Please spend a few moments by signing up on this link and support Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's campaign in this international food fight. An EU law keeps the fishermen throwing dead fish (that we can eat) back into the sea. Please help to change this law and save the fish!
Do your bit by stopping to buy the common fish and go for something different. I picked up a fillet of Whiting at my local deli counter for £1 a fillet: a cheap and easy meal. Being a member of the Gadidae family, which also includes the Cod, Whiting is widely underused. Cod is being over fished in our seas (mainly due to the Fish 'n' Chip shops) so by picking a similar fish in the same family, I hoped it would be just as flaky and delicious, but also trying to be resourceful.
Even Mr. Swift himself was fond of delicate seafood:
Charming Oysters I cry,
My Masters come buy,
So plump and so fresh,
So sweet is their Flesh,
No Colchester Oyster
Is sweeter and moyster,
Your Stomach they settle,
And rouse up your Mettle,
They'll make you a Dad
Of a Lass or a Lad;
And, Madam your Wife
They'll please to the Life;
Be she barren, be she old,
Be she Slut, or be she Scold,
Eat my Oysters, and lye near her,
She'll be fruitful, never fear her.
Not everyone can afford Oysters for supper so my recipe below is one of my quick, cheap and satisfying dinners that can be adapted with any white fish.
Fish and Cream Sauce
White Fish (try Whiting, Pollock, Hake, Coley or ask your fishmonger or deli for what they have)
Shallot or small onion
Dash od white wine
Soft Herbs (Parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil work well here but choose any two you like)
Flour to dust fish
Salt and Pepper
- Start by getting a medium frying pan medium-hot.
- Season the fillet with salt and pepper. Dust with flour and pat the excess off.
- Drop a tablespoon of butter into the pan and once foaming, place the fish skin side down.
- Fry for a few minutes until golden and turn off the heat. Flip the fish over and the remaining heat in the pan will cook the fish.
- Whilst the fish is finishing off, slice one shallot/onion and a handful of your two herbs.
- Remove the fish and wrap in foil to keep warm (it might fall apart like my one below but don't worry!)
- Add the shallot/onions to the used frying pan and cook until opaque.
- Add the dash of white wine (half a glass) and sweat off until only a slight amount remains.
- Add cream (200ml per person) and allow to bubble and thicken for a minute or so.
- Add chopped herbs, lemon (this will thin it slightly) and salt and pepper to finish off the sauce.
- Serve with mashed sweet potato, a green vegetable and a glass of white!
- Enjoy and feel good for helping our fish!