Today brings that traditional Friday fare ... yes, it’s fish. But, as the Hitch Hikers’ Guide says, Don’t Panic!
I give the warning because it’s not just fish, but proper fish. That means it comes with head, tail and of course bones. But preparation and cooking is not difficult: no-one should be apprehensive. And what kind of fish are we talking here? Typically Sea Bass, Bream, Rainbow Trout, or even small Salmon.
You may have bought the fish fresh, and in that case are to be commended. But most will have bought frozen, and in that majority of cases, ignore any instruction to cook from frozen. If frozen, the fish(es) should be defrosted overnight in the fridge.
The fish will have been sold in Losing Football Manager Mode, which means Gutted (and that concludes the bad jokes for this post). It may need a dab each side to remove any excess water. You need an oven tray, with foil laid out on it, onto which you place the fish – a few drops of olive oil on the foil to stop it sticking are optional.
Then wrap the foil over the fish. It’s ready for the oven: this should be pre-heated, then the oven tray placed high up and the fish cooked for fifteen to twenty minutes (more if you have something large, or more than one).
Ideally, before serving, you’ll remove the head and tail – nothing more specialist than a sharp knife needed for this. That knife also comes in useful for opening up the fish into two halves, at which point you can remove the large bone – along with many of the smaller ones.
But be warned – there will still be bones. The taste, though, compared to anything processed and coated, is worth it.
What’s good to accompany real fish? Whatever you fancy, though potatoes (not chips) are a good place to start.
If still not sure about real fish, don’t worry – there are more straightforward alternatives. I’ll return to this area later on.