Friday, 16 October 2009

Whiting Fillet in Fresh Breadcrumbs with Garlic Herb Potatoes and Coleslaw

Whiting is one of my favourite types of fish. Its clean, fresh, delicate flavour is beyond the compare of many and provided it is not over-cooked it will provide for a delicious and healthy meal. When preparing any type of fish in breadcrumbs, however, many people make the mistake of using packaged breadcrumbs or fish dressing from supermarkets, when nothing can beat the fresh breadcrumbs simply prepared at home.

Ingredients (Per Person)

1 fresh fillet of whiting
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
3 or 4 new potatoes (or as desired)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 egg
2 tbsp sunflower oil


If using the larger new potatoes as I have done, they will require a total of forty minutes' cooking time. Smaller new potatoes will require only thirty minutes. In either case, they should first be boiled - unpeeled - for half the alloted time in salted water prior to being very well drained. One tablespoon of sunflower oil should then be added to a large bowl along with the sage and some more salt. This mixture should be stirred, prior to adding the potatoes and carefully stirring them around to coat them all in the seasoned oil. The potatoes should then be poured on to a pre-heated baking sheet and placed in the oven - pre-heated to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6 - for the second half of their cooking time. The bowl should be left unwashed and set aside for later use.

When the potatoes are in the oven, a slice of semi-stale bread should be grated or shredded to make the breadcrumbs. If the bread is fresh, it should be sat on a vacant shelf in the oven for a minute or two to dry out a bit. The breadcrumbs should then be spread evenly on a dinner plate. The egg should be placed in a small soup plate or similar, seasoned with a little salt and beaten thoroughly.

Ten minutes before the potatoes are due to be ready, put the remaining tablespoon of sunflower oil in to a non-stick frying-pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Draw the whiting fillet through the egg-wash, ensuring all parts of the fillet are coated prior to patting it down in the breadcrumbs on both sides. The fillet should then be gently fried for about four minutes on each side.

Five minutes before the end of the scheduled cooking time for the potatoes, add the crushed garlic to the bowl used earlier. Remove the potatoes from the oven, tip them in to the bowl and stir them around in the oil residue and garlic. Return them to the baking sheet and the oven for the final five minutes.

The fish and the potatoes may then carefully be plated up and a spoonful of coleslaw added as a final accompaniment.

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