Today’s post is extra special to me because I’m writing it as a special request by a friend of my younger sister and mine – Aliya baji this one is for you 🙂 On her request for a fish recipe I have been researching for the past two weeks for a new recipe to try out that has a unique flavour. Something different and wonderful but easy – if you’ve been reading my blog you know how I like easy recipes.
Why am I doing this for Aliya baji, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you why…she was the first person to not only read my blog but to try out a recipe as well. And she was kind enough to send me her lovely comments along with pictures of her achievement. It looked spectacular and what amazed me most was that my recipe was so well explained that her dish looked exactly like mine. I have to say it was the biggest motivator for me and just what I needed. Because as you can see from my blog entries, I tend to start strong and then lose steam pretty quickly. I’m seriously hoping this time will be different and readers (and doers) like Aliya baji are exactly what I need to keep me going.
Now on to the recipe. I’ve made fish before but I thought this gave me an opportunity to look for something new to try. I’ve mostly fried fish because Mr. Mazhar and I like it best like that. And I’ve tried fish marinades with Pakistani flavours for the most part. My elder sister gave me a very simple marinade recipe a while back and it is delicious but still in keeping with the Pakistani palate and cuisine. The task set before me by Aliya baji was to give her a new flavour to try with fish that her kids may enjoy as well. And I found something just like that in a recipe of Gordon Ramsay – the great! He is an amazing chef and I love everything (halal) I’ve seen him cook.
As a treat to myself, a couple of years ago, I bought “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course” cookbook and I have to say it is filled with the most amazing recipes, ever! I tried a few baking recipes when I got the book but it then got pushed to the back of my bookshelf and I hadn’t read it in quite a while. Earlier today I was flipping through the fish section and saw something that held my interest. Only thing was I didn’t quite have everything his recipe called for and it was measured out to serve four people. I know I’m just an amateur but I had to adapt his recipe to work with ingredients I had at home and I had to cut down the recipe to suit the fact that I was cooking only for two tonight. I’m a 100% certain that Gordon Ramsay’s dish is spectacular and needs no adaptation by the likes of anyone, especially me…..but my version turned out really super too 🙂 I’m so so happy about that! You can see the pictures for yourself but I can’t communicate to you how delicious my home smells right now! Nothing smells nicer than baking butter! Yummm!
Baked Fish with Almond and Parmesan Crust
- 2 Cod fillets
- 25gm garlic butter, softened
- 25gm bread crumbs
- 25gm Parmesan, shredded and 2 tsp extra Parmesan for garnish
- 4-5 almonds, blanched, peeled, roughly chopped
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of Rosemary
- Pinch of red chilli flakes (optional)
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 200 Celsius. If you have fresh fish, you can use it directly but if it’s frozen, take it out to thaw. You will need a slightly meaty white fish for this recipe. Anything too lean and it will dry out while baking. Once thawed, place the fish on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Place the butter, bread crumbs, Parmesan and almonds in a bowl and using a hand blender, blend them till they form a paste. Don’t worry if you have a few coarse pieces of almond; the crunch adds a lovely texture to the fish. Spread the paste onto the fish fillets equally and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes so that crust firms up.
- Take out the baking sheet from the fridge and sprinkle the extra Parmesan and Rosemary for garnish on top of the fillets. If you like heat then sprinkle a pinch of red chilli flakes as well. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes till the crust is golden brown and the fish is cooked through. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon juice over the fillets. Serve with rice or vegetables.
Dinner is ready! And it was a tasty dinner indeed. We wiped our plates clean, Mazhar and I. It was so easy to put together which is what I really enjoyed. I hope that many more readers try out my recipes. Do send me your comments and pictures if you do. I will be so thrilled. More importantly, I hope Aliya baji enjoys this recipe as much as Mr. Mazhar and I did. Happy cooking!