Fish recipe ideas from Michelle Darmody

Coming into spring I tend to be drawn more to fish and lighter dinners. 

Once the evenings are beginning to show a little stretch the comfort cravings of winter wear off. 

I try and buy fish directly from my local fishmonger and they are always very happy to tell me where the fish comes from and how it was caught. 

Fishmongers are only too happy to share their knowledge with you about the varieties of fish available in our seas. 

I am also cheeky enough to ask for handfuls of leftover fish pieces to use in a nice stock. 

They are usually happy enough to oblige. 

I slowly boil the bones or pieces that I receive with a roughly chopped onion, a carrot and some celery. 

The spices I add depend on what I am going to use the stock for. 

I like to make a stock with a slight Asian influence by adding coriander seeds and some star anise, or alternatively a bouquet garni, if I intend to cook a bouillabaisse-style stew.

There are three fish recipes here, all with a slight Asian influence. 

People always ask me for new ideas when cooking fish and hopefully these will provide some food for thought. 

Fish can cook remarkably quickly, so it is handy for dinner midweek. 

The sauces with any of these recipes can be prepared beforehand and left in the fridge overnight.

I included a nice weekend recipe of peanut butter and sea salt cookies as well. 

You can leave out the salt if you wish but it does add a great strength to the flavour and works well with the dark chocolate chips.

Spicy salmon on a bed of noodles

Noodles for four

A small bunch of coriander, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

2 stalks of lemongrass, remove and discard the other layer and bash the stalk with the back of a saucepan then roughly chop

a thumb-size piece of ginger, chopped

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

zest and juice of a small lime

1/2 tbs of honey

2 tbs of fish sauce

1/2 tbs of toasted sesame oil

4 fillets of salmon

a handful of sesame seeds, toasted

Put the noodles on to boil in lightly-salted water and drain when cooked.

Put most of the coriander with the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, chilli, zest and juice of the lime, honey, fish sauce and the sesame oil into a liquidiser. Blitz until it forms a rough paste.

Rub half of the paste over the pieces of fish and place under a medium grill and grill until cooked through.

Toss the rest of the sauce through the noodles when they are still warm. 

Serve the fish on top of the noodles and sprinkle the rest of the coriander and the toasted sesame seeds on top.

Mackerel with harrisa and toasted nuts

rice for four

juice and zest of 2 oranges

2 tbs of harissa paste, I use one from The Real Olive Company

flour for dusting

8 fillets of mackerel

a dash of sesame oil

1 tbs of natural yogurt

a handful of hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

a bunch of coriander, chopped

Put the rice on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.

Mix together the juice, zest and the harissa paste with one tablespoon of sesame oil.

Season the flour for dusting the mackerel and then lightly coat the fish.

Heat a dash of oil in a large pan and fry the fish skin side down. 

Turn each fillet of fish once they are cooked half way though and then add the harissa sauce to the pan. You may need two pans to do all the fish at once.

Serve on the bed of rice with any excess sauce spooned over. Add a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and some coriander.

Prawn and fish curry

Rice for four

a dash of sesame oil

1 onion, finely sliced

6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

2 stalks of lemongrass, remove and discard the other layer and bash the stalk with the back of a saucepan then roughly chop

a thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped

1/2 tbs of dark brown sugar

2 tbs of fish sauce

1 tbs of Thai yellow curry paste or powder

1 tin of coconut milk

400g of pollock, cut into chunks

100g of whiting, cut into chunks

a handful of large prawns

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion until it has turned translucent, add the garlic, chilli, lemongrass and ginger and stir fry for a further minute. 

Stir in the sugar until melted and add the fish sauce, curry paste and coconut milk. Allow to bubble on a low heat with the lid on.

Heat another dash of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the fish until it is starting to brown, add it to the bubbling sauce. 

Do the same with the prawns. 

Add a tablespoon of stock or water to frying pan to get all the flavour from it and also add it to the sauce. 

Taste and season.

Allow to bubble away until the fish is cooked through and serve with the rice.

Peanut butter, chocolate and sea-salt cookies

110g of butter

110g of peanut butter

110g of caster sugar

110g of brown sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tsp of ground ginger

110g of plain flour

2 level tsp of baking powder

50g of dark chocolate chips

4 generous pinches of flakey sea salt

I often keep half of this dough rolled up in the fridge to bake at a later stage.

It will last up to a week.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees

Beat the butter, peanut butter, and both sugars until combined.

Slowly beat in the egg.

Sift the dry ingredients and beat them in too.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into balls the size of a walnut and place apart on lined baking tray.

Press each one with a fork and sprinkle with some sea-salt.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.


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