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This is simply divine – if you love fish and chips this is a beautiful alternative.  Get cooking!

Hot fish and chip salad

Hot ‘fish and chip’ salad

Serves 2 hungry mouths

For the ‘fish and chips’
100g white fish (Coley was my choice)
Fine bread crumbs
200g waxy new potatoes
Groundnut oil
Olive oil
For the dressing
Couple of teaspoons of capers
Big bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 generous tsp Dijon mustard
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
To serve
Watercress

Slice the new potatoes in half lengthways and parboil for 5 minutes.  Allow to steam dry for a couple of minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan.  Add the parboiled new potatoes, cut-side down and fry gently – turn when are golden underneath – this should take about 5 minutes.

Fried potatoes

Meanwhile, cut your fish into fingers.  I chose Coley from my local fishmongers – this piece of 100g cost less than £1.50 – what a bargain!  As the fish monger said, “Cheaper than Mr Birdseye!”

Fish fingers

Blitz up your breadcrumbs so they are fine and delicate – I used up some focaccia from last week.  Season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.  Toss the fingers of fish in the breadcrumbs to coat.

Before frying your fish – prepare the dressing.  Blitz up all the dressing ingredients adding enough oil to make a loose dressing and enough lemon juice to give it a nice acidic tang.

Lemon caper dressing

In a non-stick frying pan heat enough groundnut oil to cover the fish fingers.  When hot, carefully add the fish fingers – they should bubble and crackle as they enter the oil.  The oil might spit so watch out! 

Fish fingers

The fish fingers should take a couple of minutes to cook through and start to turn golden.  Drain on paper towel when cooked.

Add a good handful of watercress to your plates.  Add the fried potatoes and the fish fingers.  Finely drizzle with generous amounts of the dressing.  Serve additional dressing in a bowl for people to add as they like.  Eat straight away!

This recipe is inspired and slightly adapted from Nigel Slater’s ‘Real Food’.

Hot fish and chip salad

Hot fish and chip salad

Hot fish and chip salad

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The weather in the UK is positively balmy, and what we really want to eat lots of is salad.  Most other food just seems too much in this heat.  So here is a healthy but most importantly delicious salad, with tomatoes, beans and new potatoes and a zingy citrus and chilli dressing.

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Zingy tomato and bean salad

Feeds 2-4 people

1 x tin haricot beans, drained and rinsed
200g new potatoes
200g cherry tomatoes
2 spring onions
Bunch of flat leaf parsley
1/2 red chilli
A couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

Cook the new potatoes, drain and cut into chunks.  While the potatoes are cooking, slice up the cherry tomatoes and spring onions.

Mix the potatoes, beans and tomatoes together in a serving bowl.

Roughly chop the parsley and pop into a separate bowl.  Finely chop the chilli and add it to the parsley.  Tip in the sliced spring onions, olive oil, zest and juice of the lemon.  Give it a good mix and add a bit more oil if you want it a bit runnier.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the potatoes, beans and tomatoes and mix well.  The potatoes gently start to melt and the dressing will seep into them and the beans and this is just scrumptious.

Eat on its own, or with some grilled chicken or fish. 

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My little brother, who is 13, loves fishing.  He is lucky that we have friends with riverside houses who let him sit on their banks and fish for trout for free.  The weekend before last when N and I went home to visit them, the little brother went out fishing and brought me back a handsome trout for my birthday present.  What a treat!

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And what a beauty he caught!  I accepted the gift on the premise that the little brother would gut it and clean it for me.  He did so willingly.  I must add in here that only a year ago he was too squeamish to even touch raw chicken, so he has come a long way.

So the following day, having returned to our little house in Cheshire, N and I decided to cook the trout for my birthday tea.  The weather was scorching, so N prepared the barbeque and I faffed around trying to decide what to do to my trout.  In the end, we just bunged a couple of thin slices of lemon in its belly along with a handful of garden herbs.  We scored deep gashes into the flesh and poked in some slices of garlic, finishing it off with a drizzle of oil and salt and pepper.

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The trout was then wrapped in foil and popped straight onto the hot coals and took hardly any time at all to cook.

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In addition to the trout, we boiled up some Jersey Royals and tossed them with lots of butter and mint.  We picked a bowl of salad leaves from the garden and dried them off in our new kitchen toy – a salad spinner!

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I was so pleased with the way we cooked the trout, it was absolutely perfect, just cooked, still moist and a beautiful blush of coral pink.  If in doubt, just keep checking it.

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Next I painstakingly removed all the succulent flesh from the bones, which took a while, but as the kind of person who can easily be put off by chomping on a bone, I felt it was worthwhile.  This was all that was left of the fishy when I was done with it (avert your eyes or quickly scroll down if you’re squeamish – I must say I think there’s something rather beautiful about it):

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We were left with a big pile of gorgeous pink trout flecked with thyme leaves (we devoured the whole lot!):

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So there you have it – an incredibly simple, incredibly delicious and in fact incredibly cheap meal: baked trout, new potato salad and a pile of salad leaves. 

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We realised that ignoring the minor ingredients such a lemon, oil, salt and pepper that our meal had only cost the price of the potatoes.  The rest was free – a fish from a beautiful Cotswold river (the one below in fact), and homegrown salad and herbs from our garden.

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A big thanks to the little brother for catching us such a tasty tea!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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