Lemon Tarragon Cod with Toast

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It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a ‘host’ picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Marie-Anne at This Mama Cooks! Anne-Marie picked a movie that was on my list of food movies to see but I never really got around to it. The movie Toast is an autobiographical comedy-drama based on the childhood of food journalist and chef Nigel Slater.

toast

I must admit I had no idea who Nigel Slater was until I saw this moive. I am not a chef follower by nature. This movie is based on a novel he wrote about his childhood. His mother, who died while he was quite young, was the most atrocious cook ever. A normal supper prep for her was boiling tin cans. Nigel as a child leads us to believe he never had a fresh fruit or vegetable in her care. But he so loved food and tried to get his mother to try more exocti things…like spaghetti. If any meal failed she would resort to making toast.

cod toast 9

Once his mother died Nigel was quite miserable with a not so loving father. In no time a house keeper comes in to take care of the bachelor and son with cleaning and cooking. Mrs Potter is a fabulous cook but becomes Nigel’s mortal enemy and their battles take place in the kitchen. So that give you an idea what the movie is about, I will say no more to ruin the surprises.

Now I would say this film was very melodramatic and the only actress who saves the film really is Helena Bonham Carter who plays Mrs.Potter. She is awesome in the role. But if you read the paragraph below, the written role was apparently nothing like the real Mrs. Potter. As you will see soon it seems that Nigel took a lot of liberty in embelishing his sad childhood, and I am sure the film makers also took a lot of liberties.

cod toast 6

From wikipedia: “Slater’s stepsisters Ann and June Perrens have criticised Toast, stating that their mother, Dorothy Perrens – renamed “Mrs. Potter” in the film – had been falsely portrayed as a seductive cleaner who frequently used foul language.(“I really cannot believe that I pay my licence fee only to have them portray my dear mother as a tart”), and Slater’s father, Tony – renamed “Alan” – was also represented in a negative light (“He was a lovely man, an absolute perfect gentleman. He was kind and caring, everyone said it”), although they admit that Tony was not particularly fond of his son. They also claim that while Perrens was indeed a good cook, she never actually served lemon meringue pie, and their stepfather had died of chest pain as a result of a strenuous game of tennis, as opposed to their mother’s deliberate overfeeding as portrayed in Toast. Slater has refused to comment.

cod toast 3

The food in England in those days was truly depressing, especially Nigel’s mother’s attemps. Even if Nigel did not like the housekeeper, she was a mean cook, particularly in French cuisine. I was tempted to make the much featured lemon merngue pie from the film but instead I came across a lovely fish recipe, a Lemon Tarragon Cod, created by Slater himself. You see after his mother dies Nigel attempts a meal for his father on his own, a meal that is not a success at all resulting with a burned fish. I liked the idea of making a dish which was a first big discouragement but which lead to a great career as a chef. I served my cod with toast, of course.

cod toast 1

Don’t do the same mistake I made, crème fraiche will not curdle if it is not too overheated when mixed with lemon juice. I could not find any and substituted with cream. It did curdle a bit.

Lemon Tarragon Cod

Rating: 31

Ingredients

  • 350g cod fillet
  • juice of two lemons
  • 40g of butter
  • a small bunch of tarragon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche

Directions

  1. Put the cod fillet, cut from the thick end of the fish, into a large, shallow pan with the juice of two lemons, butter and half the tarragon, chopped. Add a bay leaf and black peppercorns, then bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes until the fish is opaque.
  2. Remove the fish with a fish slice and keep it warm. Add the remaining tarragon, chopped, the capers and the crème fraîche.
http://www.cheapethniceatz.com/lemon-tarragon-cod-with-toast/

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Guest
1 year 10 months ago

I definitely need to see this movie! Love the cod dish! I could put lemon and tarragon in, or on anything. Love that combination!

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

Sounds perfect to me :)

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

I love tarragon and this sauce is too good with such lovely ingredients. The food n flix sounds real fun and I enjoyed reading the story too.

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

This looks like a good excuse for me to try cooking with tarragon again. The last time I did it it didn’t turn out so great.

Guest
The Squishy Monster
1 year 10 months ago

The last time I had cod was at a restaurant and it was over cooked and greasy. I love that you paired tarragon and lemon together here…it’s perfect! and probably a million times better than that cod I had. A definite must try =)

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

I love tarragon but never used fresh one before! It looks different from dried one! Must be amazing to cook with the fresh herb. The cod looks delicious and movie looks interesting!

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

Sounds like an entertaining movie! And your cod sounds darn tasty.

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

Great choice for the representative dish, I like the scene where Nigel’s father eats the haddock dinner and in spite of it’s state, he says it’s as he likes it.

The book notes that Nigel credited the pie to his step sister and overall, except for leaving out his older siblings and some details, it followed pretty well.

Love the tarragon!

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

wow…great to know about this film…tarragon cod will taste so good…but we have never cooked with fresh ones…whenever we get our hands on them,this is going to be the first dish we ever try,thanks so much for sharing :-)

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

G’day Love films that have tie ins to food Evelyne, true!
Love cod and yours looks lovely and tarragon I believe is an unexplored spice by most people worldwide too!
Cheers! Joanne

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

I had no idea that that was his history! This movie sounds so interesting, thanks Eve! 😀

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

Oh man, I had no idea it was more “historical fiction” than autobiography! Well, either way, it made for some good food scenes. I can imagine being pretty pissed if I was on the other side of the story, though… I’m a sucker for anything tarragon, I love it beyond compare. This sounds amazing!

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

Can you believe that I never used fresh tarragon? This cod sounds delicious…I love the sauce.
Hope you are having a fabulous week Evelyne 😀

Guest
Debra
1 year 10 months ago

Ooh, that sauce sounds delicious. I am reading the book now. Nigel’s mom is depicted not so much a non-cook as an unmotivated one.

Guest

[…] Evelyne from Cheap Ethnic Eatz cooked up Lemon Tarragon Cod with Toast. […]

Guest
1 year 11 months ago

Thanks for an amazing cod recipe!I love cod and yours looks amazing, Evelyne!

Guest
1 year 11 months ago

This must have been a very interesting movie Evelyne! The tarragon must have given this fish a very unique taste!

Guest
1 year 11 months ago

How fun :)

Guest
1 year 11 months ago

That sounds like a fun movie! Your tarragon cod looks so good, Evelyne.

Guest
Liliana
1 year 11 months ago

I love cod and will try this recipe. What a coincidence – I went to the video store yesterday and bought some foodie movies. Toast was one of them although I haven’t seen it yet.