Sunday, January 31, 2010

Herb-Crusted Flathead With Tomato and Avocado Salsa

I am forever surprised by the number of people who won't eat fish or seafood. For some it is not a choice. My brother developed a crustacean allergy, possibly after spending too many summers using prawns as bait for fishing, and now cannot eat anything with even a mere taint of seafood. Food prepared on a chopping board that was previously used with prawns is enough to send him to the emergency department at hospital. So people with an allergy, I understand.

But what about the rest of you? I have had adults (or at least they appeared to be adults) tell me that they don't eat fish because they had it once when they were a child and didn't like it. Or maybe their mother used to cook it, but only ever heavily coated in a stodgy batter, and so it no longer appeals to them. Others have told me that they don't cook fish at home (which means their kids mostly don't eat fish) because they are worried it will make their house smell. To all of you, I say it is time to have another shot at making fish for dinner. The only thing that will make your house smell is failing to clean up after yourselves.

This recipe is fast and delicious, and a great one to try on the kids. If your kids are still at the stage where even the smallest piece of green means that they won't touch it, by all means skip the herbs, the zest and the salsa. The simple combination of crispy crumbs, and tender white fish is a winner with even small fussy eaters. For the adults at the table, include the herbs and lemon - they really lift the flavour of the fish. If you have never used them, fresh breadcrumbs are larger and fluffier than the boxed crumbs. Make them every time you have a leftover chunk of good bread, by cutting off the crusts and whizzing the remains in a food processor. They can be stored in the freezer for a month or two, so they are handy every time you want to make this recipe, and I promise you will want to make it again.

This is the last of the recipes I have tried from Delicious Dec 09 / Jan 10 for my We Made It challenge with Melinda from Melbourne Larder. In February, we will be looking to the Feb / Mar 10 issue of Donna Hay.

Herb Crusted Flathead With Tomato and Avocado Salsa

adapted from Delicious Dec 09 / Jan 10
Serves 4

8 x 100g flathead fillets
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbs chopped thyme
1 tbs chopped parsley
30g unsalted butter melted
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tomatoes. chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed

Put fish on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Combine breadcrumbs, herbs, zest and butter. Add seasoning to taste. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over each fish fillet. Drizzle with 1 tbl olive oil. Grill under medium heat for 4-5 minutes until fish is cooked and crust is golden. (NB If your griller is very hot, make sure you put the tray on a low shelf and keep an eye on the crumbs to make sure that they don't catch). For salsa, combine remaining tomato, avocado, garlic, lemon juice, remaining oil and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl. Serve fish with salsa.

1 comment:

Debinhawaii said...

The fish looks so crisp and good--I love recipes like this. I feel sorry for those people who don't like ot won't try fish--they are missing out!