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Smoked and Crumbed Cod with Ratatouille

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I absolutely adore firm, meaty cod and couldn’t resist this hefty, boned cod loin on the market – fresh from Brixham  writes Sandra Tate...

Curing & Smoking the Cod

crumbedcod1Dissolve 75g sea salt & 25g light brown sugar in 500ml boiling water and allow to cool completely. Immerse the 850g cod loin in the brine in a snug container and leave for 1 hour. Rinse and dry completely on kitchen paper. Set up the Bradley Smoker with the cold smoke attachment and stack filled with Pacific Blend bisquettes, place the cod on a wire rack in the centre of the cabinet, then set to smoke for 2 hours. Remove from the cabinet, cut into individual portions – 4 generous ones – wrap them tightly in cling film and store in the fridge until required. I used 2 portions for this recipe and froze 2 immediately for another day, another dinner…

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Smoked and Crumbed Cod with Ratatouille – serves 2
To further the smokey flavours I also used La Chinata smoked paprika (hot) to liven up the crumb coating. Remove crusts from a chunk of dry bread (I used my own, half brown, seeded loaf but use whatever you have to hand) and coarsely crumb it in a food processor so that you have about 80g breadcrumbs to which you mix in a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a little salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix so that the crumbs ate thoroughly coated with oil. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 220°C.
Prepare the ratatouille vegetables. Take half a butternut squash and halve it again, peel then slice into 5mm slices. Fry in a little olive oil in a large sauté pan until golden and tender, remove and set aside. Top, tail, halve and slice a small courgette; trim, halve and remove seeds from a red ramiro pepper and thinly slice; dice 3 ripe tomatoes; cut half an aubergine into 1cm dice; peel and grate a clove of garlic. Add all these vegetables to the pan you’ve cooked the squash in and fry off in a little more olive oil together with a pinch of chilli flakes, salt and pepper. After around 15-20 minutes when the vegetables are tender, return to squash to the pan and leave over lowest heat.

Butter a baking sheet and place the smoked cod portions on it before packing and pressing the crumbs over the fish. Bake in the hot oven for 12-15 minutes until the crumbs are golden brown and the smoked cod will be perfectly cooked within. Serve immediately with ratatouille and a squeeze of lemon juice over all.

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