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Arran Cod

Across the Firth from Ayrshire, people on the island of Arran also fished for a living and, as in all fishing communities, the families found themselves eating a great deal of their catch. Most of it was simply cooked, but one Arran housewife's recipe has emerged
which obviously evolved out of the need to do something more interesting with cod. The combination of Cod and Mustard is an old Norse one which is found in other areas of Scotland with Norse ancestry.
Here the addition of lemon juice gives the dish an added sharpness which combines well with the other flavours. It is served with Arran
potatoes which are well known for their fine quality. Many varieties have originated here which are now grown in many other parts of the country. The eating quality of cod is best from June through the winter till the beginning of March.

1 and a half Ib cod fillets (Three quarters kg)
Three quarters pt water (375 ml)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 oz flour (25 g)
1 oz butter (25 g)
Quarter pt milk (125 ml)
1 tsp powdered English mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Cut the cod into eight even-sized pieces and put into a pan. Add parsley and onion and pour in water. Season with salt and pepper and bring gently to simmering point. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Melt butter in another pan and add flour. Cook for a few minutes without colouring and, when the cod is cooked, pour all the cooking liquor gradually into the roux, stirring all the time. Add the milk and bring to the boil. Simmer for about five minutes then add the final flavouring. Put the mustard into a small bowl and blend to a paste with some of the sauce. Add the lemon juice and pour this mixture into the sauce. Check seasoning and pour over the fish. Serve immediately with stovies or baked potatoes and butter. If you keep this dish hot for any length of time before serving, the mustard will lose its flavour.

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