This is a somewhat glamorised version of a recipe my Mum, who was a terrible cook, used to serve every Good Friday. We were neither Catholic nor church-goers, but even Dad refrained from his usual generous meat meals on Good Friday.
Mum used to cook her cod very simply and until it fell apart, so it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that it really could be a delicious and economical meal! Especially if you cook a little extra and put aside for the Spread!
1 Kg good quality smoked cod
8 spring onions, cut into small pieces
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 small red capsicum, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, slivered
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces (fresh, if possible) Few sprigs rosemary and/or thyme Black peppercorns
1 cup dry white wine
1 TB tomato paste
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
Cut the cod into chunks, place into cooking pan. Add all remaining ingredients except the black olives.
Cover the pan and simmer gently for up to 30 minutes or until the cod is just tender. (Test after about 20 minutes to avoid over-cooking.)
Add the black olives and heat through.
Serve at once with crusty bread and a Yarra Valley white or light red wine
SMOKED COD SPREAD
Makes about 1 cup
1.2 cup cooked smoked cod, well drained
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 TB sour cream
Good squeeze of lemon juice
1 TB chopped dill or fennel
Plenty of pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mash and blend well together with a fork.. texture should be quite coarse.
Chill before serving with vegetable crudites, toast triangles or crackers.
To keep for several days, spread the surface with melted butter, cover and refrigerate.
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