You know the feeling. The moment after you tell your better half that yes, her bum does look big in that. There are times where you really wish that you could rewind the clock a little bit. Reversing the car into that ‘hidden’ pole. Standing up in the kitchen and catching the corner of your head on the corner of a cupboard door. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a 30 second rewind.
Not that there was any need for a rewind while I prepared Cod with Asparagus, Lemon and Saffron. That went swimmingly (fish pun). My problems started while I was cogitating what to write by way of introduction to this dish. Nobody had abused me in the shop. There was no witty banter with which to regale ye. The cooking all went to plan. I was reasonably happy with the photos. No, I was suffering a bout of Bloggers Block. It’s a well recognised medical condition somewhat like Writers Block except it is a little less pompous and tends to not be used as an excuse for drinking too much and not publishing a novel on time.
I have a number of strategies to get over the dreaded BB. One favoured approach is to type the recipe name into the header bar, upload a photo and then stare at the screen. This approach has limited success but it allows one to feel one has achieved something. The sense of achievement tends to eventually spur the brain into action and ultimately, the story to flow.
This time, I had shot the preparation, cooked the dish, took more photos, ate it, enjoyed it, processed the shots, uploaded the feature photo and then sat without any thoughts arising. I typed in the name of the dish. There then followed a protracted bout of Bloggers Block. I spent at least half an hour screen staring. I became restless. I shifted position and inadvertently hit the “PUBLISH” button. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! My title and photo were out there for all to see. My followers received a metaphorical fish-slap in the Facebook. A cod (in every sense) tweet was tweeted. Email followers received a pfish-spam-like note. Those on Google+ were left goggle eyed. Boy, could I have done with the time-rewind button.
All of this got me into a sweat and got me thinking about what to write in this post. So in a roundabout way, the screen staring worked, again. Here’s what went into it:
- 2 serving size pieces of fresh Atlantic cod
- 10 asparagus spears
- 1 lemon
- 2 splashes of dry white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pinches of saffron
- Enough baking parchment to make two generous parcels
Side note on saffron: Spend the money. Or get somebody you know to spend it for you. A good friend of the Wife brought me back some lovely Greek saffron from a recent holiday. Don’t get the cheap stuff that they sell by the quarter kilo. It’s a waste of money.
Lay 5 asparagus spears on the centre of one of the parchment sheets. Sit a piece of cod on top. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the lemon and add it like in the photo. Add a pinch of saffron. Make a parcel and before closing, apply one of the splashes of wine.
Close the parcels and pop them into a 180º C (360º F) oven for 15 minutes. Just enough time to chill the wine in the freezer.
After 15 minutes, everything should be cooked to perfection. Lift everything out with a fish slice (what else) and pour the juices over.
The saffron works wonders and is beautiful with the asparagus. I served it with a simple chive sauce and some new season potatoes.
Bloggers Block defeated once again. And what a way to do it. If you can get fresh (really fresh) cod, this dish is a must try. It worked just perfectly with the Montreval wine too.
Final note of thanks: A big THANK YOU to ye who contacted me with kind words when I inadvertently posted this before. A big BOOOO to the only one who used it as an excuse to have a go at me. You know who you are.