Whole Barbecued Fish

images6440BJNUCook time: 30 mins

Ingredients: 4 small or 2 larger whole fish, such as red or grey mullet, or red snapper, gutted; juice of 2 limes or lemons; 6 tblsp extra virgin olive oil; 6 fresh bay leaves or sprigs of marjoram, plus extra to garnish. A pinch of dried thyme.

  • Score the fish diagonally with a sharp knife. Rub inside and out with half the lime juice, salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Place the bay leaves inside the fish and sprinkle with a pinch of thyme.
  • Place the fish over the hot barbecue coals (or under a hot grill), preferably in a wire basket or wrapped in foil, and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, or longer for larger fish.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice, garnish with bay leaves or marjoram and serve immediately with a Greek salad.

Wire basket for cooking the fish:

Cod Fish Fingers

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This delicious dish works just as well with salmon as cod. Once you’ve made it, you’ll see the humble fish finger in a whole new light.

These really are just fillet of cod cut into fingers. I normally take 4 x 6-8oz (175-225g) fillets and cut them in strips/fingers allowing 3 per portion. This recipe can also be used for canapés. Just cut the fish, cod or salmon (both work), into 1 in (2.5cm) cubes. Then crumb and deep-fry before sitting on cocktail sticks. These are good fun and very tasty with the sour tartare sauce.

Serves : 4
Ingredients: 1 tblsp freshly chopped parsley; fresh breadcrumbs made from 10-12 slices white bread; zest and juice of 2 lemons; salt and pepper; 2 eggs, size 2; 2-3 tblsp milk; 4-6-8oz (175-225g) cod fillets, cut into fingers; plain flour for dusting; 1 dsp each chopped shallots, capers and gherkins; 5-10 fl oz (150-300ml) sour cream; oil for deep-frying

  • In a large bowl, mix ¾ of the freshly chopped parsley with the white breadcrumbs and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.
  • Season the fish fingers with salt and pepper and then lightly dust with flour. Dip into the egg mix then into the crumb mix. These are now ready for frying or can be re-dipped in the egg and re-crumbed to give a thicker, crunchier finish. Set aside.
  • To make a sour Tartare sauce to accompany the fish fingers, mix the chopped shallots, capers and gherkins with the remaining parsley and the sour cream. Season then add the lemon juice to taste. Pour into a small serving dish.
  • Heat the oil to 170oC/325oF in a deep-fat fryer. The fish fingers can now be deep-fried in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with the homemade Tartare sauce.

Baked Cod Fillet with Vegetables

If you’re planning a buffet and would like to offer your guests one hot dish, this recipe works just as well hot or cold. Simply add the chickpeas, oregano and wine vinegar to the vegetable mixture while it’s still hot.

Serves: 12; Prep: 3 mins; Cook: 30 mins; Cals: 154

Ingredients: approximately 4 tsp salt for the aubergines; 2 aubergines, diced into 1 cm / 1/2 in cubes; 120ml / 4 fl oz virgin olive oil; 1.8kg/4lb thick cod fillets, skinned; 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped; 6 courgettes, diced into 1cm / 1/2 in cubes; 2 x 400g cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and roughly chopped; 1 x 420g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 1 x 15g pack fresh oregano leaves only, chopped; 75ml/3 fl oz red wine vinegar; salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 4/350oF/180oC. Lightly salt the aubergines, put into a colander set over a bowl and leave for about an hour. Discard any juices and gently squeeze the aubergines with kitchen paper to soak up any excess liquid.
  • Oil a roasting tin with 25ml/1 fl oz of the olive oil. Cut the cod into 7.5cm / 3in pieces, removing any bones, and place in the tin. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 mins or until the fish is just cooked. Using a fish slice, carefully transfer the fish to a serving dish. Drain off and discard any excess liquid.
  • Heat 50ml/2 fl oz olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. Sauté over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add the aubergines and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove aubergines from pan, add remaining oil and courgettes and sauté for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Cool mixture slightly, then stir in chickpeas and oregano. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the fish and serve hot or just at room temperature.

