I go to the fishmongers with an open thoughts. No buying listing, not even the vaguest of plans. I resolve what to cook dinner purely by what appears to be like good on the ice. Mussels have been very high quality of late. Tiny, thin-shelled, as candy as a nut. They are going to be excellent steamed, chilled and in a winter salad with segments of citrus and shavings of jerusalem artichokes, icy crisp. Some will discover their approach into the filling of a pie.
You want to ask the place all of your fish comes from these days, however particularly so with prawns – they’re too usually unsustainable. After I discover some whose provenance I really feel comfy with, they are going to be cooked within the shell for tearing aside with our palms, or peeled and minced for a fishcake with contemporary chillies, fish sauce and coriander. I’m not into creamy French sauces, but when I used to be, these can be those I’d select to go along with my costly sole.
There have been fairly a couple of fish pies on the kitchen desk this winter. Deep ones, with a creamy sauce, chunks of pearl-white haddock and a handful of prawns or mussels below the crust. I usually purchase the fishmonger’s personal pie combine – a muddle of fish that adjustments by the day. The variability is determined by what’s plentiful and in good situation, however it’s a cheap reply to what will be an costly supper. Generally I’ll cowl the fish and its sauce with pastry, different instances it’s a deep layer of mashed maris pipers. Proper now, with bread to make use of up, it’s a thick layer of crumbs freckled with lemon zest and dill. Whichever route you’re taking, fish pie is all the time a number of work – the fish, the sauce, the highest – and infinite, infinite washing up, however in some way all the time value it. Consolation meals of the best order.
When I’m wanting time, I’ve taken to cooking fish steaks with a sizzling, candy miso dressing. It’s a handful of elements stirred collectively then baked until the glaze is golden and sticky. There are few simpler methods to cook dinner a bit of fish.
I’ve by no means lived removed from a fishmonger (they’re on my want listing for property brokers) and I’m not positive I ever need to. Greater than ever, it’s a case of use them or lose them, and I’m blissful that so many are stocking different fish-related buying too, from sushi ginger and wasabi to lemons and olive oil. It’s notably value trying on-line in the meanwhile for those who ship spanking contemporary fish to the door.
Mussel and fennel salad
Jerusalem artichokes are all the time blissful within the firm of scallops and prawns, however they work with the less expensive mussel too. I’ve added cooked mussels and a ladle of mussel cooking liquor to artichoke soup prior to now, however I’m all the time after new winter salads and the artichoke has a delightfully crisp sweetness when used uncooked. I take advantage of a vegetable peeler to take high quality shavings from it reasonably than a knife.
Serves 3 as a lightweight meal
jerusalem artichokes 2
winter salad leaves 4 handfuls
capers 2 tsp
olive oil 4 tbsp
dill a handful
Scrub and verify the mussels. Discard any with cracked shells or that fail to shut when evenly tapped on the facet of the sink. Put them in a deep pan over a excessive warmth, pour in a small glass of water, cowl tightly with a lid and convey to the boil. Let the mussels cook dinner for a minute or two then take away from the warmth as quickly as their shells have opened.
Elevate the mussels out of the pan, take away from their shells and put aside. Reduce the peel from the grapefruit with a pointy knife, taking care to take away all traces of white pith. It’s value taking your time over this. Save all of the juice you’ll be able to.
Finely slice the fennel – the thinner every slice the higher – and add to the grapefruit. Scrub the artichokes then take away shavings from them with a vegetable peeler. Toss them with the fennel and grapefruit.
Wash and shake dry the salad leaves and put them on a serving plate. Add the grapefruit and fennel, leaving the juice within the bowl. Stir the capers, olive oil and a grinding of salt and black pepper into the juice. Finely chop the dill and add the mussels to the dressing then spoon over the leaves and serve.
Crisp little desserts, spicy as you want. I don’t really feel these want any form of sauce, however sometimes I make a dressing for them with yoghurt, grated cucumber and chopped mint leaves.
Makes 12-14 desserts, serves 4
small prawns 250g, shelled weight
tender contemporary breadcrumbs 140g
spring onions 50g
crimson chilli 1 massive
fish sauce 2 tsp
kimchi 2 heaped tbsp
mayonnaise 4 tbsp, evenly heaped
Put the prawns and breadcrumbs into the bowl of a meals processor. Roughly chop the spring onions and the chilli and add them to the crumbs. Add leaves from the parsley and each the stems and leaves of the coriander. In case you are fortunate sufficient to have the roots along with your coriander, add them too. Course of for a minute or so, until you may have a moist, crumb-like combination.
Tip the minced prawns and their seasonings right into a bowl and stir within the fish sauce. Chop and stir within the kimchi after which add the mayonnaise. Give all the pieces a lightweight however thorough combine. Roll into 12-14 evenly sized balls, place them on a baking tray or massive plate and flatten the tops slightly with the again of a spoon. Place within the fridge for half-hour.
Heat slightly oil in a frying pan. Protecting the warmth reasonable, fry the desserts, first on one facet, then the opposite, for 4-5 minutes all sides, till they’re evenly browned. Serve instantly.
Haddock tarragon pie, dill and lemon crumb crust
I take advantage of two kinds of haddock right here, contemporary and evenly smoked. I’ve performed round with the ratios over time looking for a cheerful stability – a filling that’s neither too delicate nor aggressively smoky. I’ve settled on one that’s barely extra smoked haddock than contemporary. It’s one thing you’ll be able to tweak to your personal liking.
