Hello! It’s National Fish and Chips Day!.
I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of chip shop chips; they’re always too greasy and soggy for my taste and you get overfaced by the amount they give you which is very wasteful. I do love a piece of crispy battered haddock though, although that is not what I’m going to share with you today. Here’s my attempt at a healthier version of fish, chips and mushy peas and it was with some trepidation that I presented it to Alan for his dinner one evening. I needn’t have worried as he loved it and wondered when we were having it again!
This recipe is great as you cook the fish from frozen, which means even if you’ve forgotten to defrost your fish you can still have a meal on the table in less than 40 minutes. So here we have Fish with a Herby Crust, Sweet Potato Chips and Smashed Minty Peas. Use your favourite firm fish, bearing in mind you may have to increase or decrease cooking time depending on the thickness. The cheese is only in the crust mixture to bind it together on top of the fish, so I used a mild cheese, but you could try a stronger one for a different flavour.
Fish with a Herby Crust, Sweet Potato Chips and Smashed Minty Peas
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 medium sweet potatoes, each scrubbed well and cut lengthways into 8 slim wedges
1tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sweet paprika
2 frozen white fish fillets (I used haddock)
25g Panko breadcrumbs
½ lemon, zested
25g mild cheddar, finely grated
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs (I used chives, parsley and oregano)
½ tbsp olive oil
200g – 250g frozen peas
Large knob of butter (optional, but it does taste delicious!)
1 sprig of mint and 1tbsp chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges to serve.
Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ Gas mark 7
Put the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl, add 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle over the sweet paprika and a grind of black pepper. Mix well, ensuring the wedges are coated with oil. (I find using my hands is best.) Spread them on a greased or non-stick baking tray and pop in the oven on the top shelf, and put the timer on for 5 minutes.
Place the frozen fish fillets on another greased baking tray and place in the oven once the potatoes have been in for 5 minutes. Put the timer on for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the Panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, grated cheese, mixed herbs, ½ tbsp olive oil, and black pepper.
Remove both trays from the oven, turn the sweet potatoes if needed, and replace onto the middle shelf this time. Drain off any liquid that has been released from the fish then divide the breadcrumb mixture between the fillets, pressing down well with the back of the spoon. I let the crumbs spill over onto the tray and it was fine. Place into the oven onto the top shelf and leave to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. The breadcrumbs will be golden and the fish opaque when it is ready. While the fish and chips finish cooking, place the frozen peas into a saucepan and just cover with water, add the mint sprig and bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the peas; add the knob of butter, seasoning and the chopped mint. Smash with a potato masher until it’s the consistency you would like. (You could try blending with a stick blender if you like your peas smoother!)
Take the fish out of the oven and check it’s cooked by inserting the point of a knife into it and peering in to see if it’s opaque. Sweet potato chips are not usually crunchy so they’re ready when soft. Serve on warmed plates with the smashed peas and a wedge of lemon.
I think this recipe is going to be one of my favourite “go-to” recipes, I wonder if it will become one of yours!
See you next time.