Life Table Talk

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Dead tired: Cod dish will nurse you back to health

When sleep deprivation gets severe, Sophie White discovers that she is willing to risk death for a rest.

Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30

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Black Cod Filet
Black Cod Filet
Sophie White

I've realised that we are a household of over-sharers. This week, however, we were over-sharing germs, unfortunately.First, Himself got a throat thing. I find it incredibly hard to muster sympathy when he gets sick, which is why, for the most part, he gave up getting ill a few years ago.

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Once he realised it wasn't resulting in the desired outcome of spousal-minding, he more or less stopped bothering. Now he trudges around, coughing and leaving a trail of tissues in his wake.

Meanwhile, I was often struck down by violent strains of cold and flu a few times a year - fem-flus - and, unfortunately, it has now emerged that Yer Man has inherited my penchant for histrionics when it comes to being ill. No sooner had Himself moved on from his quiet, martyrish cold, than the baby was sick. The baby, I discovered, really goes in for the man-flu thing.

He had it down. As soon as any doting grandparent or kindly neighbour was in the vicinity, he would ham it up. They would commend him for valiantly struggling through his little cold and admire his stoicism, saying how sorry they were for him, while I just felt sorry for myself. I was the one up all night, administering antibiotics and wiping his nose.

Naturally, it didn't take long before I came down with the family cold. Only I couldn't do my usual thing of taking to the bed like a hysterical Victorian lady with her smelling salts - Yer Man wouldn't hear of it and Himself was pretty unsympathetic as I had so often been to him. So now I'm the one morosely trudging on despite my chesty cough and runny nose.

This morning, I was crossing the road and found myself toying with the idea of stepping out in front of an approaching car. The car wasn't going particularly fast or anything. If it hit me, it would probably just give me a bit of a knock, or perhaps break a limb. All I could think of was the bed-rest an accident like that would afford me. I could just drop out of life for a few days, lie down, stare at a wall and then return refreshed. I'm not even asking for a private ward, I'd go for a lie down in a skip at this point. This spicy fish dish might nurse me back to health.

Baked Cod with Chorizo Lentils

Serves 2

You will need:

100g (3½oz) chorizo, peeled and finely diced

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

1x 400g (14oz) tin tomatoes

2 fillets of cod

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 x 400g (14oz) tin green lentils

Handful of fresh tarragon and parsley

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the peeled and finely diced chorizo.

Allow the oils to release, then add the thinly sliced red onion, the thinly sliced garlic and the sliced red pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes until the onions are cooked and the sliced pepper has softened. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Add the tinned tomatoes to the pan and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Place the fillets of cod on an oven tray and squeeze the lemon juice over. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cooked.

Drain and rinse the tinned lentils and add them to the tomato sauce along with the lemon zest.

Place the cooked fish in two bowls and divide the chorizo lentil sauce between them. Chop the fresh tarragon and fresh parsley and sprinkle over 
the top.

Sunday Independent

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