Cod, sweet potato and red onion skewers with dukkar and lime chilli salsa.
Any kind of fish cooked in a wood fired oven at high temperature with flames will taste great. Add a fresh green salsa with attitude and the spicy, nutty flavours of dukkar and you’re onto a winner. Cook and serve the skewers on a sizzling skillet and you will create fantastic theatre for everyone around the table. I found my skillets in a Chinese supermarket; the type with a wooden base to pop it on when it comes out of the oven red hot and a removable clip-on iron claw handle.
Enough for 4 skewers. A great size for a starter per skewer.
For the cod skewers
- 300g sweet potatoes, peeled, diced in to 1 inch cubes.
- 2 red onions
- 400g cod fillet skinned
- olive oil
- 2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
- 1 tsp sumac
- salt and pepper
For the green salsa
- Half a green pepper, deseeded, white pith removed, finely diced
- 2 spring onions, finely diced
- 2 tsp capers, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 large red chilli, deseeded, finely diced
- a small bunch of washed coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the dukkar ( a great combination of spices and nuts )
- 30g hazelnuts
- 20g sunflower seeds
- 20g pumpkin seeds
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- salt and pepper to taste.
For the cod skewers
- 4 X 7 inch wooden skewers soaked in water for at least half an hour.
Fire up your wood fired oven and as its getting up to temperature pop your skillets in to the oven so they are sizzling hot when you come to cook on them.
Bring the cubed sweet potatoes to the boil in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until just cooked. Do not under-cook as they have very little time to cook in the oven on the skewer. Gently drain them and run cold water over them to cool them down.
Peel and slice the onion, leaving the root on and cut through the root to make eight wedges from each onion. The root will keep the onion together on the skewers. Cut the cod into 1 inch dice. You are aiming for 3 cod chunks per skewer. Start skewering - onion first, followed by cod, then potato. Repeat this until you end up with 3 chunks of cod, 3 slices of onion and 2 chunks of sweet potato per skewer. Place on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and season with ground fennel seeds, sumac, salt and pepper.
For the salsa
Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Season to taste.
For the Dukkar
Combine hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds together and dry fry over a medium heat until lightly toasted. Gently bash in a pestle and mortar retaining, small pieces of nuts and seeds for texture.
Combine all other spices except the paprika and the salt and pepper. Gently dry fry the spice and seeds over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes to release the locked in flavours. Whiz in a spice grinder or bash with a petal and mortar retaining spice texture: Do not turn into a powder.
Combine the nut, seed and spice mixtures with paprika and season to taste. Keep in an airtight jar. This will make more Dukkar than you need for this recipe but it won’t hang around on your shelf for long!
To cook the skewers
When your oven is up to 350/400 C and you have a licking flame, carefully drag your hot skillets out of the oven and place the fish skewers directly on to them. Push them back into the oven and cook with a fantastic sizzling sound for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Remember the fish skewers will keep cooking on the skillets after you have taken them out of the oven. Working fast now place the skillets on their wooden boards and take to the table. Spoon over some salsa and sprinkle with dukkar. The sound of the salsa hitting the skillet and the steam rising are a great way to start dinner. (NB skillets are a great way to cook fish fillets, prawns, steaks, pork chops, lamb chops and many other small cuts of meat.)