For years, I always remember how my food cravings used to die down in the summer. All I wanted was light and easy meals that didn’t make me feel too heavy or overheated. I loved fresh salads, lots of fruit and obviously a good old BBQ. This summer seems very different. For many reasons, my cravings went down hugely a few months ago because I was feeling stressed, so food started to become quite low on my list of priorities. Don’t worry, I already know how bad that is. However, it terms of summer cravings I just cannot figure out what I fancy everyday. The weather at the moment is just pretty crap, and seems to be tricking my mind into wanted more comforting and warming meals. I actually feel like I am in need of really rich and filling meals everyday, although it is like my mind is tricking me into thinking this isn’t the case because subconsciously I know it is summer. Anyway, it is all very weird.
Due to my weirdly cravings, I have tried to create dishes everyday that are suited to the typical British summer. I want meals that I am going to look forward to and enjoy eating, as well as being relatively simple to prepare. I feel like I am never stopping at the moment, so the main thing for me is that everything needs to be very easy and not at all time consuming. As a result, I have been cooking a lot of ‘one pot’ dishes, as well as throw it all in a baking dish, bake and hope for the best kind of meals. The one I am sharing today is something very simple, yet I like to think it is a little bit different. To me, it is the perfect balance between summer and winter, packed with flavour and something that I have never really ever tried before.
In the summer I always stray towards fish over meat – I like how it still makes me feel full up, with it not giving the somewhat overindulged feeling that I often get with meat. A classic summer combination for me will always be fish with fresh vegetables, tomatoes and new potatoes. It is simple and easy, yet a sheer crowd pleaser.
I created a slightly spicy tomato sauce to serve with the cod, which gives it so much more flavour. I served it with crushed new potatoes and peas, so I felt like I had a balance between my summer new potatoes and winter mash. The dish is very delicious, super easy to make and something that I have been really enjoying during the past rainy summer days.
Tomato Cod Fillets, with Crushed New Potatoes & Peas
2 Cod Fillets // Handful Cherry Tomatoes, halved // 4 Garlic Cloves, finely sliced // 100g Tomato Puree // 1tbsp Dried Oregano // 1tsp Paprika // 1tsp Smoked Paprika // 1tsp Ground Cumin // New Potatoes for Two, halved // Handful Frozen Peas // Salt and Pepper
Start by making the tomato sauce. In a small saucepan on a medium heat, heat a generous amount of olive oil. Once heated, add the garlic and mix around for 30 seconds. Then, add the cherry tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix on the medium heat for about 5 minutes until everything started to go softer. Add the dried herbs and spices, then turn the heat to low. This needs to stay on and be slowly heating the whole time whilst you prepare the rest of the food.
Boil some water and add the potatoes with plenty of salt. Set a timer for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the cod filets on a plate and rub salt and pepper into the flesh generously. About 10 minutes before the potatoes are ready, start cooking the fish. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and keep on a medium heat. Add both fish filets and fry on one side for two minutes. Turn over and fry again for two minutes. Once cooked, cover with a lid and set aside. In the saucepan with the potatoes, add the peas and let everything boil for another 5 minutes. Once cooked, drain and out back in the saucepan. Add a generous amount of butter, salt and pepper and crush the potatoes and peas together with a fork.
By now, the tomato sauce should have darkened in colour and have formed into a thick sauce. Place the potatoes on a plate and add the cod. You may want to get rid of excess oil by placing on some kitchen paper towel first. Finish by adding a good amount of the tomato sauce on top of each piece of cod.
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This recipe is my own.