Now! Yes I said cheeks, not many people know about these little nuggets of deliciousness! So speak to your fishmonger really really nicely and he may be able to get his hands on some for you! If you are lucky! 

I use them as frequently as I can get them, they’re becoming rather “fashionable” on the cheffy scene, which is great as they were once just thrown away which is a real shame 

This recipe I’m going to share with you guys is just one of the ways I like to use them 

This recipe will serve 4 people 


600g of cod cheeks ( chunks of monkfish will be fine)

600ml full fat milk 

1 onion which has been peeled and cut in half 

8 cloves 

6 bay leaf 

Good pinch of nutmeg 

4 sprigs of fresh thyme 

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns 

80g butter 

50g plain flour 

200ml double cream 

100g of grated mature cheddar cheese 

50g breadcrumbs (I use panko that you can find in supermarkets) 


In a saucepan bring to the boil the milk, onion, bay leaf, nutmeg, thyme, cloves and peppercorns 

Once boiling remove from the heat and allow to infuse for about an hour 

Now bring it back to the boil and strain 

Melt  butter in a pan and add the flour, cook for 2-3 minutes 

Now gradually add the milk, stir constantly 

Bring to the simmer 

Stir regularly for 10 minutes 

You can now add the cream and season to taste 

Heat a pan and add a knob of butter, once foaming add the cod cheeks and cook for 4-5 minutes turning frequently 

Place the cheeks into an ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over the top

Mix the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top

Heat your grill till hot and grill the cheeks until golden brown 

Serve nice and warm with some crusty bread 

I love this dish, nothing flash, just good honest homely food to be enjoyed 


Written by Jon Fell

Head Chef Rosehill Theatre, Chef on the Simply Good Food TV app, run a Seafood Cookery Class at Peter Sidwell Cookery School, Newspaper food columnist

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s