Scallops in Asparagus Sauce

Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients: 300g (10oz) young asparagus, stems trimmed; 8 large scallops; 1 tbsp butter; 200ml (7 fl oz) whipping cream

  • Cut off the top 5cm (2in) of the spears and reserve. Cut the stems into 2.5cm (1in) lengths. Add the asparagus stems to a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Place the asparagus tips in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove, drain and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, place the scallops in buttered foil and bake in the preheated oven for 4 minutes at 190oC/375oF/Gas 5.
  • Place the cooked asparagus stems in a food processor with the cream and process to make a smooth sauce. Transfer to a small pan and heat gently, but do not allow to boil. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Arrange 2 scallops on each plate (or in a scallop shell) in a pool of sauce, and serve with some of the asparagus tips.

Some scallop plates to serve in.

A cookbook for all things scallopy.

Skate with Hazelnuts

Cook Time: 20 mins

Ingredients: 125g (4oz) butter; 2 tsp hazelnut oil; 750g (1 1/2lb) skate wings, cut into 4 pieces; 30g (1oz) flour; 2 tbsp chopped parsley; 60g (2oz) hazelnuts, roughly chopped; 2 tbsp white wine vinegar.

  • Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Dust the skate pieces with flour on both sides and fry in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, according to the thickness of the skate. Remove from the pan and keep warm on individual plates.
  • Add the parsley and the nuts to the frying pan, turn up the heat and cook until the nuts brown. Add the vinegar, stirring it in well, then pour the nutty sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

* Accompaniment: Continue the nutty theme by serving this fish with a green salad tossed in a hazelnut oil dressing.

Roast Halibut Chasseur

A Gary Rhodes recipe

Here’s a treat of a fish dish – succulent halibut steaks cooked with red wine and caramelised button mushrooms and onions.  Chasseur is a french classic, usually associated with chicken.  It’s normally a white wine, gravy-based sauce with onions or shallots, mushrooms, tomato, tarragonn and parsley.  Well, this dish is a variation of that – I use button onions and mushrooms with tomato and tarrago but no gravy or white wine.  I use red wine, butter and halibut.  This dish also suits roasted cod, brill or turbot.

Serves 4

Ingredients:  4 x 10oz (275g) halibut steaks on bone, skin left on; salt and pepper; 1 tblsp plain flour; 1 tblsp cooking oil; 2-3 oz (50-75g) butter; 16-20 small button onion; 16-20 small button mushrooms; 1/2 bottle of red wine; 2 plum tomatoes, peeled if preferred, deseeded and cut into small dice; 1 tsp freshly chopped tarragon

  • Preheat the oven to 200-220oC/400-425oF/Gas Mark 6-7.  Season the halibut steaks with salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle the plain flour on the skin side of the steaks only.  Heat a frying pan and add the cooking oil and a small knob of the butter.  Add the halibut skin side down to the pan and fry until the fish is a golden brown colour.  Remove the fish and then transfer to a large ovenproof dish.  Cook in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the halibut steaks.
  • Now peel the onions, then wash and dry the mushrooms.  Melt another knob of butter in the frying pan and add the onions.  Fry on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown in colour.   Add the mushrooms to the pan with the onions.  Fry for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the mushrooms and onions are tender.  Add the red wine to the pan, bring to the boil and heat until it’s reduced in quantity by approximately one third.
  • Arrange the halibut steaks on warmed serving plates.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the button onions and then the mushrooms from the wine sauce and place on top of the fish steaks.  Keep the plates warm.  Add the remaining butter to the wine sauce and whisk in.  Add the diced tomatoes and the chopped tarragon and cook for just a few seconds.
  • To serve, spoon the red wine sauce over the halibut.  Mashed potato goes a treat with this dish.

Plaice with Lime Vinaigrette

A very quick and simple recipe allowing you to enjoy the natural flavours of the fish.  Don’t be tempted to over cook the plaice, it really does only take minutes.

