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Fish Bites and Lemon Butter Rice

So, today I googled ‘why are rabbits called bunnies?’ This is an example of the things that cross my mind whilst eating my breakfast. There was no string of thought that led to this curious subject; it just suddenly concerned me deeply from out of nowhere. I know now what the accepted reasons are and I can sleep tonight secure in that knowledge. I will not bore you with details, you may google it yourself if you are interested in the answer.

An excellent combination. Fish and lemon is classic and always works well.
The fish was lightly battered and shallow fried and the lemon rice (surprisingly fast to cook) made the perfect accompaniment.

Fish Bites

White fish fillets, cubed
3 egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Beat egg whites lightly to break up.
Add cornflour and salt and pepper.
Dip fish in batter and shallow fry until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper prior to serving.

Lemon Butter Rice

2 Tbls Butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup white Rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Grated rind of 1 lemon
To make the rice, Melt butter, add onion and cook over moderate heat
for about 2 minutes.
Add rice, toss in butter and cook for 1 minute. Add stock.
Bring to the boil, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add lemon rind, fork lightly and allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.


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Garlic-Broiled Fish

I will preface this recipe by saying that I am not a cold fish person, nor am I generally a leftover fish person. I will eat fish, I actually enjoy it most of the time but if there is any left it either goes to the husband (whose general aversion to seafood does not extend to fish, thankfully) or to the cats whose love for fish is universal and all encompassing.

Due to unforeseen circumstances that made the consumption of this dish immediately upon cooking impossible I was left with limited choices. My husband wasn’t hungry and I was not really comfortable giving an entire meal to the cats especially considering the garlic component and their natural aversion to things that are particularly pungent, lemony or herby.

I ended up eating a small amount of this fish hot with some rice (also leftovers) and the rest I flaked up and mixed in with the pan juices (lemony, garlicky and herby) and had it cold on hot buttered toast. How good was that? Amazing!

At first I had to overcome my aversion to the idea of what I was eating (all in my head but still difficult to budge), it made it hard to enjoy the first bite or two (the power of your mind to make things unpalatable just because you are unused to them amazes me but it can, thankfully, be overcome). After convincing my brain to shut up and just go with it, it began to realise that this was indeed a fabulous meal, tasty and wholesome, not to mention easy and plentiful. The fact was that it might as well give in because I was going to eat it no matter what.

This became my favourite breakfast/snack/lunch for as long as it lasted in the fridge, I finished the last of it yesterday and was extraordinarily sad to see it go. I am still amazed at how hard it was to get those first few bites down and how much I enjoyed it after I got over my natural(?) aversion to something I would normally not eat. It just goes to show you how strongly your food culture affects you and what you choose to eat. This meal was not even a huge leap into the unknown, not a wild aberration from my normal diet and it was still hard to accept at first. Now almost nothing in my refrigerator is out of question now when it comes to leftover snacking (although I still hate cold sausages).

Time to buy something new to try…

Garlic-Broiled Fish
Serves 4

3 Tbls lemon juice
3 Tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup white wine
750g fish fillets

Preheat the oven to 180C
Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings in a bowl. Marinate the fish in this mixture for at least 30 minutes, or for as long as 6 hours.
Place the fish, skin side down, in a baking pan. Pour the marinade around the fillet.
Pour in wine until the liquid comes 2/3 of the way up the fish.
Cook the fish until done.



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Crispy Fish and Roasted Cauliflower

Another mayonnaise coated marvel! This time the mayo was cut with milk which made it a bit easier to coat the fish with it. The lemon pepper was the star of the show flavouring the breadcrumbs strongly as it is wont to do. I used cod fish for this recipe, its tender yet firm texture lends itself well to being crumbed and baked in the oven.

I am really loving this mayonnaise/crumb technique, it is simple and much quicker and easier (in my opinion) than the old flour/egg/crumb technique. The flavour of the mayonnaise doesn’t seem to come through strongly or at all and the crumb sticks beautifully.

I served this with wedges that I oven roasted from the last 3 potatoes that I had on hand (time to go shopping) and oven roasted cauliflower.

Just in case you have never tried it (I hadn’t until then) oven roasted cauliflower is awesome! I’d seen it done before but never tried it. The lack of potatoes spurred me on to try something new and the cauliflower was in the fridge. I’ve put that recipe below also.


Crispy Fish

Oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
750g boned, skinned fish fillet, rinsed and patted dry.

Spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk mayonnaise and milk.
In another bowl, mix bread crumbs, salt, and lemon pepper.
Dip each piece of fish into mayonnaise mixture, turning to coat, then roll in bread-crumb mixture, turning to coat.
Place pieces slightly apart on baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Bake on the top rack of a 250C oven until surface is browned and fish is opaque but still moist-looking in the center (cut to test), 12 to 14 minutes.


Roasted Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C. Rinse cauliflower; break or slice into florets.
In a large bowl or re-sealable plastic bag, mix together cauliflower slices, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer in a non-stick baking dish, or aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake prepared cauliflower approximately 20 to 25 minutes, turning every once, or until cauliflower is browned or caramelized on edges and tender.
Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Creamy Garlic Prawns

What to have for dinner when you are pressed for time, tired or just don’t want to spend ages preparing anything? Creamy garlic prawns fit the bill perfectly and look like you have prepared a complex and gourmet meal to boot. It’s probably worth mentioning that they taste divine also.

This is so easy to make and the most time consuming portion is cooking the rice that you serve with it. I adore prawns (they have to be pre-peeled though as I am lazy and they are fiddly and kind of yucky) and there is often a bag of frozen prawn meat in my freezer, just waiting for the right time to be unleashed on my taste buds in various forms.

Creamy Garlic Prawns

10 Large Green Peeled Tiger Prawns (I used 500g thawed prawn meat)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Enough to cover the pan
2 Tbls crushed Garlic
1 Tbls chopped parsley
1 cup of thickened cream

Heat the olive oil.
Fry the prawns in the oil until they’re just cooked.
Add the garlic and fry off a little then add the parsley and the cream.
Simmer, reducing the garlic cream sauce just a little.
Serve on a bed of boiled rice.

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Sweet and Tangy Fish

I don’t often post fish recipes, that is because my husband likes to cook the fish that he catches. This time however he gave me free rein and this is what I came up with.

I used small herring fillets but any white fish will do, just adjust the cooking time to account for the thickness of the fish. These we had with broccoli and lightly roasted potatoes. My daughter cleaned her plate, always a good indication if a recipe meets with the family’s approval.


Sweet and Tangy Fish
4 servings

2 Tbls butter
3 tsp lemon juice, divided
1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used seeded)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
500g fish fillets

In a bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon lemon juice, melted butter, mustard, red wine vinegar,
honey, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Drizzle a little of the butter sauce into a non-stick pan.
Place the fish into the prepared baking pan and fry off for about 3 minutes.
Turn fish, and drizzle with the remaining butter dressing mixture.
Continue frying about 2 minutes, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
Remove from heat, and sprinkle with remaining lemon juice to serve.