Sometimes, I rummage through the freezer and find food that seems to gaze at me saying ‘Don’t you remember me – you put me in here intending to make me into the perfect dish’.
I squirm and scrunch my eyes up. This time it was fish. In my defence it is one of those chest freezers so everything gets piled on top of whatever is in there to start with. Rummaging quickly in the cold becomes an art! But I was up for it!! Until I buy myself an upright freezer with shelves so I can organise the frozen food I buy and the sauces and condiments that I make and freeze.
I found these frozen haddock fillets that I had bought on a whim thinking that I might make a fish curry. Now, my sister used to make the best fish curry and I didn’t ever learn from her how to do it as well. So I gave up and branched out into other fare that I can do quite well. Like Thai beef salads and broad bean salads – this is supposed to be summer after all!
Anyway, I brought this frozen packet out and looked at it quizzically. I had no idea what I was going to put with it so I left it to thaw and went through the crisper in the fridge. Leeks, green capsicum and I knew I still had some frozen cubes of green chilli.
Not bad – the basis for a dish here. Larders are a good food source as well. Last month I had replenished my supply of stock cubes and came across a new variety offered by OXO. This curry cube caught my fancy and I thought I would use a couple of cubes in my dish. I already had some fish stock cubes and some vegetable ones made by Knorr. I really like stock cubes – they add an intensity of flavour that is wonderful.
My Vietnamese mint was growing happily away and, by the way, all the cuttings struck beautifully and I am pleased as punch. I plucked 6 nice big leaves from the mother plant – fish and laksa leaf are companionable after all. I sought out and found the ground cumin, fish sauce (nam pla) and double cream.
Yes, now we have the makings of a dish.
First off, mix a teasp white wine vinegar with ½ teasp monosodium glutamate and a pinch of garlic powder. Add a few drops of sesame oil and enough sunflower oil to end up with about 3tbsp frying oil.
I have an induction hob and apart from having to have steel to allow electrical induction for the cooking, the pans are heavy based which is ideal for frying. Heat a frying pan and add the oil. Then add the leek.
I know that I can start with the other ingredients when the aroma starts to lift from the pan and fill my nostrils. Add the capsicum and stir for maybe 2mins. Add the cumin then the fish. Stir to coat the fish and add the chilli.
Cover all three stock cubes with 120mls boiling water and let steep. Then add the liquid slowly to the pan and add the nam pla. Cover and simmer gently for 12 to 15mins. Add cream and the shredded mint, adjust seasoning and serve over steamed basmati rice.
This is a gorgeously flavoured fish curry. Add a side dish of buttered peas or wilted baby spinach together with toasted sesame seeds. Just yummy.
150 to 250gr haddock steaks cut into 2cm pieces
½ to 1 Leek sliced lengthways and cut into 1cm slices
½ green capsicum cut into 1½cm squares
1 small green chilli deseeded and finely chopped
½teasp (or more) ground cumin
2 x Oxo curry recipe cubes
1 x Knorr vegetable stock cube or fish stock cube
2tbsp (or more) double thick cream
6 shredded Vietnamese Mint leaves
1½teasp nam pla
Pepper & Salt
I am constantly amazed at what ingredients can be put together to create a dish that tempts the appetite and fills the belly. Long live the kitchen!!