BAKED COD LOIN WITH PARSLEY SAUCE
Preheat the oven to 220oC/Gas Mark 7. Season the cod with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Place the cod in a greased ovenproof dish and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Pop under a grill if desired after cooking to finish browning.
Meanwhile why the cod is baking, melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Stir over a low heat for a minute. Draw off the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Add a small splash first, stir in thoroughly, then another splash, and stir, and carry on like this until you have a thick cream. Then you can add the milk more generously, again stirring it in well until smoothly amalgamated. If you do end up with a few lumps, don’t panic. Sieve the sauce when it’s finished simmering (but before you add the parsley) and no one will ever know.
Bring the sauce up to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from catching. By now, the taste of raw flour should have disappeared but, if not, cook it a little longer, possibly raising the heat a touch. Stir in the cream and simmer for a few more minutes, until the sauce is of a pleasing pouring consistency. Stir in a good squeeze of the remaining lemon, add the chopped parsley, and an extra knob of butter (the size is entirely up to you!) and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning then serve over the top of the baked cod.
For a cheaper alternative try a large piece of haddock that will easily feed 2 people per fillet or try coley loins.