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Cod with mushrooms in cider.

4 servings.

This is based on a recipe for monkfish that comes from Devon according to Favourite Seafood Recipes from Britain’s Coastal Waters, one of the pamphlets in the “Favourite” series published by J. Salmon Ltd. I do not particularly like monkfish so I changed the recipe to use cod. Another one of those lost dishes that wants revival.

An Apple-2 bottles (24 oz) hard cider
-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
-about 1 ½ cups chopped onion
-about 2 cups mushrooms, quartered unless small
-2 Tablespoons flour
-½ - ¾ teaspoon dried marjoram (or a heaped teaspoon fresh if you can get it)
-2 lb cod
-1 heaped Tablespoon minced parsley
-salt and pepper
-2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 325°

  1. Boil the cider hard to reduce it until you have about 2 cups.
  2. Melt the butter over medium low heat and cook the onions until they begin to soften.
  3. Increase the heat to medium, add the mushrooms and cook until the onions clear and the mushrooms soften too.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir fry the mixture for about a minute.
  5. Stir in the warm cider, add the marjoram and a generous grind of pepper, bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the parsley, slide the cod under the liquid, bring the dish to a boil, then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cod flakes with a little pressure.
  7. Check for salt, stir in the cream and serve.


- Pick a dish just big enough so that the liquid barely covers the fish. Its depth does not matter.

- You want rice, mashed potatoes or crusty bread to soak up the sauce. A green vegetable is nice; I like curried cauliflower with this too.

- You can divide the fish into four servings before cooking if you like, or if it makes a better fit for your dish, but that is not necessary.

- To make this dish with the monkfish, cut the fish into big chunks and add them to the sauce at step 5 with the cider, then bake the entire dish for half an hour.

- If you use, say, halibut, simmer the sauce for ten minutes at step five and bake for about 20 minutes at step 6.

- If you have invited people to dinner, make the dish ahead through step 5, then slip in the fish and bake it when you are ready.