“All-in-one Basil Cod with Potatoes and Green Lentils” from “Flavour: Eat What You Love”

Fish Friday!

This dish reminds me so much of a great Nigella Lawson dish. She loves a tray bake, and I have to agree. You bung everything together in a tray, bake it for the prescribed amount of time, and then eat. It’s the perfect weeknight dish for when you want something delicious, but nothing something that’s going to use three bowls, two pots and multiple spoons.

I always knew there was a risk in making this for the teenagers, because they are not fans of lentils, whereas the adults in the family are. In any case, they found a workaround: they ate the fish and the potatoes (happily, as it happens) and ate around the lentils. Problem solved. The adults loved everything.

Highly recommended, both for the ease of making it and the delicious taste. I would definitely make this again.

“All-in-one Basil Cod with Potatoes and Green Lentils” from “Flavour: Eat What You Love”

“Jackson Pollock” from “Simply Nigella”

IMG_7841This is a play on words. Or to be more precise, it would have been a play on words had the fishmonger had pollock in stock. Alas, the only white fish he had was cod, but “Jackson Cod” makes no sense at all. So perhaps I should call this Jackson Pollock* (*when the pollock is actually cod).

This was a Fish Friday special. The one thing to bear in mind when making fish is that is generally cooks quite quickly, so it’s the ultimate in 30-minute meals and that was true with this dish (Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out).

I had to scale up the recipe to feed four of us, since Nigella’s only served two. I noticed that many of the recipes in this book feed only two, which makes me sad for Nigella because it makes it seem that she’s either eating alone a lot or suffering from empty-nest syndrome. Or maybe both.

Unfortunately my finished dish didn’t look nearly as artful [pun intended] as Nigella’s. My green sauce also looks decidedly thicker and darker than hers, but I don’t think that was a problem. It still tasted great. It received enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone around the table.

Would I make this again? Indeed I would. This is a great addition to the Fish Friday rotation.

If you’d like to make this yourself, Google Books has it by clicking through this link.

“Jackson Pollock” from “Simply Nigella”

“Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce” from “Jerusalem”



If you’d like to give this recipe a try, click through this sentence to find it reproduced in The Guardian. (Incidentally, their picture is much better.)

Maureen: Tonight, for Fish Friday, we’re having fish cakes, thanks to Nicholas. Once he heard that we were doing “Jerusalem” for one our cookbooks this month, he asked me to make these again.

Nicholas (10): I thought you did this cookbook for the blog ages ago.

Maureen: I got it ages ago, but we’re just doing it now. So now we can have these fish cakes again. I’m amazed you remembered what book they were from, Nicholas.

Nicholas: I just remembered that we had these fish cakes before and how much we liked them.

Maureen: What do you think of the ones tonight?

Nicholas: They’re great.

Andrew (14): I agree. They’re good.

Tim: I would say they’re delicious, but when you make it again, double the sauce so there’s enough.

Maureen: I definitely agree with that. There’s not nearly enough tomato sauce. The other thing I’ll do the next time is whizz everything up in the food processor. It took ages to cut it all up by hand.

Tim: I’m loving the cod cheeks!

Maureen: That was a top tip from our friendly fishmonger. Cod cheeks are INCREDIBLY cheap, and since you’re just chopping them up anyway, it’s definitely the way to go if they’ve got them in. How many stars would you give it?

Andrew: Four stars.

Nicholas: Five stars.

Tim: Four and a half stars. The only thing keeping it from a five is the lack of sauce.

Maureen: We’ll definitely be doing this one again.

“Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce” from “Jerusalem”

“Fantastic Fish Pie” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

If you would like to make “Fantastic Fish Pie” for yourself– and I highly recommend that you do– you can find the recipe here.

Maureen: Yum! Jamie’s fish pie. We love this.

Andrew (12): We do?

Nicholas (8): Are you sure?

Maureen: I could not be more sure. In fact, when I made the “Happy Fish Pie” from “Jamie’s Great Britain” we spent a lot of the meal saying this one was better.

Andrew: I really don’t remember that. But whatevs. This is nice.

Continue reading ““Fantastic Fish Pie” from “The Return of the Naked Chef””

“Fantastic Fish Pie” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

“Fish Fingers” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Kirstin: Hurrah! Home made fish fingers! I have been trying for the longest time to get a fish recipe that the little people can have every week. Is it this one?

Ella: No, I don’t like this one either. But I like it more than the others.

Miles: I don’t like the breadcrumbs.

Tom: What? The breadcrumbs are much better than the ones on normal fish fingers!

Kirstin: What do you think Georgia? Actually, I think I can tell as you’ve cleared your plate. Would you like any more?

Georgia: Yes please! They were amazing!

Tom: I liked them too.

Kirstin: I shall definitely be making these again. And Miles, you can get used to these breadcrumbs!

“Fish Fingers” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

“Happy Fish Pie” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

We didn’t talk about this recipe very much, as our dinner conversation quickly veered into the territory of “What souveniers do you want from China?” (Answer: A panda. Or if that’s not possible, chopsticks) and jokes (Here’s the best one: A panda is eating in a restaurant, when all of the sudden he shoots his waiter and leaves. A policeman chases after him and says, “What do you think you’re doing?” to which the panda replies, “Hey, I’m a panda. Look it up in the dictionary. I eat shoots and leaves.”) I think there’s some good value in the blog today– food AND jokes!

It’s no surprise that a recipe for fish pie was included in “Jamie’s Great Britain.” I think fish pie is as classic a British recipe as it comes. As he says in the introduction, “Fish pie is one of the cornerstones of great British comfort food.”

Fish Pie is definitely classic British cooking. Before we moved here 13 years ago from the United States, we never had a fish pie in our life. But that all changed after I bought a copy of “The Return of the Naked Chef,” Jamie’s second book. “Fantastic Fish Pie” is just that– fantastic. The page in my cookbook has all manner of splashes and stains on it. I have notes from October 2001 on the page, meaning that I’ve been making this dish for 10 years. We all love it. It is firmly in the autumn/winter rotation of dinners here. If you’d like to make it yourself, there’s a link to the recipe here.

So how does this version stack up with the original? It doesn’t stack up, unfortunately. Our view might be tainted by the fact that we haven’t tried many any other fish pie recipes. (Why branch out when you found one you’ve love?) This version isn’t dramatically different from that one, but where it fails is it doesn’t include the two things that make the original so good: handfuls of spinach and boiled eggs.

Continue reading ““Happy Fish Pie” from “Jamie’s Great Britain””

“Happy Fish Pie” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

“Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat”

Andrew (11): The cod is really good.

Nicholas (8): I’m really familiar with cod.

Maureen: How is that then? Please explain.

Nicholas: Cod is always the fish I pick when I have fish and chips.

Maureen: That explains the overfishing problem, then. What do you think, Tim? This is your Father’s Day special.

Tim: I’m really excited about having lentils. We never have lentils.

Maureen: Do you like them?

Tim: How could you not? They’re delicious.

Continue reading ““Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat””

“Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde” and “Go-with-Anything Cake” from “Good Things to Eat”