This article was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, May 18, 2006.

Fish story

Baked cod and potatoes

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two generously)

3 or 4 medium boiling potatoes, about 1 pound
2 large garlic cloves
Italian flatleaf parsley, enough to make 2 tablespoons chopped
4 tablespoons (45 to 60g) olive oil
Black pepper
12 to 16 ounces (roughly 350 to 500g) fresh cod fillets


1. Preheat oven to 450F (225C).

2. Peel the potatoes and slice them very thin, 1/8-inch (0.3cm) or even potato-chip thickness if you can do it. "Blanch" the slices by putting them in a large pan filled with salted water and bring them just to a boil. Remove from heat immediately, "shock" with cold water, then drain them.

3. While the potatoes are coming up to a boil, peel the garlic and mince it fine; chop the parsley, and put the garlic and parsley into a small bowl with all the olive oil.

4. Put the potato slices in a large bowl and drizzle in about three-fourths of the oil, garlic and parsley mix plus salt and pepper to taste. Gently turn the potatoes with your hands until they are well coated. Spread them evenly in an ovenproof pan (I used a flat 10 1/2 by 7-inch metal pan with a nonstick surface, but any ovenproof pan of similar size will do). Put the potatoes in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, using a spatula to turn them once or twice.

5. At this point the potatoes will be starting to show a few crusty brown spots. Put the cod fillet on top, skin-side down. Coat the fish with the remaining oil, garlic and parsley mix, add a little more salt and pepper, and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the cod is flaky.

WINE MATCH: Cod's pure white delicacy rules out Pinot Noir and other red wines for me, but this dish is fine with just about any rich, textured white, from quality Chardonnay to off-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc to more obscure but delicious Southern Italian and Rhone whites. It would be superb with the rare but delicious Chateau Musar Blanc, and was a triumph with the Domaine des Baumard 1997 Savennières featured in yesterday's 30 Second Wine Advisor.