Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Cod with Tarragon-Anchovy Breadcrumbs

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

The recipe, from Nigel Slater, sounded like a fancy version of fish and chips: Fat, meaty fillets of haddock are coated in bread crumbs and shallow-fried until brown and crisp. I substituted cod, but what intrigued me especially about this recipe was the coating, which is a combination of bread crumbs, tarragon leaves, and minced anchovies.

Tarragon is a powerful herb that is best used in small doses, and for the same reason also perfumes the whole dish. Even better, though, are the anchovies, which melted away during the frying but left their nutty signature, deepening the dish's flavor to amp up the relatively mild flavor of cod. Meanwhile, the cod's flesh itself was meaty and dense, offset by the breadcrumb crunch. I was amazed at how much flavor the recipe was able to achieve with just a few ingredients and a short time.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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