Serves:  4;  Prep:  15 minutes;  Cook: 6 minutes

Ingredients:  1/4 pt (150ml) olive oil; rind and juice of 2 limes; 2 tsp/10ml capers, drained and chopped (optional); 1 tsp/5ml caster sugar; salt and pepper; 2 tbsp /30ml chopped fresh dill; 4 small plaice fillets, skinned; 2 oz /50g plain flour; 1/4 tsp/1.25ml paprika; 1 egg, beaten; 2oz / 50g butter

  • To make the dressing, blend together 4 fl oz (100ml) of the olive oil, grated rind and juice of the limes, capers if you are using them, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the dill.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry the plaice.  Mix together the flour and paprika.  Season.  Dip each fillet lightly in beaten egg, then coat thinly in seasoned flour.
  • Heat 1 tbsp/15ml olive oil and the butter in a large non-stick frying pan.  Cook the fillets for 2-3 mins on each side or until the fish is golden brown and cooked through.  If you frying pan is not big enough, fry the fish in batches and keep it warm in a low oven.
  • Serve the plaice with the vinaigrette dressing, accompanied by a raw baby spinach, onion and tomato salad.

Baked Eggs with Crab

Baked and served in dainty ramekins, these eggs on a layer of crab meat flavoured with brandy make a rich but simple snack.

Serves:  4;  Takes:  25 mins

Ingredients:  butter for greasing; 175g (6oz) canned crab meat; 4 tsp brandy; 4 large eggs; salt and black pepper; 4 tbsp single cream; cayenne pepper

To garnish:  a few sprigs of chervil or parsley

To serve:  Bread for toast, butter for spreading

  • Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5.  Lightly grease four ramekins with the butter.
  • Put a quarter of the crab meat into the bottom of each of the dishes and sprinkle a teaspoon of brandy over each.
  • Break an egg carefully into each dish.  Season with salt and pepper, then spoon a tablespoon of cream round the yolk of each egg.  Dust lightly with cayenne pepper.
  • Put the dishes onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins or until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft.
  • Meanwhile, rinse, dry and chop the chervil or parsley, and make and butter the toast.
  • Serve the eggs hot, in their dishes, sprinkled with the chervil or parsley, accompanied by the toast.

Variation:  Strips of salmon and a dash of sherry can be used instead of the crab and brandy, or you could use 2 chopped anchovy fillets with a very small amount of chopped thyme and a sprinkling of brandy.

Pan-fried Salmon with Limes and Herb Hollandaise Sauce

Nothing’s simpler to prepare than sautéed salmon.  But if you prefer, you can also use smoked haddock for a change.

Serves:  4;  Prep:  3 mins;  Cook:  7 mins;  Cost:  £8.00;  Cals per portion:  490

Ingredients:  25g (1oz) butter; 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil;  4 tail end Salmon fillets; 1 lime, sliced; 1 bunch of dill; 90ml (6 tbsp) hollandaise sauce; 30ml (2 tbsp) gherkins, chopped; 30ml (2 tbsp) capers

  • Heat the butter and the oil in a large frying pan, when hot, add the salmon and cook for a couple of minutes on each side to seal in juices.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Add lime, sprinkle over a few sprigs of dill and cook for 2 minutes, turning lime slices.
  • Chop remaining dill and mix with the sauce, gherkins and capers.  When the fish is tender, add the sauce, heat for 30 seconds and serve.  This is delicious served with ready-cooked new potatoes with parsley and mint.

Tip:  Make sure that as soon as you add the hollaindaise sauce to the pan, you remove it from the heat and serve immediately.  As it’s made with eggs it will curdle and separate if overheated.  You can also serve the sauce cold.

Tortiglioni with Tuna

Serves:  4;  Prep:  5 mins;  Cook:  15 mins

Ingredients:  1 red pepper; 335g/12oz Buitoni Tortiglioni; 1 x 15ml tbsp olive oil; 2 x 200g cans tuna, drained; 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes; 1 x 50g can anchovies, drained and chopped; 50g/2oz pitted black olives, halved; 25g /1oz sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped; large sprig basil, chopped; salt and freshly ground black pepper; large sprig of basil to serve

  • Quarter and de-seed the red pepper and place skin-side up under a preheated hot grill.
  • Grill pepper for 10-15 mins until the skin starts to blacken, remove from grill and place in a clean plastic bag and leave to cool down.
  • Peel the pepper quarters, throw away the skin and then cut into slices.
  • Cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
  • Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the remaining ingredient, along with the grilled pepper, and simmer gently together for 5 mins until piping hot.
  • Drain the pasta and return to the pan.  Toss in the hot sauce, garnish with the sprig of basil, and serve immediately with some ciabatta bread and a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese, if desired.