add the cod pieces, reduce the heat, cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 45 minutes.
6. At the end of the cooking time, taste for flavour and add salt/pepper if desired.

1 hour to prepare, 45 minutes to cook
Makes 4 main courses

A little more about leeks…
The leek is the national emblem of Wales.
They belong to the same family as onions and garlic but are more subtle in flavour, delicate and sweet to the taste.
It is said that the Emperor Nero thought that leeks would improve his singing voice, so he ate loads of them!
There are records of cultivation going as far back as ancient Egyptian times.

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