Golden Cod – Week 4 2022


It’s Week 4 of the 2022 Cook Off and you know what that means… It’s Fish Week!

We’re a little slow getting started on this week’s recipe. The unusually hot and humid weather continues here in Ferryland. So hot that standing in front of a blazing fire while wearing layers of wool clothing isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s downright dangerous! But yesterday, Lori threw caution to wind, sparked up the fire, and got cooking. Early reports are that this week’s recipe is another winner!

Our recipe is courtesy of Elizabeth Ayrton’s Cookery of England: Being a Collection of Recipes for Traditional Dishes of All Kinds from the Fifteenth Century to the Present Day, with Notes on their Social and Culinary Background. The dish is called Golden Cod, and while Ayrton does not provide a primary source for her recipe, it sounds a lot like a traditional Yorkshire dish called “Golden Ling”.

And speaking of Yorkshire … did you know that the Colony of Avalon’s founder, George Calvert (aka Lord Baltimore) was a Yorkshire native? In fact, the same time Calvert was financing the construction of the Colony of Avalon, here in Ferryland, he was also building a hunting lodge for himself, not far from Yorkshire’s River Swale. Today, that lodge is part of Kiplin Hall.

But back to the recipe

In case you’re wondering, Ling (or Molva molva for you biology nerds out there) is a large, long fish that looks a bit like the love child of a cod and an eel, and apparently tastes like a cross between cod and lobster ….. which sounds absolutely delicious!

Image of ling by Gervais et Boulart – Les poissons Gervais, H.

If you can get your hands on some ling, by all means go for it. If not, don’t worry. I’ve never seen ling for sale in our parts – despite the fact that it’s apparently native to northern North American waters – so, like Ayrton, we’re using cod. Feel free to substitute any firm white fish, like haddock, hake, or even tilapia.

Ayrton’s recipe calls for court bouillon which is the French term for a short, or briefly boiled, broth. Francois Pierre de la Varenne’s book Le Cuisinier Francois (1651) included a number of recipes for fish cooked in court bouillon. Cook off veterans may remember that it was also one of the ingredients in Nombles of Porpas, featured in Week 5 of the 2019 Cook Off.

Remember, add a photo of your Golden Cod (or whatever fish you choose) in the comments of this week’s recipe post on the Colony of Avalon’s Facebook page for a chance to win weekly and grand prizes. Up for grabs this week? A copy of the beautiful new publication Taking a Chance: The First 25 Years of Fishers Loft Inn by John and Peggy Fisher. It’s a stunning coffee table book that chronicles the origins and growth of the now famous Newfoundland inn and includes 80 recipes from their kitchen (copies also available from the Colony of Avalon Giftshop 😉

Deadline for Week 4 entries is 11:59 pm, Wednesday, August 10 , 2022. Can’t wait to see what you cook up!