Sunday, February 9, 2020

Pan Fried Cod with Scrunchions from Mike Martin with #Giveaway

Thank you for having me at Mystery Lover’s Kitchen. I follow several of the writers on this team including my friends Linda Wiken and all her aliases and Vicki Delany, who invited me today. And I am always drooling at the culinary delights on offer. That’s because while I can and do cook, I’m like the character in my mystery series, Sgt. Windflower, I love to eat more!!

There’s food featured in all of the books in the series and if you’re not hungry after reading one, I’ll happily give your money back. One of Windflower’s favourite dishes is a standard Newfoundland meal. Pan fried cod with scrunchions. My preference is for Atlantic cod, but I’ve realized that it’s very difficult to find Atlantic cod so I keep trying other varieties like Icelandic and even Pacific cod. To my great surprise it all tastes just about the same. It’s hard to find fresh cod anytime of year now but frozen is fine as long as you thaw it and dry it well before you cook it. I prefer to buy it in clear plastic bags versus the frozen blocks. It’s easier to separate the fillets without breaking them when you thaw them out.

The scrunchions are small pieces of salted cured pork that are fried up crisp and the fat that is rendered is what you fry the fish in. I used a small portion of salt pork belly for this recipe. If you are completely opposed to using pork products for any reason, you can always fry the cod in butter. But it won’t be the same.

In a nod to some family members who are a bit more health oriented than me, I also add some vegetables. Today we’ll have garlic mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts to go along with the fish.

Pan Fried Cod with Scrunchions


2 fillets of cod

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

A generous grind of black pepper

A handful of salt cured pork chopped in small pieces

3 potatoes

15-16 Brussels sprouts

1.5 tbsp butter

2 tsp maple syrup

¼ cup of milk

1 clove garlic minced

1 oz shredded old cheddar cheese


Fry the pork in a large frying pan until the fat is released and the scrunchions go crispy. Remove the scrunchions to a dish but leave the fat in the pan.

Put the flour in a shallow dish and mix in the spices.

Lay the fish in the flour so it is evenly coated on all sides.

Transfer the fish to the frying pan with the pork fat and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Add the scrunchions back into the frying pan when turning and scatter around the pan. When ready to serve, sprinkle the scrunchions over the fish.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Boil potatoes until soft and then add milk and all the butter except for 1tsp butter. Save that for the Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle in the garlic, mash and cover. Sprinkle with shredded cheese just before serving

Maple Brussels Sprouts
Trim and clean the Brussels sprouts. Put a small amount of water in a small saucepan, add the steamer and put in the Brussels sprouts. Bring to a boil and when steaming, turn off the heat and leave for about 5-6 minutes. Then take out the steamer and remove the water. Pour in the maple syrup and add the butter and the Brussels sprouts. Cover and put on very low simmer, enough to melt the butter.
In terms of order of cooking I start the scrunchions first and when they are almost done, I turn on the potatoes and get the Brussels sprouts ready. When I start the fish, I turn on the Brussels sprouts.

About Mike Martin and the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries 

Mike Martin is a long-time freelance writer and the current Chair of Crime Writers of Canada. He lives in Ottawa, Canada and writes the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series.
The Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series is a light mystery series set in Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. It features RCMP officer Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Cree from Northern Alberta who gets stationed in Grand Bank and falls in love with the place, and one beautiful lady who lives there.
Book 7 in the series won the Bony Blithe Award as the best light mystery of the year in 2019. The latest book is Fire, Fog and Water. It is available everywhere fine books and e-books are sold including Indigo/Chapters in Canada and Amazon around the world.

Mike is giving away a copy of his book, FIRE, FOG AND WATER to one lucky person who leaves a comment. Don't forget to leave your email address so he can contact you if you win!


  1. I'm a fairly accomplished cook--except when it comes to fish! I'm always looking for a good recipe to try and this one looks great. Although I don't know if I can get my husband to eat Brussels sprouts!

  2. Cod is such an eater friendly fish. Tasty, without being pushy about it.
    Would bacon work as a replacement for the pork?

  3. New to me author! Yum, this recipe sounds delightful! I shall need to try the pork, I've used bacon, butter and butter/oil combo. I have had grilled and bake brussel sprouts with maple syrup/butter. Very yum and I do love garlic mash pots! Thanks! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. I'm not a big fish eater, but I sure love Brussel sprouts. I'll give these a try.

  5. This sounds delicious. I can get decent cod, undoubtedly thawed not actually fresh, but I always bake it. I can see how scrunchions or any pork would kick up the flavor a lot. I'll have to try it!

  6. I love cod, and your recipe sounds amazing- I can’t wait to try it and to read your books. Thanks for sharing with Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen ~

  7. The recipe sounds delicious. Brussel sprouts are so good! Thank you for the chance to get your book. Cod is one fish I like.

  8. I love learning new food things! And I'll try just about anything. This sounds delicious. Maybe just not every day. 😊 New author, too. Bonus!

  9. Rather have fish baked or broiled. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

  10. Thank you for the contest, the recipe and delighted to meet a new author!

  11. I do love fish, I'll try this next time I get some!

  12. I love cod. I will try the recipe. I wan to read this book. Usersns8800@aol

  13. Cod is one of the few fish mild enough for my husband. He likes brussel sprouts too.
    Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  14. Thank you for the delicious sounding recipe for Pan Fried Cod with Scrunchions. Cod is one of our favorite meals and this sounds like a wonderful variation. Will definitely be trying it soon.

    Appreciate the opportunity to win a copy of "FIRE, FOG AND WATER" which is on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  15. My favorite fish is Cod and Catfish. New to me author and series. Thanks for the chance.

  16. Don't eat fish but love free mystery books.

  17. The book sounds great and I love the recipes!

  18. glad to see this new author, new book to me, I am excited to read. Hopefully it this will turn into a series with many books. Thank you for the recipe and the giveaway. queenvictoria50 (@) aol (dot) com

  19. Cod is my favorite fish, congrats on the release!

  20. like to try to make for spouse. looks like a great book.

  21. I usually broil cod - this recipe will be a nice change - thank you!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  22. Fish and Brussels sprouts are in the menu every week at our house. Thanks for the recipes. Love the protagonist's background story!

  23. My dad loved Brussel sprouts! Thanks for this chance! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  24. Sounds like a great meal. Thanks for the giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  25. That whole meal sounds so good! Thanks for sharing!
    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

  26. The recipes sound wonderful. Will definitely try them. Thanks for the chance to receive your new book. dabrinney @

  27. Your series is wonderful, captivating and intriguing. I love the fascinating setting since Newfoundland is unique and amazing. Being Canadian this book interests me greatly. The meal is a winner. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  28. What an appetizing and enticing recipe. Fish is my mainstay and so are brussels sprouts. What a great combo. Your mysteries set in Nfld. are enjoyable and what makes them excellent is the atmosphere of Nfld. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Congratulations! You win! I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address.

  29. I've never had maple syrup on brussels sprouts. Sounds tasty.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  30. I've just become aware of these books, but, I'm definitely going to explore. Oh, and I love fish and am always looking for new recipes....this one looks great.

  31. Terry Fitzpatrick. I've just become aware of these books, but, I'me definitely going to explore. Oh, and I love fish and am always looking for new recipes....this one looks great.

  32. I'm not a fish eater at all and as far as brussels sprouts go, I'm not a fan of them at all. This book looks like an awesome reads, Thanks for your great generosity.

  33. my husband loves cod. thanks for the buying tips. these mashed potatoes look wonderful. will have to try them. thanks. what a fun cover. this sounds like a wonderful book. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net