When I asked for cod filet for three this morning, the fishmonger asked if it was for three normal people or three rugbymen. I had replied that it was for three normal people before wondering if this wasn’t perhaps stretching the truth a bit.
In southwestern France, we live amongst constant reminders of the rugby-playing heritage. Many refer to the region as l’Ovalie, which means the land of the oval ball. One Landaise priest has even dedicated his chapel, Notre Dame du Rugby, to his passion! Towns and villages are deserted whenever there’s a match on, and weekends in hospital emergency rooms are not for the faint-hearted; they’re bursting at the seams with sights of broken and bloody noses, limbs and assorted extremities and sounds of blubbering girlfriends.
Back to my normal fish. Delicious as it is, cod can be a bit bland. Although that could be due to my overextended tastebuds which are singed on a regular basis by very spicy food. This chickpea batter is both healthy and delicious and an excellent vehicle for herbs and spices. Chickpea flour is far healthier than refined wheat flour as it’s packed with vitamins (particularly folic acid), minerals and protein-building amino acids. It also has a very low GI.
Ingredients (for 4 normal people)
4 cod filets
50g chickpea flour
1 cup of water
1 garlic clove
olive oil and coconut oil
seasoning (salt pepper, paprika)
pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Combine the chickpea flour and bicarbonate of soda with enough water (roughly a cup) to make a batter similar to a pancake batter. Add the seasoning and crushed garlic clove. Dip the cod filets in the batter, making sure they are covered all over. Cook in about half a centimetre of olive and coconut oils on a medium hob (cooking oil should never smoke) for about five minutes on each side. The result should be golden brown and crisp!