The cod pasta chal­lenge

Northern Pen - - Sports - Terry Bursey Cod au Gratin Ravi­oli Alfedo

I of­ten pen in my jour­nal that true friends ex­pect noth­ing and ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­thing. Time, dis­tance, po­lit­i­cal views or so­cial sta­tus mean squat in the face of the kind of friend­ships that so­lid­ify in youth – or at least, that’s how it should be.

When I came home from St. John’s two years ago to learn culi­nary arts, I knew that many of my friends were still thriv­ing at home in Dover and had started fam­i­lies.

“When you comes home ya got to cook us a scoff!” David told me via so­cial me­dia when I an­nounced my home­com­ing.

“You gonna cook us up a feed of Townie grub ya get’s home or wah?” Perry asked/de­manded when I told him the same over the phone.

I knew both of my blood broth­ers enough to read be­tween the lines. What they were re­ally up to was more a test of my ac­quired skill than a so­cial call. As proph­e­sized, I had yet to fully un­pack when both Perry and David showed up with a fresh brace of leggy cod, eggs, cream, dill and odds and a patch­work of in­gre­di­ents that were mis­matched to the point of com­edy. So, it be­gins. I thought. Fa­cepalm­ing at the ca­cophony of in­gre­di­ents, I asked them what they had in­tended for me cook.

“I dunno – Gor­don Ram­say, you tell me,” said Perry, con­firm­ing my sus­pi­cions.

I must have been crav­ing pasta at the time be­cause my thoughts al­ways led back to that as I pon­dered what to make. Fresh pasta isn’t some­thing com­mon and would def­i­nitely be a mind blower, I thought. I also could im­press by baking the cod en pa­pi­otte – a French pa­per method that was ex­cel­lent for del­i­cate seafood.

And with that, I got down to mak­ing: 2-3 lbs fresh cod, cleaned and cubed 1 lime, sliced 1 tbsp lemon juice 10 ba­con rash­ers 1 lb scal­lops 3 cups flour 9 large eggs 2 tsp salt 10 crushed pep­per­corns 1 cup parme­san 1 litre cream 2 tbsp but­ter

For seafood — Cut two sheets of parch­ment pa­per at 18”. Fold in half, cut each folded half into a rough ½ heart shape and open. Place five rash­ers of ba­con on each pa­pers ½ side. Place cod atop the ba­con and top with lime slices and lemon juice. Fold each heart in half again and fold edges in pleats all the way around to cre­ate a tight seal. Pre­heat oven to 400 F and bake pouches for roughly 10 min­utes. Re­move par­cooked ba­con and set aside and wrap around each scal­lop, se­cure with a tooth­pick. Bake scal­lops for 12 -13 min­utes or un­til ba­con is to de­sired done­ness.

For pasta — Sep­a­rate five eggs and set both yolk and whites aside. Pile your flour and make a well in the cen­tre. Grad­u­ally add eggs, yolks and flour to well and knead into smooth dough. Roll dough out ½ cm thick and cut into 3x3’’ squares. Place a tsp sized amount of cod into the cen­tre, brush egg white along the edges and place an­other square on top. Re­peat with all and chill for 10 min­utes. Boil wa­ter in a large pot and sim­mer pasta for six min­utes.

For sauce and fin­ish – In a medium pan, bring cream, but­ter and parm to a sim­mer, add pep­per­corns and stir briskly. Top over pasta and gar­nish with ba­con wrapped scal­lops.

I sup­pose now you’re prob­a­bly won­der­ing how my friends re­acted. In short – they pre­tended not to like it, but asked for sec­onds. If this recipe sounds fa­mil­iar you may have heard me talk about it on a CBC ra­dio show a few weeks ago. Yeah, I some­times do that too.

Happy Chal­lenges!

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