Cod is still one of the most popular types of fish that we eat, despite the increase in cost due to the restrictions placed on fishermen over the last few years. This white fish is easy to cook and can be made into a huge variety of different dishes from the traditional battered cod to something a little more unusual. When I came across a pack of two nice looking cod fillets at the supermarket, I asked Robert what we could do with them – his reply was cod wrapped in prosciutto with tomato sauce. So here’s how he did it.
Why cod is a healthy option
If you are interested in the benefits of food as well as the taste, then cod will tick a few boxes in both regards. Cod comes from the family Gadidae which also contains other fish favourites, Pollack and haddock. As well as being tasty and easy to cook, it has a surprising number of healthy nutrients in it.
For example, a 4-ounce piece of cod that has been filleted and baked contains the following percentages of the recommended daily amount of each of these nutrients:
- Vitamin B12 – 109%
- Iodine – 88%
- Selenium – 58%
- Phosphorus – 56%
- Protein – 42%
- Vitamin B3 – 10%
- Potassium 9%
- Omega-3 fats – 8%
That’s great, you might think, but what is Vitamin B12 and why do I need it? Vitamin B12 is the stuff that keeps nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is also key to a number of bodily functions and to keeping a good cardiovascular system. In fact, deficiencies in B12 are one of the most common around the world and often effect older people. If you don’t get enough of it, it can lead to chronic fatigue, feelings of being run down or stressed.
In this recipe, we also used tomato sauce. Now you can make your own or cheat like we did and use a store bought one. We used Dolmio Smooth because I hate lumpy sauces (I know, I’m a little weird like that). I also like sauces such as this because they are simple tomato sauces with a hint of herb and allow you to do anything with them.
Did you know that tomatoes are also very helpful when you are trying to eat well? Those little red fruit/vegetable/salad ingredients are a top source of vitamin C and other antioxidants that can help battle against cancer. They also contain something called lycopene that works to prevent prostate cancer.
Also in tomatoes are fibre, potassium and choline, all of which help with a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Because they have a high water content, they can help to avoid constipation and also assist with this due to their fibre content.
- 2 pieces cod
- 4 slices prosciutto or Parma ham, if you prefer
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil for drizzling and for cooking
- 1 knob butter
- 1/2 jar tomato sauce
To prepare the cod, place it on a piece of kitchen towel and drizzle a little olive oil. Next, add a single basil leaf on the top.
Wrap the basil topped cod with the prosciutto. Two slices per piece will do a good job but you can use more or less as you prefer.
Add olive oil to a frying pan and place the wrapped cod into it once it is hot. Add a small knob of butter to help with browning. Cook each side for around 5-6 minutes until it starts to brown. To be certain it is cooked inside, we use a temperature probe to check the inside of the fish is over 70 degrees.
In a separate pan, heat up the tomato sauce. Finely cut up the remaining basil and add to the sauce.
Serve the cod on the plate with the tomato sauce and a side order of cheddar mash or your favourite potato dish.