“Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Capers and Lemon” with “Green Bean and Little Gem Salad” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

Kirstin: Miles, you’ve eaten all your fish!

Miles: I love it!

Kirstin: But you didn’t like this the last time I made it.

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Miles: Well I like it now!

Kirstin: So this is the second time I’ve made recipes that weren’t appreciated the first time around. That’s definitely a lesson learnt for me.

Tom: The fish is delicious. And I love it when you make this salad.

Kirstin: Do you remember when I made this salad and served it with just a bit of cheese? It’s a perfect summer salad and such beautiful greens. And my goodness, Ella you’ve eaten all your fish too!

Tom: I think that means we’ll be having this again.

Kirstin: Too right! I adore sea bass. And it was a good excuse to  make some sourdough ciabatta to go with too!

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“Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Capers and Lemon” with “Green Bean and Little Gem Salad” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

“Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh sauce” from “Jerusalem”

Kirstin: I used cod pieces for this recipe as I couldn’t find salmon steaks anywhere.

Tom: Well they worked well.

Kirstin: Yes, this was a perfect dish to combat all that rain outside! I served it warm, with rice. Would I make it again? Probably not, but I enjoyed it. And it wasn’t too difficult to make! The flavours were wonderful together too.

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“Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh sauce” from “Jerusalem”

“Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce” from “Jerusalem”

 

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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”

“Sunshine fish curry” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Kirstin: I love this. Just grinding up the spices put a huge smile on my face.

Tom: And the flavours are wonderful on a winter’s night.

Kirstin: I used frozen fish and there weren’t any particularly exotic ingredients, so this could be kept as a stock cupboard recipe. I served it on rice, in a bowl.

Tom: I would be up for that! Not sure about the kids though.

Kirstin: I am sure they will come around to our way of thinking. Mwa ha ha ha! Now if only the sunshine came with this curry, we would be sorted.

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“Sunshine fish curry” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Crispy Fillet of Sea Bass with Herby Couscous” from “Gino’s Italian Escape”

Or, in Italian: Spigola in Padella con Cous Cous Alle Erbe

CBAMSeaBassMaureen: Fish Friday!

Tim: I understand that you were the one who picked sea bass, Nicholas.

Nicholas (10): I did! I thought it sounded nice, since I like sea bass and we always like couscous.

Andrew (14): That’s true, we do.

Maureen: What do you think?

Nicholas: I like it, but I don’t like the olives.

Andrew: I like it, but I don’t like the tomatoes.

Tim: I like it all.

Maureen: Me too. Sea bass is always a winner.

Tim: How much did it cost though?

Maureen:Yes, sea bass is a bit on the pricey side, as it cost almost £30 for two fish that produce four large fillets. But I think it’s worth it.

TIm: Yes, it’s good, but is it really five times better than the trout we had a few weeks ago? That was delicious, and such good value.

Maureen: That’s a fair point, the trout tasted just as good and was much, much cheaper to buy. The good thing is that we’ve tried all different sorts of fish with our Fish Friday experiment.

Tim: FFFTW! Fish Friday For The Win!

“Crispy Fillet of Sea Bass with Herby Couscous” from “Gino’s Italian Escape”

“Brill Roasted with Sweet Pepper Sauce” from “Gino’s Italian Escape”

Or, in Italian: “Tagliata di Pesce con Salsa di Peperoni Dolci”

CBAMFishSorry, faithful readers. There’s no dialogue for this recipe, as it was one of those nights those with children will be familiar with: everyone was at a different place at a different time. But even amid the chaos, we could decide that we liked this very much.

Yes! Fish with breadcrumbs again!! I’m beginning to think that we’re riding some sort of food trend here. First, it was Gwyneth Paltrow in “It’s All Good.” Then it was Jamie Oliver in “Save with Jamie.” I may have even made a few of my own variations between testing those two recipes. Now it’s Gino’s turn.

It’s very much like the other two recipes, though, in Gino’s favour, he did use butter in his version. Hooray for sensible amounts of butter! I have found, in my experience, that butter makes EVERYTHING better. I’m all for healthy eating, but if you’re willing to throw some butter in there, I’m all for that too.

Unfortunately, our lovely fishmonger– called, aptly enough, The FIshmonger– didn’t have brill on this particular Friday, so I had to get the turbot instead. Turbot can be a bit pricey, as it’s not the bargain that trout can be, but it’s a lovely fish that’s not at all “fishy”, so the boys (and their friend), really liked this, especially when used with the aforementioned butter and breadcrumbs.

The red pepper sauce was really easy to make, and really gave the dish some interesting flavours. Without it, I think it would have been a bit bland, though things can always be livened up with vegetables and other side dishes.

Would I make this again? This is beginning to seem like a silly question for a fish-with-breadrcumbs recipe. Obviously, the answer is yes, because I’ve already made a version of this multiple times this year. Would I make this version again? Definitely yes. Maybe next time we’ll all be able to sit down together to enjoy it.

If you would like to try this recipe for yourself, Google Books has helpfully downloaded the entire Gino book. Click through this paragraph to see the recipe.

“Brill Roasted with Sweet Pepper Sauce” from “Gino’s Italian Escape”

“Sole Meuniere” from “The Skinny French Kitchen”

Kirstin: I couldn’t find any sole for this recipe, so I used plaice instead.

Tom: Well I would never have known!

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Miles: This is really tasty!

Ella: We’ve had something like this before, haven’t we?

Kirstin: Yes, we have. I’ve cooked every fish recipe I could find to try and persuade you how tasty it can be. This recipe, according to Harry Eastwood, normally uses lots of butter where she uses just a little and fries it in olive oil.

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Ella: Look, I’ve eaten the whole thing!

Kirstin: A resounding success!

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“Sole Meuniere” from “The Skinny French Kitchen”