Choosing fish is a tricky business these days with so many endangered species and unethical fishing methods its hard to keep up! According to Hugh’ s fish fight (to which I am fully signed up) “half of the worlds fish stocks are fully exploited and another quarter over-fished” which means we need to be a bit more picky about what we choose and a bit more adventurous. This is no mean feat when your nearest fish monger is a 20 mile drive away and I often only have the supermarket to rely on. Take last week for example; I’d gone off in the hope of purchasing some Pollack (line caught) for tea and having trawled (excuse the pun) all of my local supermarkets (Tesco, Waitrose and Morrison) was totally out of luck.
The MCS Pocket Good Fish Guide gives an idea to what fish are sustainable and acceptable. Somewhat disappointed at the lack of British sustainable fish in my local supermarket, I opted instead for a fair pollack substitute; line caught, farmed Tilapia. OK it’s not British (although I do know someone who rears Tilapia locally) but it is a lovely, light, firm fleshed white fish perfect for any dish which requires white fish!
So, in the absence of the vegetarian, fish hating, teen we filled our boots with a lovely Raymond Blanc meets High Fearnley-Whittingstall inspired dinner of crispy coated Tilapia grenobloise with potato puree and steamed and buttered spring cabbage.
Coat your fish fillets (skin removed) with seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs mixed with some fresh chopped thyme leaves. For the sauce I used about 50ml water with a little fish sock added, half a lemon segmented and roughly chopped (saving the juices), I dessertspoonful capers, half a small shallot finely chopped and a handful of parsley chopped. I simmered all of this together seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper. Ideally its made in the pan in which the fish was cooked, but I was unable to do this as I fried the fish in breadcrumbs (as requested by the smallest member of the household). 1kg of desiree potatos were cooked, pushed through a mouli then mixed with 170ml warm milk, 60g butter, salt and pepper until a creamy puree is created. I then shredded and steamed some spring greens, which were finished with a some salt and pepper and a little knob of butter. Our fish was delicious with the sharp acidic sauce (while the little one had his with ketchup, oh well can’t keep everyone happy!)