Recipe: Poached south coast cod with an Asian broth

Poached cod in an Asian broth

Poached cod in an Asian broth - Credit: Archant

Kent Life’s Chef of the Year 2014 Andy McLeish is counting the calories post-Christmas and aiming for a healthy January

Caption: Andy McLeish receives the 2014 Chef of the Year award at the Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards

On 1 January I always seem to regret the amount of food (and alcohol) consumed over the festive period. With so many good dishes to try throughout Christmas and New Year’s it’s virtually impossible to avoid.

Anyone who likes food will over indulge a little at Christmas. I had way too many turkey sandwiches, goose-fat potatoes, mince pies and also had my fair share of red wine. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve already gained some weight.

I’ve never been one to make a New Year’s resolution but I know so many who at the start of the year, vow to take better care of their health, lose weight, join the gym, and drink less alcohol.

I’m not making any promises that I’ll eat well for the rest of the year, but I can try for one month. It’s detox time – well, for January at least. On the plus side, Santa brought the kids a dog called Bailey for Christmas and morning walks counts as exercise doesn’t it?

This month’s recipe is my poached south coast cod with an Asian broth. This is a luxurious yet healthy recipe that’s full of flavour. The mushroom consommé needs to be prepared the day or night before but trust me, it will be worth it.

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This dish is definitely proof that eating well needn’t be boring and I will be serving this in my restaurant throughout this month.

We use a fantastic Kentish supplier, Chapmans. The fish supplied to the restaurant is caught locally and on day boats.

This means that the fish comes back to port on the day and is caught rather than trawler fishing - where the boats can be out at sea for more than a week at a time. Myself and Chapmans pride ourselves on the quality of fish we serve.

Good luck to those who have made New Year’s resolutions to eat healthily from now on and to those who will only last a few weeks like me, don’t feel too bad, you’re in good company.

RECIPE

Poached south coast cod with an Asian broth

Serves 4

4 120g pieces of cod

500g baby spinach, picked and blanched

200g Samphire, picked and blanched

20g coriander cress

1 packet Shimeji mushrooms

50g Shitaki mushrooms (sliced)

50g tomato concasse

1 Kaf?r lime

For the mushroom consommé

2 onions

200g Muscavardo sugar

1/2 bottle of white wine

2 kg button mushrooms

6 pints chicken stock

1 bunch coriander stalks

Raft 3 sticks lemongrass

20g ginger

200g button mushrooms

250g egg white

Slice and roast the onions in a pan and caramelise with the sugar. Then deglaze with white wine. In a separate pan, fry the sliced button mushrooms with a little colour then drain off the excess liquid.

Next combine the onions and mushrooms together and add the chicken stock and simmer for two hours. Strain off and cool in a fridge overnight.

To make the raft and finish the broth, blend the lemongrass, mushrooms and ginger in a blender then add the egg white. Remove the mushroom stock from the fridge and remove any fat on top.

Pour the stock into a pan and whisk the raft into the stock. On a gentle heat bring the stock and raft up to a gentle simmer and cook very slowly for one hour. Remove from the heat gently and strain the clear stock using a ladle and muslin.

Season with a little soy sauce and fish sauce.

To serve

Place each piece of cod into a vacuum-packed bag and add a drop of olive oil and seal each bag, removing all of the air. Cook in a water bath at 56 degrees for 15mins. Sauté the spinach and samphire in a little butter and season.

Separately bring the Asian broth to the boil and add the Shitaki mushrooms, Shimeji mushrooms and the tomato concasse. Neatly place the spinach and samphire on a plate with the mushrooms and half the broth around.

Finally, remove the cod from the bags peel off the skin and season with sea salt and microplane the zest of the kaf?r lime over the top.

Place the cod onto the spinach and pour the remaining broth over the dish.

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