- 200g/7oz fresh raw cod fillet, skinned and flaked
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Lemon juice
- 100g/4oz hot mashed potato
- 25ml/1fl oz double cream
- 15g/1⁄2oz unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 red pepper, stalk removed,
- halved and deseeded
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, stalks removed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 slices Cheddar cheese
- Pinch of paprika
- 1 baguette to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F,
Gas 4. In a pestle and mortar, pound to a paste the cod, basil, garlic, 1 tsp of the olive oil and a dash of lemon juice. Transfer the paste to a bowl, add the mash, cream, butter and nutmeg and beat to combine. Set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan with a lid and, when hot, add the red pepper, bay leaf, thyme, seasoning and sugar.
After 3-4 minutes, once the pepper has browned slightly, add the water, put the pan lid on to keep the steam in and cook in the oven for 2 minutes.
Remove the pepper from the oven and fill each half with the fish paste.
Cover with a thin slice of cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Return to the hot oven and bake for a further 12 minutes. When ready, serve immediately with a baguette halved lengthways, toasted under a hot grill.