We recently had 2 fantastic large Cod in from one of the south west netter boats and the heads weighed 2.5kg alone!! There isn't a huge stock of Cod in this part of the world, it is still much more common in the North Sea and right up into the Arctic, liking colder water. But, when we do get it, it is fabulous quality and easy to see why it is still many people's favourite fish. We do get a few from our local rod and line fisherman in the winter and spring.
When you get them this big it is criminal not to use all the fish that is left in the head after filleting. I simply poached one gently so all the fish around the cheeks, collars and neck just falls away ( kept the stock for a risotto ).
With some old potatoes in the cupboard at home and plenty of parsley in the garden it was a very easy decision to make up a batch of homemade fishcakes. I couldn't resist adding some of our own hot smoked trout though - the recipe is on the website.
A lovely friend of mine very kindly presented me with a book the other day – Fish Butchery by Josh Niland. He is a world famous chef based in Australia with several restaurants and the book is all about using every single part of the fish ( except the guts, I think ? ). I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to cookery books and read them cover to cover so am very much looking forward to reading this one.
I think I will have to be a bit reserved with sharing some of the contents with of our lovely customers – not sure they will go for smoked fish eyes!