Friday, 20 December 2013

Plaice, potato rosti, tomato salsa, and cucumber relish

One of my quickest dinners is potato, green veg and fried fish with a caper butter. The fish I use ranges from salmon, trout, whiting, plaice or whatever the fishmonger has on offer/needs to get rid of. If I'm going all out and cooking something special then I'll get some turbot or halibut, but usually this is a mid week dinner that takes half an hour, and is really healthy (well...maybe if I used a little less butter!)

The way I cook the fish stays the same; I tend mix up the accompanying sides to make every dish a little different (it usually involves finding what in the fridge would go with the fish...).

Start with the thing that takes the longest and in this case it’s the potato. Grate potato and onion. Add mustard seeds and fennel seeds with salt and pepper and an egg. Mix well and shape with your hands into a flat disc about the circumference of a large mug. Fry in oil (I used rape seed as I got some Cotswold stuff in the local shop on offer) for 5-10 mins on a medium hot pan then flip and add a little butter for another 5-10 mins until golden.

While that’s cooking, cut up your tomatoes into small cubes (you can flash boil for 30 secs to remove the skin and seeds inside but I don’t do this if I don’t have the energy) and add spoonful of sugar, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh parsley, 1 crushed garlic clove, oil, salt, pepper. 

For the cucumber relish, peel it with a y-shaped potato peeler (it does work!) in thin strips then marinade in a mixture of vinegar and sugar, then take out and add dill and salt and pepper. The slightly cool cucumber crunch with the soft white fish is amazing.

Rub the fish with a touch of oil, salt and pepper, and fry on each side until golden (few minutes on each side on a high heat). When you put it in the pan, don't fiddle around with it as a crusty skin outside won't form: put it in a pan and leave it to sizzle until you turn it over. Add butter at the end to colour it (capers optional). Baste it with the caper butter by using a spoon to spoon the frothing butter over the fish. Once the butter turns a medium brown colour, take off the heat and plate up immediately.

Serve on the rosti, with salsa, relish and lemon.

ZP x

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