Out with the pancakes and in the with 40 days starvation…..Just kidding! Goodness imagine that, I’d have heart failure at the thought of 40 days starvation.
I see abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday as more an Irish tradition these days rather than a religious need. I see Ash Wednesday as a great opportunity for us to set aside at least one day where we eat fish, which is healthier and leaner than meat. There is so much fish on the market these days which wasn’t around when we were little, Ash Wednesday can be used as a day to go out, be adventurous and buy some fish or seafood you haven’t tried before.
For those of you who are not as adventurous as myself when it comes to trying new types of fish (sustainable fish I might add), then here is one of my favourite fish recipe, and I’m sure it’s the nations favourite, the good ole fish and chips. This is not a recipe for a battered cod or trice fried chips, this is the healthier baked version, complete with a healthier tartar sauce and healthier mushy peas. It goes to show that just because you may be dieting or wish to eat healthier, doesn’t mean you must close the door on your favourite food, it just means you need to adapt recipes to make them healthier. Instantly making dinner a guilt free affair.
Fish – please use a sustainable, responsibly sourced fish.
Chips – rooster potatoes are great for chipping and baking
Mushy peas – out with sugary canned mushy peas, in with pureed garden peas with olive oil and mint
Tartar sauce – lighter than light mayo and tangy capers and gherkins are the way forward here
If you like what you hear….lets get cooking!!
- 2 fillets coley/ haddock or similar
- 2 rooster potatoes, chipped, leaving skin on
- 100g frozen peas
- 2 mint leaves
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp of lighter than light mayo
- 2 gherkins, chopped
- 2 tsp of capers
- Juice ½ lemon
- The chips take the longest so we'll start with them. Put the chipped potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, and boil for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Drain the chips, and allow the moisture to steam off the chips for 5 minutes
- Place the chips back in the pan and add 1 tbsp of oil and shake about to coat all the chips.
- Place the chips on parchment paper on a baking tray in one even layer
- Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes, turning once.
- Meanwhile, make the tartar sauce, mix the mayo, gherkins, capers, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Cook the fish skin side up on baking paper on a tray in the oven with the chips for the final 15 minutes of cooking.
- Boil the frozen peas in boiling water for 7 minutes and drain.
- Whizz the peas, mint, remaining oil and salt and pepper to make the ‘mushy peas’
- With everything made its simply a case of assembly. I don’t go in for amazing presentations (you make have guessed), but maybe placing the fish on top of the pea puree, and get the tartar sauce in a small dish to place on the place and finally scatter with the crispy baked chips.