Cod with Turmeric – Is That Guy Scoping Me Out?

A short while ago, my friend Katia, who, amongst other things, administers the Irish Food Bloggers group on Facebook, wrote a very engaging piece about posting while on the bus. She was a bit freaked out by a guy who appeared to be staring her out. She focussed on the posting and all worked out well in the end. “What has this got to do with Cod with Turmeric?” you say. Very little except for the fact that I’m typing this while sitting in a hotel lobby, early for a meeting, and I am totally convinced that the guy opposite me is giving me the glad eye!

Now if I were a nubile 20 year old, I might forgive him but, I’m a balding, 58 year old father of two. This is weird. I will try to focus on the recipe and not catch his eye again. I’ll update you if he does anything strange before I finish. Thankfully, this recipe is very simple and there really is not a lot on which to concentrate.

Cod with cumin (1 of 9)

So few ingredients required for such a tasty dish.

Ingredients for Cod with Turmeric and Spinach Colcannon Mash.

  • 4 serving sized pieces of good fresh cod. (See side note on buying cod)
  • 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Enough potatoes to make mash for four people.
  • A mug of milk
  • A large knob of butter
  • 2 bags of spinach (about 150 to 200 grammes)
  • A couple of sprigs of dill for garnish

Side note on buying cod:  A couple of us were recently in a fishmongers shop / restaurant.  We were there for coffee. There was a ‘bang’ of fish. I remarked that this was not a good thing. One of my colleagues argued that it was simply “the smell of fish”. A debate ensued. He remained unconvinced by my arguments. So, I’ll use this forum to clearly state that if the fish smells, don’t buy it. It is a sure sign that it’s going off. It’s as simple as that. 

Peel, cook and drain the potatoes. Heat the milk in the microwave and add to the potatoes along with the butter. Mash the potatoes. Steam the spinach. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach. Chop it up nice and small.

Concentrate on the chopping. It’s easier when nobody is watching you…

Add the spinach to the potatoes and mix well. Spread the flour on a plate. Season the flour and sprinkle on a layer of turmeric. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Skin the fish.

Don’t be distracted by anybody giving you ‘the eye’ when using a knife.

Side note on skinning fish: It is very easy to skin fish if you have a flexible fish knife. Don’t even think of trying it with a knife that is not very sharp. If you do, you will make a mess of the fish and a fool of yourself. You have been warned!

Roll the fish in the turmeric flour.

Your fingers will look like those of an old smoker. It’s a price worth paying.

Pat off the excess and place in the frying pan. It should be at about medium. Not too hot to burn the fish. Not too cool or the flour will absorb the oil.

The flour and turmeric make for a great coloured crust.

When the fish is cooked, drain it on old newspaper. It’s about all newspapers are good for these days. Serve it on the colcannon mash with a sprig of dill for a bit of class.

Excuse me, I have to stop writing. He’s smiling at me. He’s coming over…..

How embarrassing is that? He wasn’t looking at me at all. He was giving the eye to the lady sitting behind me. He’s over there now trying to chat her up. He would have more success if he cooked this cod for her. It is really delicious.

This is a really delicious dish (as was yer’ woman sitting behind me).

When the Wife reads this, she will take comfort from a couple things. Firstly, she will relive the enjoyment of the lovely dish. Secondly, she will get a laugh out of my idiotic self obsession. Thirdly, she may take some comfort from my not being picked up by strange men in hotel lobbies. That’s a good thing, I think….

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Latest comments
  • I’m going straight down to the Boqueria to flirt with the Brandada Lady and buy some bacalao to try this 😉

  • Turmeric and fish, fantastic combo. Ah, the combined relief and perhaps vague disappointment that you must have felt. Snortworthy.

  • You’re so vain you probably think this fish is about you, baybay baybay!

  • Turmeric with fish – great idea. Some carom seeds (ajwain) and you are halfway to a Punjabi specialty.

  • I’m with you, Conor. The only things that should “bang” are drums and naughty bits.

    I have some cod in the freezer. As soon as we finish the carnitas I made over the weekend, I’ll be trying this.

  • Agreed. Fish should smell of the sea, not fishy. I do miss fresh cod a bit, but our reef fish are so good I manage to stifle any major wistfulness. Turmeric’s a top notch idea, though…. You’ve given me an idea! I’m thinking a cream sauce with turmeric, garlic and ginger. Hmmm, wonder if the fisherman’s coop has any barramundi tomorrow. And if it’s any consolation, I think yer one in the hotel lobby made a poor choice 😉

  • Haha, I have to agree with Kate, poor choice. That cod is perfectly cooked, beautiful. Nowt worse than overcooked fish, except maybe stale overcooked fish. Lx

      • Someone once gave me a codling straight off the boat when I lived in Ireland. I could barely cook toast in those days and it went to waste. It still haunts me.

  • Look at that beautiful color on the cod! Great call with the light flour breading before pan frying. Cod tends to let off a lot of water if you aren’t careful, so the breading and a perfectly hot pan really help.

  • Well was he cute?!! I remember the first time someone was eyeing me from a car, which had always been annoying, and then I realized he was actually looking at my daughter sitting in the passenger seat. And the baton gets passed down. Love this cod. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with just turmeric, unless I was using it for color. Great idea!

  • Completely agree with you about the fish smell. If it smells; don’t buy it! And you know I had a conversation with said Katia the other day about how you shouldn’t buy fish on a Monday because fishermen never land a catch on a Sunday!

  • Great dish idea I look forward to making it! And, I do have to say there is something disconcerting (or flattering perhaps?) about getting the eye in hotel lobbies. You are so right about that fish smell!! I don’t notice it in good seafood stores, but now and then walking by a shop in Chinatown, oh what a scent! I used to love Fisherman’s Wharf in Vancouver. Stalls and stalls of fish and nary that off-putting fishy smell!

  • Great looking piece of fish. 🙂

  • I recently bought some turmeric, what a great use for it! We have Pacific Cod aplenty in my neck of the woods (flash frozen) but I can get it fresh when we travel to our RV property on the coast. I’m also glad you dodged the bullet with the man, you would have much more explaining to do to the wife.

  • Hmm!! Turmeric and colcannon in the same dish Milord ? What a gentleman you are, pleasing both the West and the East, the North and the South 🙂 !! That said do use turmeric almost every day and am certain to try this delight!

  • You are not doing too badly, Conor, in the diplomacy department. 😉 This is a dish I most definitely will make over the Weekend – we do not run short of fresh fish here luckily, but I am not sure that JS will quite approve of that much turmeric, we will soon find out.

  • If I want to enjoy and read a real professional recipe I come to you! Every time it’s just great to see your photos and read your recipes. You are truly inspiring. Thanks!

  • Had fish & chips yesterday with turmeric in the batter. It really was delicious, but if I’d read this first, I could have sued them on your behalf for stealing your deliciousness (FYI I don’t mean that in a hotel lobby way). You can sue for that these days, right?

  • This is the only food blog I can visit and not only get to see a wonderfully prepared dish (love the color and flavor combinations) and a great laugh as well. You are so clever, my Irish friend. 😀

  • Lol, Conor – this dish might possibly make me like Cod! On another note, perhaps “He” wasn’t the only strange man in that lobby! I was assuming he was a fan of yours! LMAO though!

      • lol, yes it can open up a whole can of worms! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have a great day, Conor!

  • Cod with turmeric is a great combination — I know it from a Vietnamese recipe with dill that Sandra posted and I really liked.
    Those bags of spinach must be tiny if 2 bags is 150 to 200 grams?
    Great story about hotel lobby flirting 🙂

      • The smallest bag of spinach sold here is 300 grams.

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