I adore fresh fish. Tasty, wholesome, nutritious and quick to cook, it is the perfect fast food. I’m delighted to be working with Fish is the Dish, as a fish fanatic. Fish is the Dish is a wonderful organization which promotes the British fish industry, and shows people how to buy and cook with sustainable fish.
There are many people who enjoy fish as much as me, but simply do not manage to eat much fish as good quality, sustainable fish can be hard to get hold of, particularly if you live in more central parts of the country. That’s where fish delivery and frozen fish comes in. I lived off of fish and vegetables when I was working in London. I would order fresh fish from a reputable supplier and freeze it, ready to cook with. Stressed out and working long hours, I would come home from work absolutely ravenous and want to eat immediately, and frozen fish was the answer.
On a good day, I would take a frozen fillet out of the freezer first thing in the morning and leave it to defrost throughout the day and cook it as soon as I returned from work. Fish can take ten minutes or under to grill or pan fry and is therefore one of the best convenience foods you can buy. Most days, however, I would awake before dawn in a haze of tiredness, and in my rush to get out the door, I’d forget to get ahead. Fish fillets can be defrosted in just a few minutes though, by pouring hot water from a recently boiled kettle on them. Leave them in the hot water for a few minutes and they are ready to go. That was my saving grace if I hadn’t been organized that morning.
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Great quality fresh and frozen fish can be hard to get hold of. Many people turn to supermarkets, but sadly their fish often looks tired and is packed with ice to try and perk it up. I was therefore delighted to be invited by Fish is the Dish to try some fresh fish from John Milne, a fifth generation fisherman at Delish Fish, based at Peterhead in Scotland, who very kindly sent me a pack of their outstandingly good smoked haddock. You can order online from their website for home delivery.
My fish fillets arrived very well packed – having come all the way from Scotland to my Dorset home (and sat on the doorstep for several hours whilst I was out), the fish was really cold by the time we opened the pack. Each haddock fillet was individually vacuum packed, which is very helpful in terms of portion sizes. You could see the quality of the fish through the clear pack. Each fillet was very skillfully prepared and skinned, with a five day shelf life, giving me plenty of time to decide what to do with it. I will certainly be ordering more fillets to freeze, as the quality of the fish was exceptionally good, and not only that, responsibly sourced from sustainable stocks.
Fish is the dish sent me a recipe for their kedgeree, which I had to give a go:
Fish is the Dish Kedgeree recipe
- 450g smoked haddock
- 25g butter
- 1 onion
- 2 green cardamom pods split in half
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 350g basmati rice
- 600ml stock (I used some Marigold bouillon)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs to garnish
How do you do it?
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F.
- Wrap the haddock in foil and bung it in the oven on a baking tray for 8 minutes. (Check it’s done by seeing if it flakes easily with a fork.)
- Chop the onion and fry for 3 minutes in the melted butter, then add all the spices, including the split cardamom pods. Cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add the rice and stock, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in your flaked haddock and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
- Divide it among the plates with half a hard-boiled egg on top of each to garnish.
What did we think? This recipe is absolutely wonderful. It went down very well in our household, and I got supper on the table in around half an hour. I’ve also had requests for it a second time this week! I followed the recipe exactly and it was very easy to prepare. Baking the fish in foil is a very quick, clean and odour free way to cook fillets of fish. I also made this at Tony’s house in the Cotswolds, which doesn’t have the most well-equipped kitchen, and it was still easy to prepare – it doesn’t require a lot of equipment, or result in much washing up.
I also make a variation on this using salmon fillets, and adding green lentils, fresh spinach leaves and coriander, which is very nice too.
Another quick dish I make with haddock are my fish cakes. They are so simple to make and are also gluten free, making them suitable for everyone. My recipe is just a rough outline, feel free to play…
Gluten free Haddock fish cakes
Serves 2 hungry adults
- 1 large haddock fillet (feel free to use any white fish)
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and boiled
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- ½ red chilli
- A couple of glugs of olive oil
1) Cube the potatoes and boil them until soft
2) Steam or bake the fish fillet for around 8 minutes until the fish flakes easily
3) Chop the red chilli and spring onion
4) When the potatoes are cooked, drain them, and then mash them with a glug of good quality olive oil
5) When the fish is cooked, place the fillet onto a large plate or board and flake using two forks
6) Place the spring onion, chilli, potato and fish into a large bowl and mix well.
7) Form the mixture into balls (for adults, I go for cricket ball size balls) and flatten slightly
8) Place the fishcakes into a large frying pan, into which you have added a good glug of olive oil and warmed.
9) Fry the fish cakes on both sides until golden brown. Take care when turning the cakes over.
10) Serve with roasted vegetables or salad. They are also nice with a bit of sweet chili sauce on the side.