Simon’s Pesce A.O.P (Baked cod in parma ham with roasted vegetables and A.O.P spinach)
Video games, zombies and dinner
Mr Monster: So our good friend Simon came down to stay and play video games a couple of weekends ago.
He bought me a zombie cowboy game for Xmas, which I have great pleasure in watching him play, but he also brought over his PS3 console with another Zombie game, which we played ‘til quite late…
thebigfatnoodle : “I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to a weekend with no TV and the constant noise of virtual machine guns etc but Si’s a smart man – he knew exactly how to appease me as he offered to cook us dinner and make us a fry up the next morning too. I couldn’t possibly turn such an offer down…”
Mr Monster: He brought with him a great Italian cooking secret that we didn’t know about called A.O.P.
It’s based around a trinity of Aglio (garlic), Olio (olive oil) and Peperoncino (chili pepper) and comes in a little jar with mixed herbs, mainly dried garlic, sweet red chili flakes and parsley.
Here’s Simon cooking our supper and his recipe for baked cod, which he served with roasted vegetables and sautéed spinach with A.O.P, is below.
thebigfatnoodle: “Our fish supper was amazing, refreshingly light but PACKED with flavour. If you can find A.O.P, get it because it’s blindingly good. All the herbs and dried garlic work beautifully together and the peperoncino just brings a lovely warmth to everything. The dried porcini absorbed the flavour of the wine and A.O.P – I’d never have thought porcini would work with white fish but it was brilliant! I’ve told Simon he can come and play video games whenever he likes now, provided he cooks us dinner again.”
Lots of love
Mr Monster & thebigfatnoodle
Baked cod with mediterranean roasted vegetables and AOP sauteed spinach (it should serve 4 but with greedy people like us, it fed just us 3)
3 peppers, de-seeded and sliced
4 courgettes, roughly chopped
3 red onions, peeled then quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon A.O.P
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & pepper
For the fish
800 grams of a firm white fish fillet (cod)
2 packets of parma ham (approx 10-12 slices)
2 teaspoons capers (in brine)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons dried porcini mushrooms, crumbled into small pieces
300 ml dry white wine (100ml for the recipe, 200ml in a glass for the chef)
Glug of olive oil
For the spinach
2 large bags of baby leaf spinach.
1 tablespoon of oil
1-2 teaspoons of A.O.P
Preheat for oven to 180 degrees (celsius).
First prepare your vegetables. On a baking tray, put your chopped vegetables and mix in the olive oil, spices and herbs. Place your roasted vegetables on the top rack in the oven, leaving room below it for your fish.
Pop your vegetables into the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, tossing the vegetables 1-2 times during the roasting.
15 minutes into roasting your oven, start preparing your fish (it’ll take you no more than 5 minutes to prepare the fish)
Wrap your cod fillet in parma ham, and place it in a baking dish.
Scatter the capers and dried porcini mushrooms all around the dish. Drizzle some olive oil over the wrapped fish and pour the wine over the fish and around the baking dish.
Cook the cod in oven for about 15-20 minutes.
To saute your spinach, heat your oil in a sauce pan, pop your washed spinach leaves into the pan and put the lid on. Sweat this for 1 minute and then add your A.O.P. Turn off the flame as your spinach should already have wilted down by now but remain a rich, dark green.
Serve your baked cod with the roasted vegetables and sautéed spinach, and spoon that lovely syrupy wine juice with the porcini mushrooms all over your fish.