A little bit of inspiration

I would have loved to be more of an artist, have some talent in drawing for instance, because as it is now, I'm hardly better than my nieces and nephew when we play pictionnary. Or be a musician, not that I can't play a few chords on my guitar, but my lack of sense of rythm (and also of practising) keeps me a mediocre player.

Even if I hope I'm a little more skilled when it comes to photography, it's mostly because there is a "geek" side to it: setting the shutter speed, the aperture, the ISO, the white balance... All things technical, that can be understood quite easily if you are a little curious. It will help to set your camera to have the result you wish.

But beside everything technical, even in photography there is something else needed to make a great picture. And sometimes even a blurry, too dark picture brings more emotions to you, than a perfect landscape would. Because of the story that you imagine behind it, because of the feelings it creates or because it simply inspires you.

I'm not there yet, my everyday pictures mostly don't tell a story. And maybe that's what I like about food photography, it's just about making you hungry! Today's dish photographies might not quite achieve that, but don't knock it till you've tried it.

This recipe is about inspiration in the kitchen, or my way of cooking sometimes: opening the fridge and coming up with a recipe with whatever is in it. Sometimes it's not worth mentionning (or even eating for that matter) but sometimes it turns out to be really good, like this one.

Codfish Parmentier with a Pesto Crust

Serves 2

3 Big Potatoes
2 Tablespoon of Cream
1 Teaspoon of Thym
300gr of Codfish (fresh or salted)
1/2 a Liter milk
2 Bay Leaves
4 Tablespoons of Pesto (here I used a watercress pesto)
4 Tablespoons of Breadcrumbs
Salt, Pepper

Let's start with the purée, clean and peel the potatoes. Cut them into 2 or 4 pieces, place them in salted water, bring it to the boil and cook it for about 20 minutes, but it really depends on the size of your potatoes, check with a knife to see if they are cooked.
When cooked, drain the water, and with a potato masher (or a fork) mash your potatoes with the cream. Add the thym, salt and pepper and check the seasoning. Set aside.

Now to the fish, if you have fresh codfish, you can place it in a pan with milk and the bay leaves. If salted, you'll have to leave if in the water at least overnight, and change the water a few times, than only can you cook it in milk. This will only take a few minutes, on a medium flame, cook the fish for 5 to 6 minutes.
Drain the milk, leave the fish to cool a little, than break it into little pieces, if needed remove the skin and the fish bones. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

In a bowl, combine the pesto with the breadcrumbs, one spoon at a time, it should feel like a crumble, so the quantity depends on how much oil is in the pesto. Set aside.

In an oven dish, make a first layer with your potato mash, lay your fish evenly on it and sprinkle the pesto crumble on top. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

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