The addition of mussels is partly for the chubby little molluscs themselves – so good proper now – but additionally for the introduction of their cooking liquor that provides a deeply piscine word to the sauce. I’ve gone with herbed crumbs for the crust this time, although I do like a potato topping as properly. Wherein case I’d use 1kg of potatoes and about 50g of butter for a pie this dimension.
For the filling
smoked haddock 750g
bay leaves 3
black peppercorns 6
contemporary mussels 500g
tarragon leaves 2 tbsp, chopped
For the crust
tender white breadcrumbs 200g
You will have a deep sided baking dish, about 30cm x 22cm.
Put the haddock and smoked haddock in a big pan, then add the milk, bay leaves and peppercorns – evenly crushed – and convey nearly to the boil. It’s possible you’ll discover the milk doesn’t fairly cowl the fish, however it’ll cook dinner within the steam. Decrease the warmth, partially cowl with a lid and go away to simmer, very gently, for about 7 minutes, till the fish is nearly cooked. The pores and skin ought to come off simply. Flip off the warmth however go away the lid on.
Test the mussels, discarding any which are cracked or refuse to shut when tapped on the facet of the sink. Put them right into a deep saucepan with 200ml water then cowl with a tight-fitting lid and convey to the boil. Go away the mussels cooking for two minutes then raise the lid and verify their progress. As quickly because the shells have opened, they’re finished. Take away them from the warmth, pull the mussels from their shells. Reserve the cooking liquor.
Make the crust. Put the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl. Chop the dill and add to the crumbs. Finely grate the zest of the lemon then toss with the crumbs and dill. Soften the butter in a small pan, pour over the crumbs and stir to coat the crumbs totally.
Set the oven at 180C fan/gasoline mark 6. Take away the fish from the milk and peel the flesh from the pores and skin. Take away any bones. Break the fish into massive items and put them in a bowl. Soften the butter in a medium-sized saucepan – I take advantage of a 20cm deep pan – stir within the flour with a wood spoon and let it cook dinner for a few minutes till thick. Now regularly ladle in 600ml of the milk through which you cooked the fish, discarding the bay leaves, and stir in 100ml of the mussel cooking liquor (make sure to pour this via a high quality sieve as it may be a bit gritty). Hold stirring till the sauce involves the boil, then decrease the warmth and let it simmer gently – stirring recurrently and beating out any lumps as you go – over a low warmth for five minutes. Chop the tarragon, add to the sauce, then add the skinned fish and mussels and season evenly – you might be unlikely to wish salt.
Switch the filling to the baking dish, then scatter the buttered crumbs excessive and bake for 25 minutes until golden and crisp.
Cod cheeks with a coconut and curry leaf sauce
A fast and spicy soup substantial sufficient to be eaten as a principal course. Most fish will settle properly right into a sauce like this with its notes of mint, tomato and lime, so go for no matter appears to be like greatest on the fishmonger’s slab. Candy and chubby cod cheeks work a deal with. The splash of lime juice and the grated lime zest and chopped mint on the finish is a stunning addition.
onions 2 medium
groundnut oil 3 tbsp
contemporary ginger 50g
garlic 2 cloves
crimson chillies 2 small, sizzling
turmeric 2 tsp
curry leaves 15
coconut milk 1 x 400ml tin
cod cheeks 450g
mint leaves 12
lime 1, finely grated and squeezed
Peel and roughly chop the onions. Heat the oil over a reasonable warmth in a big frying pan after which add the onions. Grate the ginger, peel and mash the garlic and finely chop the chillies, then combine collectively to type a paste.
Go away the onions to cook dinner, with the occasional stir, on a low to reasonable warmth for about quarter-hour, till they’ve softened however not colored. Stir within the paste and proceed cooking for a minute or two then add the turmeric.
Now roughly chop the tomatoes, stir in them and their juices, then add the curry leaves. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, partially cowl with a lid and go away to simmer on a low warmth for 10 minutes.
Pour the coconut milk into the simmering sauce, then, because it returns to the bubble, add the cod cheeks and simmer for 7-8 minutes till the fish is opaque and can flake simply from the bone.
Ladle into bowls and add the grated lime zest and juice and the chopped mint.
Baked salmon with miso and lime
Of all of the fish, I feel salmon has essentially the most profitable affinity with miso. I usually poach items of fish in miso broth for a principal course fast soup with pak choi or spinach. I prefer it grilled with a miso and crimson chilli glaze, and served with rice or a pile of broad noodles.
crimson chilli 1 massive
mirin 3 tbsp
white miso paste 3 tbsp
honey 2 tbsp
fish sauce 3 tsp
lime juice 3 tbsp
vegetable oil a splash
salmon 4 x 225g items
Finely chop the chilli. In a small saucepan, combine the chilli, mirin, miso paste and honey, and convey to the boil. As soon as the miso has dissolved (it’ll want a superb stir) take away instantly from the warmth and add the fish sauce and lime juice. Place the fish in a shallow bowl, pour the marinade over them and put aside for half an hour.
Switch the fish to a baking dish, spoon over the marinade, then cook dinner below a preheated grill for about 12 minutes until the sauce has began to caramelise on the floor of the fish. Serve with salad leaves dressed with slightly rice vinegar and sesame oil.