Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Roast Cornish cod with samphire, lemon purée and chorizo foam

Prep time overnight
Cook time overnight
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
Lemon and chorizo make the perfect partners for these delicately cooked cod fillets.


  1. First salt the cod. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and put it into the fridge for eight hours. Wash off the salt by thoroughly rinsing it under cold running water and pat dry. Season the fish with a dusting of smoked paprika – to do this, put the paprika in a small fine pastry sieve and lightly shake it over the fish. Wrap the fish tightly in cling film and refrigerate. When needed, cut into 110-120g/4-4¼oz portions.

  2. For the fish stock, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onions, leeks and celery, and cook gently until soft. Add the chopped fish carcasses and cook for five minutes, then add the peppercorns and just cover with cold water.

  3. Bring to the boil, skim the scum off the top, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for 20 minutes.

  4. Pass through a sieve and leave to cool. Once cooled, store in the fridge for up to five days.

  5. For the roasted peppers, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  6. Line a small roasting tin with a piece of foil twice its length. Arrange the peppers in the tray, add a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of white wine vinegar. Wrap the foil over the pepper and seal well. Roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.

  7. Remove and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to cool. Once cooled, peel the peppers and remove the stalks and seeds. Put them into a jar and cover with olive oil – they will keep for up to five days in the fridge.

  8. For the lemon oil, heat the oil with the chopped citrus peel until it reaches 80C/176F on a cooking thermometer.

  9. Place in a blender and blend for five minutes, or until completely smooth. Pass through a muslin cloth and leave to cool. Place in a container or plastic bottle. The oil can be frozen until needed and will keep for up to three months in the freezer.

  10. For the chorizo foam, heat the butter in a pan until it is foaming, then add the shallots and cook without colouring until soft. Add the chorizo and cook for two minutes. Add the paprika, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.

  11. Blend 130g/4½oz of the red peppers and 150g/5½oz of the fish stock together in a blender, and add to the chorizo. Add the milk and 100ml/3½fl oz water and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes, then pass through a fine sieve.

  12. Finish the sauce with the butter, season with salt and pepper and keep in a warm place.

  13. For the lemon purée, put the lemon into a saucepan and just cover with water. Add the turmeric and 15g/½oz sugar. Bring to the boil, then drain and refresh in ice cold water. Repeat nine more times, omitting the turmeric.

  14. After the last blanch, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth, adding just a little water to help the peel blend more easily if required. You can freeze the purée for up to three months.

  15. Warm the purée in a pan, adding lemon juice and a pinch of caster sugar to balance the acidity and sweetness. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in a knob of butter and reduce to the required consistency, whisking from time to time to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a squeezy bottle, if you have one, or a jar and keep warm until required.

  16. For the roast cod, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  17. Remove the cling film from the cod. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick ovenproof pan and add the fish, skin side up.

  18. Add a knob of butter and place in the oven for three minutes. Now turn the fish over and continue cooking for a further two minutes.

  19. Remove from the pan, season with a little more lemon juice and leave to stand.

  20. Meanwhile, to finish, put the samphire into a pan with a little boiling water and a knob of butter (no salt needed), and cook for two minutes.

  21. While it’s cooking, fry the diced chorizo in a little olive oil and keep warm.

  22. Put the lemon segments into a small pan with 100g/3½oz water and the sugar and heat gently.

  23. To serve, carefully pipe some of the lemon purée onto each plate (use a spoon if you don’t have a squeezy bottle).

  24. Add some samphire, chorizo and lemon segments, then carefully place the cod on top, using a spatula. Spoon over some of the chorizo foam, drizzle with lemon oil and add the sorrel leaves.


For the roast cod

  • 1 large or 2 medium fillets of cod, skinned
  • 4g salt for every 100g fish
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • drizzle olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • ½ lemon, juice only

For the fish stock (makes 1 litre/1¾ pints)

  • 100g/3½oz butter
  • 100g/3½oz onions, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz leeks, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz celery, finely chopped
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz fish carcasses (preferably turbot or lemon sole), chopped and rinsed in running water
  • 10g white peppercorns

For the roasted peppers

  • 4 peppers
  • 150ml/5½fl oz olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of white wine vinegar

For the lemon oil

  • 200ml/7oz olive oil
  • 40g/1½oz lemon peel, chopped

For the chorizo foam

  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 100g/3½oz shallots
  • 100g/3½oz cooking chorizo
  • 1g smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 130g/4½oz roasted red peppers (from above)
  • 150g/5½oz fish stock (from above)
  • 5 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 30g/1oz butter

For the lemon purée

  • 230g/8oz lemons, peeled with as much pith removed as possible
  • 5g turmeric
  • 150g/5½oz sugar
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • knob of unsalted butter

To finish

  • 50g/1¾oz fresh samphire, blanched in salted boiling water
  • 100g/3½oz cooking chorizo, cut into 5mm cubes
  • olive oil, for shallow frying
  • 1 lemon, segmented
  • 100g/3½oz sugar
  • handful of red vein sorrel or wood sorrel leaves

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Roast Cornish cod with samphire, lemon purée and chorizo foam

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