Baked Cod on Ratatouille with Curry Butter

Baked Cod on Ratatouille with Curry Butter Aidan MacManus of the King Sitric Fish Restaurant in Howth, County Dublin is one of the most experienced fish chefs in the country, and this dish – which is taken from the book From Tide To Table, published recently with the support of BIM - is typical of the food served at his striking harbourside establishment, and will be a lovely dish to enjoy through the summer as the ratatouille ingredients come into season.

The amount of curry powder in the butter can be adjusted if the flavour proves too strong for family tastes.

Serves 4

50g/2oz plain flour
1 tsp hot curry powder
175g/6oz skinless cod fillets, any pin bones removed
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing

For the curry butter

100g/4oz butter
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp hot curry powder
2 tbsp diced peeled cooking apple

For the ratatouille

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, halved and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red pepper, halved, seeded and diced
1 aubergine, trimmed and diced
1 courgette, trimmed and diced
225g/8oz cherry tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the curry butter, heat a knob of the butter and gently sauté the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the curry powder and cook for another minute, then add the apple and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes until the apple is completely tender.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely, then beat it into the remaining butter in a small bowl and season to taste.

Transfer to a square of non-stick parchment paper and roll up into a cylinder, twisting the ends to enclose. Chill for at least 2 hours until firm; it can then be sliced and used as required.

To make the ratatouille, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened but not coloured.

Stir in the red pepper, aubergine and courgette, cover and cook slowly for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes until the skins begin to split. Season to taste.

This can be made in advance and gently reheated when needed.

When almost ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Heat a large frying pan. Place the flour and curry powder on a flat plate and season to taste. Stir to combine and then use to dust the cod fillet, shaking off any excess.

Add the olive oil to the heated frying pan and then add the dusted cod fillets.

Cook for 1-2 minutes each side until nicely sealed.

Transfer to an oiled baking sheet. Cut the curry butter into slices and arrange on top, then roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.

To serve, place a generous bed of ratatouille on each warmed plate and arrange a piece of cod on top. Add a slice of curry butter and drizzle over any remaining cooking juices.

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