THIS WAS ORIGINALLY INTENTIONED AS a JUST PHOTOS post, but a friend just reminded me that I had kind of yesterday promised (yesterday as I posted a preview on Facebook) that I would provide a recipe for this dish.
And as I have had to explain often and repeatedly, the main reason I don't by default include recipes in my PHUDE posts is that I never measure anything that I cook with. It's all free measure, free pour, guesses, estimations, and gut feelings. Especially once an idea for a dish gets stuck in my head, like an incantation, and I'm so possessed with making it that the details of how cease to be of import.
However, I can paraphrase, so to speak. So for this dish, I lightly rubbed a cod filet with mustard, then seasoned with salt, fresh-cracked pepper, and dried thyme. I layered three very thin slices of pancetta over the top of the filet, barely overlapping them, and drizzle just a little olive oil over the slices.
I thinly sliced a peeled potato using a hand slicer, layered enough slices over the pancetta to cover‚ overlapping more charitably, then seasoning again with salt, pepper, and some paprika.
Using a long fish spatula, I placed the whole cod filet potato side down into a small skillet with enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, and let that cook over medium heat until the edges of the potato slices started to brown, about 4 minutes.
Once the edges were brown, I used the spatula to flip the filet, putting it back in the same skillet fish side down, adding a teaspoon of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice to the skillet, and placing that in a 375°-preheated oven.
While the filet finished in the oven, I quickly cleaned and sautéed snow peas (in butter, soy sauce, pepper, and red pepper flakes), and puréed a red pepper) with some cider vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and a little bit of cumin) before running it through a sieve.
After about 5 minutes in the oven, the filet was presented on the plate, topped with lightly dressed arugula leaves, with the side of snow peas and just a few drops of the red pepper sauce.
The spirit of hunger compelled me to readily enjoy the success of this dish, with a properly crispy potato exterior, the slightly salty and generously fatty pancetta, just rendering enough of its goodness into the firm, juice, flaky cod, heightened flavor-wise with the faint heady acidity of the mustard and the comforting aromas of both the thyme and the butter.
And as I also posted on Facebook yesterday, the dish's ingredients topped out at fifteen bucks and only took twenty minutes from the Fairway bags to the feverishly delicious finished product. A wonderfully "enchanting" dining experience, indeed.
Bun Apple Tea!
SLICED POTATO & PANCETTA-TOPPED COD FILET | Butter & Soy Sauce Sautéed Snow Peas | Balsamic Red Pepper Sauce