Last week both Small people started ballroom dance class on Saturday morning. The other half was working so after class we walked through the town centre and into Swansea Market. For those who don’t know it Swansea Market is the largest indoor market in Wales having won many an award it has a number of stalls offering a good selection of fresh, local and Welsh produce. It has a number of fresh fish stalls, my favourite being Tuckers. Tuckers always has an amazing selection of fish and seafood and you are always welcomed by a huge smile and suggestions of what to choose by the lovely friendly staff at the counter.
The kids decided they wanted fish for tea and both selected sea bream – telling the fishmonger that they wanted to keep the heads and tails on. So home we went excited at selecting their tea. Later that day I showed them how to gut, descale and fillet their fish. Then how to make a quick fish stock. A good time was had by all!
I pan fried their fish fillets, finishing it off in the pan with soy sauce and a splash of mirin. I served it alongside stir fried brown rice; broccoli; peas; green beans flavoured with Chinese flavourings. A last minute sprinkle of sesame oil and I called the little darlings to the table and served the tea they selected with a flourish. Feeling slightly smug.
There is nothing like setting yourself up to fail as Small girl announced ‘I don’t want that’ and Small boy announced ‘I want pizza’. I calmly pointed out that they were the ones who chose the fish as they wanted to learn how to prepare it when Small Boy stated ‘I only wanted to eat its eyes.’ Don’t you just love kids? Anyway they did with some encouragement eat it – Small Girl eating a second fillet but leaving the broccoli and Small Boy needing to be spoon fed as he was too tired to eat! Yes he is six years of age!
Later that night I just prayed that the other half would be more appreciative (although it has to be said I was again taking a risk as she prefers fillets and I was baking the fish whole). In fairness after I primed her with how the Small people reacted and a glass of two of wine– she did in fact make appreciative noises! So here is the recipe and I hope you have more luck than I did!
BAKED WHOLE FISH WITH TOMATOES.
2 x Whole fish of choice – sea bream; sea bass etc
I x onion
2 x cloves of garlic
Two or three fresh tomatoes
1 x lemon
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 180c
Fry an onion; sliced fennel (if you want) and garlic in a glug of olive oil until they are slicked with oil and softened – season with salt and pepper. Decant the onion into a baking dish to make a bed for the fish.
Season your fish inside and out and pop on top of the onions. (You can use fillets if you would rather – just reduce the cooking time). Add a couple of slices of lemon to the cavity of each fish.
Slice a few fresh tomatoes and lay over and around the fish (You can add some whole cherry tomatoes if you like). Sprinkle around some olives black or green if this takes your fancy, a good squeeze of lemon juice a sprinkle of oregano and olive oil and you are done.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the foil and leave the fish in the oven for a further 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve with greens or a salad or even some potatoes if your Other Half isn’t on a low carb diet!
I wish you luck and believe me when I tell you I feel your pain when cooking for your family!