Winter codfish (also called skrei) has become very popular in German cuisine in the past years. And for a good reason: The firm-fleshed meat of the winter codfish is very aromatic and easy to turn into a delicious meal. It is also very lean and thus a nice change when you think you have just had your fill of hearty winter meat stews and one-pots, warming and soothing as they may be.
I prepared this recipe just the other day. The fish is wrapped into parchment paper („al cartoccio“) and baked in the oven – what can be simpler?
Ingredients (serves 2):
For the fish:
- 400 grams of winter codfish fillet
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- freshly ground white pepper
- dash of lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon of Piment d’Esplette (alternatively hot paprika)
- 2-3 branches of fresh dill
- 1/4 of a leek, cut into slices
- 2 star anise
For the fennel:
- 1 small to medium-sized fennel
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 50 ml of white wine
- juice of 1 orange
- 2 star anise
- freshly ground pepper, salt
For the potatoes:
- 8-10 small waxy potatoes
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- hickory salt
For the herb-infused butter:
- 75 grams of butter
- dash of lemon
- fennel fronds
- 1/2 bunch of fresh dill
- 1/2 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon of hickory salt
Preparing the fish:
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Very lightly brush the fish with olive oil and season with white pepper and salt on both sides.
- Place skin side down on a piece of parchment paper.
- Drizzle some lemon juice over the fish, then sprinkle with Piment d’Esplette.
- Place the dill on top, the slices of the leek and the star anise.
- Fold the parchment paper over the fish so that it is completely enclosed in the paper.
- Put in the hot oven for ca. 25 minutes.
Preparing the fennel:
- Cut the stalks of the fennel. Set aside the fronds and discard the stalks.
- Cut the fennel in half and slice thinly.
- Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Fry the fennel in the olive oil for 5 minutes. It should not gain color, reduce the heat if necessary.
- Deglaze with the white wine. Add the orange juice and the star anise, lightly season with ground pepper and salt and bring to simmer.
- Cover with a lid and simmer over low temperature for approximately 10-15 minutes until soft.
Preparing the roasted potatoes:
- Boil the unpeeled potatoes for approximately 20-30 minutes until soft.
- Strain and transfer the potatoes into a shallow oven dish. Lightly press down with the back side of a spoon or a potato masher so that the potatoes just break open.
- Drizzle the lemon juice over the potatoes and sprinkle with hickory salt.
- Place in the oven together with the fish for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time of the fish.
Preparing the herb-infused butter:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add a dash of lemon to the melted butter, the chopped up herbs and the hickory salt.
- Keep warm until serving.
- Serve the fish immediately on the side of the potatoes and the fennel.
- Drizzle with the herb-infused butter to taste.