Not much beats a brisk, energetic walk through forest thicket, snatching slices of refreshing air into the lungs. So picture two explorers shaking off the lethargy of a Saturday morning, swiping their rain macs off the peg and bolting out the door to do just that.
My mind’s image of weekend walks as a child are of my dad galloping far ahead with enthusiastic strides, and as history will repeat itself, I am now in turn that fast-paced trekker and this weekend was no exception. Along the banks of the winding, mountain-lined Tongariro River, New Zealand’s best trout fishing spot, my mind started whirring with the thought of something warming and fishy at the end of the 3 hour romp. This dish did just that and got a double thumbs up from Explorer no.2.
4 fillets white fish (cod, hapuka) skinned and boned
2 thick chorizo sticks, sliced 1 cm thick
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp oregano
1 litre chicken stock
2 tins cannellini beans, drained
3 tomatoes, halved
1 bay leaf
1 tsp pepper corns
3 strips of lemon peel
4 tsp pesto (I will put up how to make from scratch soon!)
The stew will take 45 mins so bear this in mind.
Start by prepping your ingredients as above, and frying the chorizo in a deep saucepan with a little olive oil turning until it starts to char. Then add in the garlic and oregano for 30 seconds, before adding the stock, beans, tomatoes, bay leaf and pepper corns. Simmer for 45 minutes and reduce slightly, stirring occasionally. When cooked, remove the tomato skins, pepper corns, bay leaf and lemon rind and discard.
Drizzle oil, salt and pepper over the fish. Then 40 minutes into cooking the stew, heat up a frying pan and cook the fish, former skin side down first for 2 minutes on each side. Now they are both prepared, ladle the stew into low bowls, serve the fish on top and add a tsp of pesto on top. You can serve with a side of greens (spinach, thinly sliced green beans).
Whether it’s autumn in Aotearoa, or spring in Somerset, this should hit the spot.