Friday night is Fish night

Oh, hi there blogworld.  You’d forgotten all about me?  Well, I used to write a food blog fairly regularly, and then I started work in the real world and suddenly had other stuff to do than cook elaborate meals on a weekday.  Like just cooking something quick because I was starving.

So let’s face it, I’ll probably post this and then abandon my blog for another few months.  Such is life.

Recently, A Man and I have been able to buy a lot of fish from the supermarket which has been reduced to absurd levels of cheapness.  We’re talking 19p here.  I therefore have absolutely no option but to buy it, which inevitably results in there being heaps of fish in my freezer.

Due to this, a couple of times recently we’ve had ‘posh fish and chips’ for dinner on a Friday.  I have written about this previously but have done it slightly differently, so thought another post couldn’t hurt.

The first I won’t write a recipe for, as frankly it’s just a case of wrapping the fish in foil and baking for 20-30 minutes depending on how big it is.

This is a rather unhappy looking sea bass.

This is a rather unhappy looking sea bass.

That was some time last month.  However, last night I set about to improve January’s battered fish recipe and I honestly think I’m onto a winner now.  Fish fingers are absolutely one of my guilty pleasures, but when they contain whole pieces of actual fish like these do, I don’t think there’s any reason to feel guilty!

Much love

Gemma xx

Battered fish fingers and chips

Fish (any type is fine – I used one lime and coriander marinated salmon fillet and one whole lemon sole)
Potatoes (or a mix of ordinary and sweet potatoes)
Herbs and spices (I used some ground chilli flakes, smoked paprika, cumin and thyme)
Olive oil
Cornflour
Egg white
Water
Herbs
Sunflower oil
Peas

  1. Turn the oven up as high as it will go.  Chop your potatoes into chips – they don’t need peeling (not even the sweet potatoes!).  Place them on a baking tray and liberally coat them with your chosen herbs and spices.  Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and put them in the oven.  Check on them every once in a while and shake them about a bit.  They should go crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.  If necessary, turn the oven down slightly.
  2. This next bit depends on the type of fish you have.  If it’s just fillets then you’re safe.  If not, you will have to fillet your fish.  I used Darina Allen’s instructions for filleting flat fish (see below) and it worked beautifully!
  3. These instructions assume you’re right-handed.  If you are left-handed, you may want to do it the other way!
  • Lay the fish dark-skin up and head towards you.
  • Using a very sharp (and preferably flexible – mine was totally the wrong type of knife really) knife, cut down the left-hand side of the spine.
  • Turn the knife horizontally and gently, using long sweeps of the blade, separate the flesh from the bones.  Be careful not to chop through the bones!
  • Once you have removed the whole of the fillet, turn the fish so that the tail is now facing towards you and repeat for the other side.  Once you have finished filleting the top of the fish, flip it over and fillet the bottom.  Voila!
Like I said, the knife was totally inappropriate and I may have been able to do it more quickly with a proper filleting knife.  Pretty pleased with the overall result though!

Like I said, the knife was totally inappropriate and I may have been able to do it more quickly with a proper filleting knife. Pretty pleased with the overall result though!

 

  1. (I don’t know how to resume the numbering at 4, so pretend I have)  Cut all of your fish into strips and set aside.  Separate the egg white from the yolk, and mix the white with some cornflour.  You may need to adjust the batter with more cornflour and water, but you should get something the consistency of single cream.  Season with herbs if you like.
  2. Place a plate in the top oven to warm, and put some kitchen towel on it to drain the fish onto after cooking.
  3. Heat some sunflower oil in a pan until a small piece of bread starts to sizzle and brown (but not burn and blacken!) as soon as it hits the oil.
  4. Put the peas on to cook.  They only need to be hot through, so as soon as they are, turn off the hob.
  5. Fry the fish fingers in small batches.  Once they are cooked, transfer them to the kitchen towel.  Once all are cooked, serve immediately.  They should be light and crispy on the outside and beautifully moist in the middle.
  6. Serve with tomato ketchup, tartare sauce, pickles and of course lemon wedges.
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The batter is very pale, as only the egg white has been used. This allows the pinkness of the salmon fillet show through.

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A Man dives into the bowl of sweet and ordinary potato chips.  These were perfectly seasoned with all the spices.  Yum!

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