SMOKED COD AND CANNELLINI BEANS
Of all my reliable standbys, this is one of the speediest. Of course there’s more to it, I’m too greedy to settle for mere efficiency. I first made this with some smoked haddock which I’d been thinking of using for a kedgeree, but I ran out of steam – and time. My thinking was that replacing the starch of the rice with the starch of some cannellini beans would work. It did. Indeed, it worked so well, I can now never be without some canned cannellini in the cupboard.
350 grams smoked cod fillets (or haddock)
1 small sprig fresh parsley (including stalks)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 stick celery
375 millilitres water
80 millilitres white wine
2 x 410 grams canned cannellini beans
approx. 60 millilitres fish cooking liquid (see below)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (optional)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
Lay the fish fillets in a large frying pan with the sprig of parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and celery stalk. Pour in the water and wine and bring to the boil.
Cover the pan with foil and simmer the fish in the poaching liquid for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Take off the heat and remove the fish, wrapping the pieces in foil to keep warm.
Tip out all but about 60ml / ¼-½ cup of the poaching liquid from the pan. (The amount depends on the depth of your pan. You will need just enough to warm through the beans.)
Drain the canned beans, rinsing them in a sieve or colander to get rid of any gloopiness, and add to the pan. Warm them in the poaching liquid for about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and place the fish on top of the beans in the pan. Add the oil, most of the parsley and the chives, if you’re using them, stirring everything together and breaking up the fish as you go.
Check the seasoning and turn out into a couple of bowls or onto plates, sprinkle with a last bit of parsley and eat, with relish.