Cod Bilbaina

People are a little afraid to eat cod these days believing it to be environmentally irresponsible but sustainably sourced cod which is long-line caught is fine to eat (according to the Marine Conservation Society).  However, if you prefer not to you could happily substitute any of the lesser used white fish.

The most important thing you can do is make friends with your fish monger who can tell you everything you need to know about the fish you buy.

This recipe uses sherry and sherry vinegar, which may seem a bit extravagant, but they really do add a distictive Spanish flavour to the dish.  Remember to use a dry sherry – your grandmother’s Harveys Bristol Cream just won’t do!


4 cod fillets – evenly sized and about 4 cm thick

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

For the Tomato Sauce

12 small plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

4 Cloves of Garlic

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 Bay Leaves

2 tbsp Sherry (Fino or Manzanilla)

2 tbsp sherry vinegar


Pre heat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas mark 4.

First make the sauce

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in half (lengthways), peel and thinly slice the garlic and place in the pan with the bay leaves. Cook for 3-4 minutes until just soft. Add the sherry and sherry vinegar, season and allow to bubble for 2 minutes until reduced. Set aside but keep warm.

Heat a large, ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Put the cod pieces in the pan, skin side down, and fry for 4 minutes to crisp the skin. Remove from the heat and place the pan in the oven for a further 4 minutes until the cod is just cooked through.

Serve the fish immediately with the warm tomato sauce.