Monday 25 May 2009

Haddock with Chorizo, Roasted Veg and Polenta

Haddock with chorizo and polenta

Thank you Salad Club. If it wasn't for your Portuguese Eating Eurovision post I would have kept on walking past the Continental Deli in Brixton.

So on a Tuesday evening I popped in and spent quarter of an hour in a state of bliss. I tried cheeses, discussed polenta, sniffed chorizos, squeeze aubergines and nibbled on olives. Bella Cardoso is a star. I walked away with some spicy, semi cured chorizo, some fennel, baby tomatoes, an enormous maroon pepper a bag of polenta, some haddock from the fishmonger next door and plenty of advice to help me!

I kept things simple on the cooking front. I sliced the chorizo into chunks and fried it to crisp the outside and release the paprikay oils. I then fried the seasoned haddock skin side down in the chorizo "juice" and then flipped it over to finish. It was all done in a matter of minutes.

Prior to this I had roasted the red pepper, fennel and tomatoes with a glug of olive oil, ample seasoning and some lemon juice on a high heat with the aim of slightly scorching the veggies to give them a chance of punching their weight against the chorizo. Some steamed spinach made for a savoury burst of greenery.

And for the polenta I didn't know what I was doing, so simply followed the instructions on the pack, by boiling for 3 minutes. It was fine, but bland, as you'd expect.

The result was a dish I'm very pleased with. I adore chorizo and fish so this was a dish that was always going to make me smile.

As I sat down with a plate of Portuguese cheese from the Continental Deli and a glass of wine, I had a look on Twitter and was amazed at what I saw. Tom Aitkens, no less, had seen me a series of tweets about how to make perfect polenta...

"if you use 3-4 x the amount of stock to the polenta you should not go wring for example 100g polenta 400g white chicken stock

bring the stock to a simmer with a pinch of chopped rosemary, little smoked paprika, salt an pepper, pour in polenta and whisk

it will come together quickly then change for a spoon, add a little butter, 1 tbsp creme fraiche, little lemon juice and Parmesan"

Thank you, Tom Aitkens, very much indeed for your help, (even if it did come too late to put into practice this time). I'm now planning to cook your polenta recipe this week. It's episodes like this that make me realise just how powerful Twitter can be.


Helen said...

polenta is one of those things I just never cook, not sure why really. I must take Tom's advice and see how it turns out. I must get myself down to Brixton at the weekend, it is a crime I don't visit more often when I am so very close. I have a massive chorizo craving now too. The oil that comes out of the chorizo has got to be one of the best things about cooking it, glad to hear you made good use and cooked the fish in it!

Anonymous said...

Such a great combination, but then I could eat chorizo with pretty much everything!

I've never cooked polenta either and haven't really enjoyed it when I've eaten it unless it's been fried and heavily spiced. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out next time.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Damn, that looks might fine. Have you tried it with black pudding or morcilla? Works just as well!

Dan said...

This looks fantastic, very nice photo indeed....and cookery advice from Tom Aitkens - priceless!

Anonymous said...

Glad you've discovered the joys of the continental deli. Bella and José are lovely. They supplied all the meat and cheese for our secret supper.

Browners said...

@Helen - It was very much my first time with polenta. I hardly nailed it... but now am looking forward to giving it another crack. If they sold chorizo juice in cartons I'd be dead by now!

@ginger - I love chorizo too. I'm going to pull out all the stops next time with my polenta, thanks to some help from Tom Aitkens.

@aforfkfulofspaghetti - black pudding / morcilla would be brilliant too. It's definitely on the cards.

@Dan - Thanks for the kind words.

@saladclub - Thanks for introducing me to the Continental Deli. It's set to become my second home!

Amy said...

MMMMMM! This sounds amazing. I love chorizo and just adore fennel! Love it.

Graphic Foodie said...

I could eat this dish every day. Lush.

On the subject of polenta, I use it all the time. I find different brands do taste er, different. Some have a lot of flavour but some are quite cardboardy. It does need a good pinch of salt in the water if you don't use stock.

More often than not though I scoop it into a shallow dish to cool then cut into thick strips or squares then grill on each side, sprinkling with parmesan before topping with a meat tomato sauce or a chunky ratatouille.

Lovely stuff.

Browners said...

@Amy - glad to have found a fellow fennel and chorizo lover!

@Foodie - your idea for the polenta sounds great. Am going to give it a go. I've got a lot of time for frying things!


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