Wednesday 30 October 2013

RECIPE: Healthy Fish Finger Sandwich with Homemade Minted Mushy Peas

I can't tell you how excited I am about the kitchen in our new house! It's everything I want in a kitchen and more. In our last kitchen there was only one cupboard for food, so we had to have it stacked at the end of the corridor, not exactly ideal. There also wasn't any surface space, the electric hob was pretty much all of the surface space there was! So my delight when unpacking food, saucepans, trays etc into a cupboard when we moved to this house was almost uncontrollable! I know, probably a little bit sad, but I don't care. I absolutely love cooking and just haven't wanted to in our old kitchen, so I've made a 'New House Resolution' to cook more and eat healthier meals.
My first 'healthy' meal in our new house is a great alternative to a classic fish finger sandwich. Now as a vegetarian who doesn't eat fish, you may think this was a strange choice but I'm always cooking meat/fish for Tom and I thought I'd try this one out for him. It can be such a hassle cooking two completely different meals every night but its all we've ever known and does mean that all of Tom's fussy eating doesn't hinder my enjoyment (he doesn't like cheese, I mean WHO doesn't like cheese?!)
This recipe is so quick and easy, using minimal ingredients. Infact when I cooked this we didn't have a fridge, so everything I bought that evening and used up that evening too! (Well almost, a whole bag of frozen peas was a bit of a challenge but we both had a good go!)
You'll need:
Plaice fillets (1-2 per person), I bought these pre-packed from a supermarket but you could get them from the fish counter too
Frozen Peas
Bread Rolls (1-2 per person)
Can of potatoes (1 can for 2-3 people)
Plain Flour
Fresh Mint
Vegetable Stock Powder
Chilli Flakes
Black Pepper
(I haven't included measurements for two reasons, one it doesn't really matter and two because it's completely to your taste).
What to do:
Take a humble can of potatoes, they are so cheap and would have been a can I would have walked past in the supermarket. Growing up I had never tried canned potatoes but Tom introduced me to this way of cooking them and they are simply divine, with their crispy outer shell and melt in the mouth middle, it's a winning combination. Drain the potatoes and cut each potato into two or three, depending on the size. Keep a couple of the potatoes behind for the mushy peas later.  
Place them into a frying pan (non-stick works best) with either a splash of oil or a couple of sprays of Fry-Light and leave them to bubble away nicely.  
Next, take the plaice fillets and put them onto some greaseproof paper, this just makes seasoning them a lot easier. You generally buy them with the skin on but if you aren't a fan of the skin, as Tom isn't, then once you've cooked the skin side the skin is a lot easier to peel off. Trying to do it when the fish is raw can be quite challenging, especially as plaice is such a flat fish.
Sprinkle the fillets with as much paprika, crushed chilli flakes and black pepper as you like. Then turn them over and do the same on the other side.
Take some plain flour and sprinkle this over both sides of the fish fillets. This helps create a crispy shell to the fish, without all of the fat and calories in batter. 

At this point you want to check your frying potatoes, give them a good turn trying to ensure that all of the potatoes are turned over. Then leave them alone and let them cook away. 

On to making the mushy peas, to be honest mushy peas are so easy to make that I don't know why I don't make them more often. The steaming peas, flecked with red chilli and black pepper is so enticing on a cold autumn evening. To create a creamy texture I add a couple of the canned potatoes to the boiling water first. Once blitzed up this makes a nice creamy texture, without adding as many calories as something like cream.
Boil the potatoes, fresh mint and vegetable stock for around 10 minutes before adding the frozen peas. Once 10 minutes has lapsed, add in the frozen peas and cook for around 8 minutes. 

Take your bread rolls, I opted for a wholemeal and seeded roll for Tom but it's completely up to you. Pop them into the oven, this allows them to crisp up on the outside and be all steamy and warm on the inside.

Once the peas are cooked partially drain them, you don't want too much liquid going into the food processor otherwise you'll end up with a pea soup, and put it all into a food processor/liquidiser.
Blitz until the consistency you want is achieved, if you want a rougher consistency then only do short bursts of blitzing, if you want a smoother consistency then you can blitz it for longer.
Finally fry the fish on both sides in a small amount of oil, for approximately 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked all the way through. I cooked the skin side first, so that when I turned it over I could easy peel the skin off. I sprinkled some more paprika, flour and black pepper over the newly exposed side and quickly fried that side again.
Serve the fresh fish fillets in the bread rolls with the potatoes and minted mushy peas on the side. Delicious, or so I'm told!
Are you going to have a go at this healthier alternative?
Feel free to leave me a comment :)

1 comment

  1. This looks delicious! Definitely will be giving this a try... my OH doesn't like cheese either- strange men!


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