21 October 2009

The Livebait Cookbook

Livebait is one of my favorite restaurants in London. I like the original, with its black and white tiles, mirrors, and friendly staff.

Most importantly, they have the most wonderful seafood. You can grab a Guinness and plate of oysters or you can have honey and ginger roasted octopus, or filet of turbot with foie gras mashed potatoes. You don’t have to venture to London if you have a copy of Theodore Kyriakou and Charles Campion’s The Livebait Cookbook. At first glance the recipes are may seem long, but often they incorporate the side dish within the ingredients.

Here is a simple and crunchy way to serve cod.

Roast Cod with Couscous Crust

1/2 cup couscous
juice of one orange
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4(8-ounce) cod fillets, cut from the thick end

1. Half-cook the couscous in boiling water – this will take about 10 minutes – and drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F.

3. Warn the orange juice in a nonreactive saucepan, add the couscous and the oil, stir, cover the pot with plastic wrap and put to one side in a warm place for an hour or more.

4. Place the cod pieces, skin side down, on a greased baking sheet, brush with a little oil and season well with salt and pepper. Add a thick – 1/2-inch – crust of couscous. Cook in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes. If you like a particularly crispy crust, finish under a hot broiler until browned.

Next time you are in London, drop in for a pint and some oysters and some trout or some tuna and maybe a dessert.

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