Pan-fried Skrei Cod with Scorched Cherry Tomatoes, Black Garlic and Harissa Crushed Cauliflower Mash
Today’s recipe is for Pan-fried Skrei Cod with Scorched Cherry Tomatoes, Black Garlic and Harissa Crushed Cauliflower Mash is a new creation by me, that I developed a couple of weeks ago, and that has proved to be a popular dish with friends and family. Using Skrei cod, more about that later, along with other prime ingredients such as black garlic, fresh cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and harissa, this is a recipe that will tantalise and tempt your diners, as well as being very easy to prepare and cook. This is a one (or two pan) meal and there is no need to serve any other accompaniments with the fish, other than the crushed harissa cauliflower and tomatoes.
So, what is Skrei cod? Skrei is a unique delicacy available for only a few short months each year – the season runs from January to the end of April; the word “Skrei” comes from the old Norse word for “Wanderer” and these fish are indeed wanderers, as they leave their feeding grounds in the Barents Sea and make their way down to where they were spawned, in the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, to mate. Swimming thousands of miles is what makes this cod so sought after, as the fish become leaner and more muscular which adds to the delicate taste and firm texture of Skrei cod. This migratory journey also makes for a whiter flesh than other ages of cod.
The Skrei cod that I was sent to try was firm with a very white, bright flesh and had a wonderful delicate flavour with a light flake and texture. It was boned but still had the skin on, which when fried went wonderfully crispy and golden brown. I added some black garlic to the dish, which, for those who don’t know, is an aged white garlic that has more of a mellow and sweet molasses-balsamic flavour than the white variety. It it can be used in the same way as normal garlic to flavour meats, fish or in sauces and risottos, and it was a star in this recipe, adding a sweetness that married well with the succulent cod and spicy cauliflower.
The recipe for my Pan-fried Skrei Cod with Scorched Cherry Tomatoes, Black Garlic and Harissa Crushed Cauliflower Mash is shared below, and if Skrei cod is not in season, then you can use beautiful Scottish cod fillets instead. Other vegetables that would go nicely with this meal are crushed sweet potatoes, spinach, chard and curly kale. The black garlic is available from Sainsbury’s and was sent to me to try as part of my continued collaboration with the Sainsbury’s Community Blogger Network. With thanks to the Norwegian Seafood Council and Sainsbury’s for my Skrei cod and black garlic and DO try this recipe for a #FishOnFriday meal, or for a family supper over the weekend. Karen
Disclaimer: I was sent some complimentary Skrei cod and black garlic as well as some supermarket vouchers to create today’s recipe; all views and opinions are my own.
Skrei is a seasonal Norwegian cod only available between January and April. Each year, this migratory cod swims from the Barents Sea to its spawning ground in the cold, clear waters of the Lofoten Islands, located on Norway’s north coast. From undertaking this epic journey, it means the Skrei arrive in prime condition, yielding an amazing taste and texture.
Only the very best of the Norwegian cod catch is labelled with the SKREI® branding, having to meet stringent quality standards. The majority of this delicious fish are caught from small 10-15m vessels and packed within 12 hours to ensure optimum quality and freshness. What’s more, Skrei is MSC certified and therefore 100% sustainable, with a unique and heart-warming provenance story.
WHAT MAKES SKREI® SPECIAL?
The Norwegians pride themselves on the quality of their produce and the annual Skrei migration is no exception. Fishing is a way of life for Norwegians and each year, this annual phenomenon is met with great excitement and celebration. Skrei is such a revered product it has its own special grading standard. Hundreds of millions of Norwegian cod migrate each year back to its spawning ground of Lofoten, yet only a small percentage of all landed cod will be branded with the special SKREI® tag, which is a seal of approval or quality assurance, on its dorsal fin.
To be classified as SKREI® the fish needs to be:
• Caught fully grown – as a large mature cod of at least 5 years of age
• The skin needs to be immaculate, with no scratches, bruising or injuries
• Packaged within 12 hours of being caught
• Stored on ice at a temperature between 0° and 4° Celsius
• Whole, fresh SKREI® is required to have the SKREI® brand fastened to the forward dorsal fin and put in a branded SKREI® box.
Ordering Skrei for your menu will certainly delight diners, and what’s more, you will be guaranteed optimum quality and freshness.
Source: Norwegian Seafood Council
British Black Garlic:
The cloves are a soft, dark brown, almost black in colour. The flavours are deep, almost caramelised with a wonderful sweet sour balance. There is a strong umami kick and hints of aged balsamic, black cardamom, leather, smoke, tamarind and liquorice. British Black Garlic is a unique, truly artisan ingredient, special in its own way like Alba Truffles or Beluga Caviar.
British Black Garlic can be used as an ingredient or eaten as a snack, giving greater health benefits than regular garlic with none of the unpleasant side affects.
Source: Black Garlic