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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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Crumbed Fish Fillets

This was a super tasty way to prepare fish. I was a little trepidatious about the mayonnaise coating, I was afraid that it would end up tasting strongly of mayonnaise. I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. I would not have known that mayonnaise was even involved if I hadn’t made it myself.

The mayo actually made the whole process a lot easier and less messy than the traditional egg and breadcrumb combination and the onion powder added a little tasty zing to the whole ensemble.

Of course the traditional thing to have with fish is chips. Sadly I am not much into making chips, I find it fiddly and time consuming, so this is my take on it. Fish and roast potatoes.

 

Crumbed Fish Fillets

500 g fresh fish fillets
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Seasoned breadcrumbs
Lemon wedges
Salt, pepper, onion powder

Wash, skin fish and pat dry.
Cut fish into serving pieces and sprinkle with salt pepper and onion powder.
Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over each side of fish pieces.
Pat on seasoned breadcrumbs.
Place in a single layer on a greased oven tray.
Bake in a 180C oven until cooked through and crisp, about 20 mins.
Serve with lemon wedges.


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Fish and Potato Pie

I am always open to trying new things. Having said that, I feel like I can get a good idea of the end result of a recipe just by reading it and comparing the ingredients and cooking methods to more familiar recipes and can decide on the likelihood of success from there. This one threw me a bit because I have never tried anything quite like it and being a HUGE Shepard’s pie fan, the idea of the same theme but with fish was a little confronting. Having a large amount of fish in the freezer at the moment convinced me to give it a go however and I am so glad that I did.

This pie was exceptional.  It was savoury and tasty and everything I could hope for in a meal, especially a new recipe. The idea of a fish pie without a white sauce also took me by surprise, having seen recipes previously that all contained a white sauce component.

This even reheated nicely for those of you (like me) who fancy fish pie for breakfast (I don’t really run by the conventional rules when deciding what is breakfast food and what isn’t, my primary ruling is that if it is available it is acceptable) Anyway, if you are trepidatious (like I was) rest assured that this pie is worth the risk, give it a go and expand your ‘things to do with fish’ (or ‘things to eat for breakfast’) repertoire.

 

Fish and Potato Pie
Serves: 4

500 g fish fillets, steamed and diced (I microwaved mine in chunks at a low temperature for 10 mins or so and then flaked it)
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
½ cup white wine
3 cups cooked mashed potatoes
Grated cheese

Melt butter in pan, add onion and garlic and sauté until transparent.
Remove from heat and add parsley, salt and pepper, fish and wine. Mix all together.
Pour mixture into greased ovenproof dish and top with mashed potatoes to completely cover.
Sprinkle liberally with grated cheese.
Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.


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Fish with Dill Sauce

This recipe made a truck load of sauce/dressing/whatever you want to call it. I plan on making some chicken nuggets this week to mop up the left overs as I think that will be a dandy combination. Initially the honey in this sauce gave it a peculiar taste (to me anyway) but after ½ an hour in the refrigerator the flavours blended together and the honey taste dissipated into the sauce leaving it with just a hint of sweetness to blunt the tang of the yoghurt a little.

This sauce/dressing/whatever was fresh and light, full of herbs and tasted great, both with the fish and with the ubiquitous roast potatoes that it was teamed with.

I am enjoying the opportunity to cook more fish of late (my husband is allowing me to cook the fish for a change, as long as I give him free reign to keep on going out to catch it, it’s a win/win). This was another meal of Australian Salmon. The more I eat this fish, the more I wonder why it isn’t more popular amongst recreational fishermen as a table fish, oh well, all the more for me!

 

Fish with Dill Sauce

3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 Tbls rice vinegar
1 Tbls honey
1 garlic clove, chopped
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 Tbls vegetable oil, divided
6 fish fillets
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor; add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until pureed.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add 3 fillets to pan; cook 3 minutes per side
or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove from pan, and keep warm.
Repeat procedure with remaining oil and fillets; serve with sauce.

 


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A new kitchen toy

I bought a new microwave. There was nothing wrong with the old one (it will find a new lease on life when my daughter gets her own place) it just didn’t fit in the microwave recess in the new house’s kitchen. For the past 5 months I have filled the recess with odds and ends and lamented the amount of bench space lost to the microwave. Last week we decided to just go out and do it, downsize and get a new microwave and put the old one out to pasture.

Of course, new oven, new cook book!

As I have a freezer full of fish at the moment (my husband was very successful on his last trip out) I decided to make sweet and sour fish and team it with a new rice recipe from my new microwave cook book. This actually made tons of rice, which I have been enjoying for the past few days with anything and everything. I think it could have used a touch more salt or stock powder and I think I might even change it up a little with some curry powder and make a curry rice this way. It was a fantastically easy way to do flavoured rice and I will certainly try it again.

The fish, by the way, was Australian Salmon. A lot of people think this is just a sport fish and not at all good to eat but I particularly like it. It is a firm white fish, although there tends to be quite a bit of darker meat also. It lends itself to being cubed and deep-fried like this and also works well as fillets. It is also a largish fish and so provides a good amount of flesh for the time and effort it takes to catch and clean, which is also a bonus in my book.

So a few easy recipes for today:

My ‘go to’ easy Sweet and Sour Sauce, great with chicken, fish or pork.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 Tbls plum jam or 1/2 cup plum marinade
1 Tbls cider vinegar
1 Tbls mild chilli sauce

Place it all in a pot and stir to mix well.
If using a thinner marinade then let boil down to desired consistency.

 

My ‘go to’ easy light batter

Light Batter

3 egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour

Lightly beat egg whites and mix in cornflour thoroughly.

I used this same batter on a recipe previously (see Lemon & Ginger Chicken) and it works well for anything that needs a light batter.

 

My new ‘go to’ easy and quick rice recipe, thanks to my new Panasonic Microwave cook book.

Fragrant Coconut Rice 
Serves 6

1 onion, chopped
2 cups long grain rice
500ml chicken stock
400ml coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric

Place all ingredients in a 3L casserole dish.
Cook on full power for 15-18 mins.
Cover and let stand for 10 mins before serving.

 


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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.