I learnt many things while working at Melrose and Morgan but possibly one of the most enduring is that as much as people love to go out and eat all kinds of fancy food there is nothing more appealing than the simple things done well.
With some left over Red Snapper fillet I was reminded of one of those very dishes. It was a regular Friday favourite, house made fish fingers, bakers fries and minted peas with tartare sauce. I picked up a little cod to supplement what we had and set about recreating a classic.
What is quite strange is that having spent literally hours watching the chefs at work create dish after dish of food, nearly all the cooking I am doing now is for the first time. I could say that it was time constraints, after all many working days were long, and the last thing anyone wants to do after a long day is to cook for one. However looking back I was in a privileged position of having all the hard work done for me. All I had to do was pick out the already prepped ingredients and put them together.
The truth is I rarely cooked as more often than not when I did I was unhappy with the results. The down side to working around food and being a stickler for quality is that nothing is ever quite right. However since most of what I cook now is from scratch I tend to be a little less tough on myself. Sure not everything comes out just right but the difference is without putting the pressure on myself I can chalk it up to experience and get it right the next time.
On the other hand sometimes its just so simple that you cannot fail to nail it first time…….
Feeds 2 people
300g Fish (I used red snapper and cod, but salmon, pollack, coley, haddock would all work)
50g Panko (or bread crumbs)
Egg, flour, salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or tarragon
Scroll over pics for instructions……
Mint, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper
Boil water add peas and 2 garlic cloves, when peas are cooked drain, remove garlic add mint and olive oil and blend/mash. Do not over blend as it is nice to keep the texture of the peas, season to taste.
Hellman’s mayo, capers, gherkins, red onion, lemon juice
Chop the capers, gherkins, red onion into small dice, add mayonnaise and stir season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.