Alright, so maybe it’s not really cream. But it’s pretty close I reckon, and less heartstopping, I think.
- Get your quick-cook spaghetti boiling together with the chopped carrots in a pot on the hob.
- In a skillet on medium low heat, melt a hunk of butter, then add in a splash of wine, a squeeze of lemon, a small amount of garlic puree and a thin slice of ginger. Crack in some salt and pepper too. Make sure you’ve got enough liquid to baste the fish.
- Once everything has combined, remove the slice of ginger, it has done its job.
- Make sure the fillet of fish has been pat dry, gently place it in the pan and baste it away on medium heat.
- Remove as soon as the fish is cooked. Take care not overdo it.
- Drain your spaghetti if it’s done.
- With the remaining butter and fish liquid rendered, add equal volumes of milk and flour. TIP! Usually, I add the milk to determine the amount of sauce I want, then add a little more milk, before adding flour in small quantities till the desired consistency.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Squeeze more lemon juice if necessary.
- Serve the sauce drizzled over the fish and spaghetti.
I got tired of having fish and potatoes every Friday, so I made a little asian fish stew last night. Mummy used to make it for dinner some Fridays, before we succumbed to the convenience of dining out on the night before the weekend. It’s pleasantly bold, yet ever-so-slightly sour. Braised slowly but surely, in a mildly sweet garlicky dark sauce, the fish sings beautifully with the shrimps. The tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach leaves tosses up a party of textures. Chowed down with extra hot finger chilli and freshly steamed basmati.
- 1 fillet haddock, defrosted completely, cut into large chunks
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 brown mushroom, sliced
- 1 white mushroom, sliced
- 1 handful shrimps
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon black vinegar
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 mug water
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves
- Get the sauce done first. With a little oil in the pan, in goes the garlic and ginger.
- When fragrant, get the shrimps, tomatoes and mushrooms in.
- Then, the vinegar, soy sauces, sugar and sesame oil.
- Add water to add more volume to sauce. Adjust with sea salt accordingly.
- Finally, when the sauce has reduced slightly, turn the heat down to s simmer and sit the fish pieces gently inside. Baste it well, and flip carefully when it’s half cooked.
- Once the fish is done, turn off the heat.
- Serve atop the baby spinach leaves.
No points for presentation there, but all smiles for the flavour.
Fridays are always fish days. So here’s another one of them fish and potatoes recipes, to add to your ‘fish & chips alternatives’ list – Pan-seared Haddock on a Crispy Thyme Potato Smash
- This is a real cheat, if you want good crispy potatoes fast, without using the oven.
- In a pot of boiling water, toss in your potatoes, scrubbed with their skin on, and cut to inch-large pieces.
- Once they’re done, strain them with a colander and let them sit in there, steaming away for a bit.
- Then, get them all onto a hot skillet. With a small knob of butter and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and dried thyme leaves, smash and mix with a potato masher. You want to smash them erratically so you get a lovely assortment of large and smaller pieces, instead of bashing them to a pulp.
- Let them sit on the heat for a while, stirring them once here and once there, to stop them from burning.
- Sneak a small bite and once you’ve got a pan of fluffy and crispy smash, it’s done.
- Pat dry your fillet of the sea and season it with just a bit of salt and pepper.
- On a hot skillet, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and put the fish on.
- Watch it closely, as it cooks pretty quickly. When the fish has shrunk slightly and has gone from translucent to opaque, it’s done.
- Lay gently atop a portion of potato smash,
- A squeeze of a lemon, a pinch of dill leaves and thin slices of chilli, you’re ready to please and be pleased.
Back when Mummy made breakfast for me to bring to school, I’d always be pleasantly surprised whenever it was toasted fishcake sandwiches. Even though she made it every Friday.
This concept of ‘fishcakes’ is really quite unique to Singapore. For some reason, it’s extremely difficult to find it even in other parts of Asia, not to mention Europe. Back in London, I’d only find it in Chinatown; what a tragedy.
In any case, if and when you get your hands on some ‘fishcake’, please treat yourself to a morning toasted fishcake sandwich. It will complete your day (and your life).
- 1 piece of fishcake, halved and toasted
- 2 slices of bread, white or wholemeal
- 1 thumbsized knob of butter, halved
With a knob of butter and a hot toasty piece of fishcake wedged in each slice of bread, you’ve got one more thing to make your Friday brighter.
Earlier this afternoon, my dad gently requested, with a clenched fist, that I make pizza for dinner. This is one of the four I made:
If you ever have time and you feel like making a pizza, please try this one out. Thin crust pizza with fishcake and sweet pea topping, it’s comfort food to the max.
Fishcake is something I sorely miss while in London, for some reason, they don’t have it at the supermarket. Only Chinatown stocks it. And oddly enough, further up north of England, my peers have it in almost every homecooked meal. Such is life.
Back to the Fishcake. It’s marvellous when toasted or barbecued. So when it’s on a pizza, baking away with a coupla parboiled sweet peas, the result is maximum comfort in satisfaction.
Please. Try it. Soon.
Talk about Fish & Chips, here’s a variation. I wouldn’t say it’s healthier or whatever, it’s just a lazier way you can get some fish and potato chips into your diet. (Of course, it involves more effort than simply popping over to the Fish & Chips store across the road.)
Pan-Fried Pollock & Chips
Together with the special appearance by Mr Mushrooms and Ms Asparagus, both the fish and chips are fried in a pan.
Season the less-than-inch-thick fish fillets with salt and pepper and place them gently onto a really hot pan. Let them sizzle away until you can see them getting increasingly cooked on the top. Turn them over for just 40 seconds or so, and remove.
I cut my potatoes to a quarter the size of a normal chip. This lets them cook faster, and they get crispier too. With butter, thyme, pepper and just a pinch of salt, be gastronomically prepared for some awesome hassle-free chips.
Fish and Potatoes are a great combination. Replace the chips with a mash, and make a white garlic sauce to bond the two. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.