Grant Allen conjures up a banquet on the road

I really miss blue cod that Southerners are so proud of, it seems hard to find "up North". I was lucky to spy some fresh off the boat at the Oamaru Farmers' Market so it had to be bought. If you can't find cod, any firm white fish such as monk fish or hapuka would be good. I decided we needed a bit of heat on the platter, so I also bought a local chilli sauce (look for a Mexican-style habanero sauce, not an Asian sweet chilli sauce). I had a few baby leeks over so I used them in this dish too.


1. Make a bed of baby leeks in a baking dish. Thinly slice a few lemons and sit these on the leeks.

2. Cut up the cod into chunky, bite-sized pieces and arrange these on the leek and lemon base.

3. Add a bit of white wine and oil, salt and pepper and a few slices of red chili (deseeded for a less searing heat).

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4. Seal the dish with tin foil and bake it in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, let it cool, leaving the foil on.

5. Put the poaching liquid into a pan and reduce it until it has a sauce-like consistency, then allow to cool.

To serve, spread around a few crunchy salad leaves on a platter then use a slotted spoon to pile up the fish bits, lemon slices and leek strips. Pour the cooled poaching liquid over the fish and dot with a little chilli sauce .