Fish Fingers

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I must warn you, my reason behind making fish fingers this week isn’t particularly thrilling. I wish I could recount some whimsical, nostalgic tale… or discuss Doctor Who serving them with custard …even explain that I needed comfort food for some sob story or another. The truth is much less exciting. Basically I found the end of a loaf of rather nice black olive bread (which I had left in it’s bag on the kitchen table for a couple of days) and although still perfectly edible, it had become so stale that if thrown, it could probably smash through a brick wall! I hate chucking things away so I thought I’ll make breadcrumbs and that led to FISH FINGERS and here we are. I have decided to share it because it actually turned out to be a lovely, healthy meal made from mostly store-cupboard regulars. The salty capers and gherkins in the sauce plus the lemon juice on the pea salad mean’t that the whole dish is packed with so much flavour I don’t think the dish needs extra salt or butter in the mash – give it a whirl let me know what you think.
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Fish Finger Dinner

Serves 2
Ingredients

For the Fish Fingers
2 Fillets of fish (I used salmon)
Approx 50g of stale bread
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

2 sweet potatoes, peeled
2 handfuls of frozen peas
few sprigs of fresh mint
juice of half a lemon
Olive oil

Sauce
5-6 small radishes
2-3 mini gherkins
1 teaspoon of capers
1/2 teaspoon of djion mustard
1 tablespoon of Greek Yoghurt

Method

Start by making the sauce. I must add that I was tempted to call this Tartare Sauce but with so few ingredients in common with the traditional I was worried about getting slammed with the trades descriptions act. It is a bit like tartare sauce…but not really…it does go bloomin’ well with the fish fingers though, honest!
1) Finely dice the radishes, gherkins and capers.
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2) Add the mustard and yoghurt to the chopped ingredients and stir well.
3) Pop into the fridge until needed.
4) Next, chop the sweet potatoes into chunks and put into a pan of boiling water. Let boil for 20 minutes whilst you prepare the fish.
5) Cut each fish fillet into thick strips – for the fillets I used I just had to snip them in half with scissors but you could cut them into three if yours are bigger.
6) Put the stale bread into a food processor and blitz to make breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a grater but it will take ages if the bread is as stale as mine was.
7) Dip the pieces of fish into the flour, then into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. If there are still breadcrumbs left in the bowl after the first dip, pop the fish back into the egg and then in the breadcrumbs again to get them all used up.
8) Place the fish fingers on a baking tray greased with a teaspoon of vegetable oil and put into an oven preheated to 180°C for 15 – 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. 
9) When the fish is nearly ready put the frozen peas into a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water, leave to stand until defrosted (around 5 minutes).
10) Drain the peas and add the lemon juice, chopped mint and a splash of olive oil, mix well.
11) To serve, drain and mash the sweet potato and serve alongside the fish, pea salad and the sauce.
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What leftovers inspired you this week? Or are you feeling uninspired by your store-cupboard ingredients? Send me a message and I could write a recipe just for you xx

Homemade Burgers

Recipes

In a change to my planned blog post this week about Soup; here are two recipes for Homemade Burgers! This comes in reaction to the news that the DNA from pigs and horses has been found in supermarket beef burgers in the UK and Ireland – eek!

I’m not going to dwell on this too much but the label should tell you what the product contains. I would (and have) tried many different foods but I was always knew what I was eating before hand (except the first time I had calamari, I thought they were onion rings and got a bit of a chewy surprise!).

Moving on; firstly the beef burgers. This recipe is super easy so do have a bash.

beef burger

Beef Burgers

Serves 2

Ingredients

250g of lean steak mince

olive oil

salt & pepper

Method

1) Squish the mince together with your hands and then squash them into either 2 large burgers or 4 small ones.

2) Season the burgers both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper

3) Fry in olive oil over a high heat (turning frequently) until they start to caramelise on the outside.

4) Take the pan off the heat and cover with either a lid or tin foil. Allow them to rest for a good 5 minutes or so.

5) Serve in burger buns, with or without cheese, sauces and salad. We had dijon mustard, cheese, cherry tomatoes and rocket.

If you’re vegetarian or are generally feeling a bit squeamish about the whole thing – try these veggie burgers, which pretty much contain everything except meat!

veggie burger

Veggie Burgers

Serves 4

Ingredients

200g of potatoes

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely grated

1 small turnip, finely grated

40g cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 egg

handful of frozen peas

large pinch of chopped fresh parsley

50g breadcrumbs

vegetable oil

salt & pepper

Method

1) Peel the potatoes and boil for 15-20 minutes.

2) While the potatoes are cooking, gently fry the onion in a tablespoon of oil until soft and translucent. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the grated carrot and turnip to soften in the residual heat.

3) Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash.

4) Put the onion and vegetable mixture in a large bowl and add the mashed potato, nutmeg, parsley, cheese, egg, and frozen peas then season well with salt and pepper. Mix everything in thoroughly.

5) Tip the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or dish. Divide the burger mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties. If the mixture is too wet either add a little flour or drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the bowl of breadcrumbs and turn them in the crumbs to coat them using a spoon. They will be much easier to shape and fry once coated.

6) Shallow fry in vegetable oil until golden brown. Serve in buns with trimmings – we had rocket and mustard mayonnaise in ours.

Experiment with different vegetables in these burgers – they’re also great for using up leftover mash and other cooked veggies.

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