We had an impromptu dinner at home tonight, and decided to try one of the two fishes, the Orange Roughy fillets, from The Fishmonger. The fillets were delivered fresh last Wednesday, and we promptly froze them. After thawing them in the fridge for about 12 hours, I’m happy to say that I don't think they suffered from being frozen rather than eaten fresh upon delivery. They still tasted superbly fresh, with a firm yet slightly flaky white flesh that didn't have a hint of fishiness whatsoever.
Because the fish has quite a delicate flavour and texture, recommended cooking methods are simple pan frying or baking, with accompanying sauces that don’t overwhelm the subtle flavour of the fish. I soaked them in milk for a short while, then dusted them with some flour to try to create a bit of a crust. After seasoning with just salt and pepper, I pan fried them in butter and olive oil for just 2 minutes per side, and they were done. The fish is certainly very delicate – the larger of the two fillets broke in half as I was transferring it from pan to plate. Also I think I should have used more flour and a slightly hotter pan initially to get a thicker, more golden crust.
I made some pasta to go along with it, the sauce for which was garlic sautéed in the butter from frying the fillets, some white wine, lemon juice and milk (no cream on hand at home). Note to self: next time, a little lemon juice goes a long way. I added a perfunctory piece of grilled (or rather, steamed then blow-torched) corn on the cob to make it a balanced meal.
I’m very impressed with the fish, possibly even more so than with the mussels. Even with my amateur cooking attempts and slightly botched preparation, the quality of the fish was still evident. The main flat fish that I’m used to is the John Dory, and I’ve never been a fan of it because it tends to be fishy and the flesh a bit stringy (though that could be the fault of the produce rather than the inherent nature of the fish itself). These Orange Roughy fillets were moist, subtly flavoured and absolutely delicious. Plus they were completely boneless – a definite plus when cooking for A.
Each fillet is about 200g, which is a perfect portion size for one person. They seem to be quite popular too, because they’re sold out on The Fishmonger’s online store. After we finish the Lingfish fillets, I’m definitely getting more of these. If I can bring myself to use more olive oil and less butter, then this is a pretty healthy meal option and if I can convince A to have it with rice rather than pasta, it'll be simpler for me too. Pity the washing up is always such a pain.
The fish was great. And C’s turned out to be a good cook. But I’m going to talk about one of the issues I have with cooking at home.
Those chefs on TV who say it’s easy and quick to cook at home never factor in the time spent washing up. We probably spend about half an hour cleaning all the utensils.
I guess you get economies of scale when you’re cooking for large families, but for the two of us, it’s not very time-efficient to do on a regular basis.
It’s worth the hassle for special occasions though. And cooking seems to keep C happy and off my back.