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Advent Recipe Day Twenty One: Pan Roasted Cod with Herb Gnocchi

Pan Roasted Cod with Herb Gnocchi

In this dish from Le Cordon Bleu London the cod fillet plays centre stage and is complemented by herby gnocchi, a classically made sauce, clams and samphire. The cod is cured prior to pan frying which is a technique used to firm the flesh and bring out the flavour.

Serves 4
Preparation time:
Cooking time:
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Principal ingredients
  • 4 cod fillets (about 180 g each)
  • 28 g table salt
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • 50 g butter, chopped
Herb gnocchi
  • 400 g potatoes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 3 g Sweet/Fine herbs mix (dried parsley, chives and tarragon)
  • 100 g live clams, preferably palourde
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine
Parsley and garlic sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 25 g butter
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 100 ml fish stock
  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • 20 g parsley, chopped
  • 40 g samphire


Sprinkle each cod fillet with 7 g of salt on each side, including the skin. Wrap the fish in cling film and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour 30 minutes. Rinse in cold water and pat dry.

Herb gnocchi

Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Bake the potatoes (skin on) until soft, approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove the skin and push the flesh through a fine sieve (there should be about 250 g of pulp).

Cool to room temperature, then add the egg yolk, flour, Sweet/Fines herbs mix and some salt and knead until a dough is formed. Shape the gnocchi into evenly sized ovals and mark with a fork. Cook in boiling salted water until the gnocchi floats to the surface, approximately 3 - 5 minutes. Refresh by placing into iced water and set aside until needed.


Immerse the clams in salty water to remove the sand, then rinse under cold running water and set aside to drain. Sweat the shallot and garlic in oil until soft, approximately 3 minutes. Add the clams and white wine, then cover and steam (à la marinière) for 3 - 5 minutes until the clams open. Remove the clams from the stock, allow to cool and loosen from shells. Reserve until needed.

Parsley and garlic sauce

Reduce oven temperature to 160˚C. Roast the garlic cloves in aluminium foil until soft, approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Sweat the shallot in butter for 3 minutes until soft. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by half and add the fish stock and reduce by half again. Add the cream and pass through a fine-mesh sieve and season. Pass the roasted garlic through a sieve and add to the sauce. Keep warm.


Blanch the samphire in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Refresh by placing into iced water and set aside until needed.

To serve

Increase the oven temperature to 180˚C. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, add the cod, skin side down, and pan-fry until golden. Add the butter and allow to foam, then remove from the heat and place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and baste with the butter and keep warm.

If desired, aerate the sauce using a hand blender until frothy, then add the parsley and clams. Reheat the gnocchi and samphire separately in boiling water. Pour a little of the parsley and garlic sauce into the centre of a plate, top with the pan roasted cod. Arrange gnocchi and clams around the cod and finish with the samphire.

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