Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Cheap thrills: don't get much cheaper than this...

One of Michael's coworkers went fishing, and promised Michael some fish. Michael brought home 4 fish. Fish!

Actually it was a surprise for me, but as they were frozen I had some time to think about what to do with them...

The first two fish were eaten the next evening, cooked with ingredients we already had in the house. There was an hour or so pouring over my much loved, and well used, copy of River Cottage Every Day, in the search for inspiration and I wasn't disappointed. Decisions weren't made until that afternoon when the lure of fluffy-but-crunchy potatoes became too much...

But I was in a hurry, so this is the method I used:

Fluffy potatoes
  • 2 potatoes, cut and peeled (or peeled and cut, or just wash and cut)
  • 3 tablespoons oxtail fat (or oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, put 3 tablespoons of fat (or oil) into an ovenproof pan (I used our new skillet and the reserved fat from the oxtail stew) and set aside. Boil the potatoes in salty water for 10 minutes, drain and allow to steam in their pot. While the potatoes steam, put the pan and fat in the oven. When the fat is melted, and starting to smoke, remove the pan, put the lid back on the potatoes and toss them (lightly!), then quickly put them into the pan and coat them in the fat. Quickly return the pan (and potatoes) to the oven and bake for at least 30 minutes.

While the potatoes were backing I made up some mustard aioli, although I initially wanted to use chilli, mustard seemed safer (Jimmy has a habit of rubbing food in his eyes... especially at dinner)...

Mustard aioli
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (any sort will do, I used a German style)
  • 1/2 cup whole egg mayonnaise
Peel and chop the garlic, roughly/finely - it's up to you. Put it into a small bowl with the mustard and mayonnaise and mix well. A day or 2 in the fridge allows the garlic to permeate the mix and mellow, a little.

After making the aioli, about 15 minutes after putting the potatoes into the oven, I added the fish. As they were already gutted and scaled, prep  was going to be easy. I gave 2 fish a good rinse, pulled the skillet out of the oven and made room in the middle for them. I quickly coated one side of each fish with the fat in the skillet and turned them over. Then I cracked some pepper over them, stuffed a few bay leaves and a clove of garlic in the cavities, threw a few more bay leaves and garlic cloves around, and added a generous drizzle of olive oil on the fish. The olive oil may not have been necessary... Put it all back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

We had our fish with peas and broccoli, and a little mustard aioli, not that we needed the extra fat...

No comments:

Post a Comment