???!!!! Fresh fish from Asda ??????
Good promotion from ASDA (aka Walmart) this month with substantial discounts from their entire premium ‘extra special’ range. Took this opportunity to buy as much ‘premium’ stuff as possible, ending up spending £70 on a weekly shop (yikes!). Anyway I disappointed the Mrs by not being able to take her out to the Celtic Manor for dinner due to high demand that evening so the pressure was on to cook up a half decent meal to compensate!
Cooking tonight was simple and quick. This all took me under an hour to prepare; the longest time was spent chopping up the vegetables. These consisted of mainly leftover vegetables that needed finishing; leek, carrots, red onions, and courgettes. The carrots needed a quick parboil, but otherwise they all went into the pan simply stir fried with salt and pepper to taste and a smidge of oyster sauce at the end. Not bad actually although you have to be careful not to overcook causing sogginess!
The meat was trickier to cook than anticipated. Now the barnsley chop is basically 2 lamb chops stuck together i.e. intact vertebrae. Unfortunately it juts out a bit so that the meat around the bone is very difficult to cook in the shallow fry setting. I think in future I will grill it instead. In this case I seasoned with salt and pepper after rubbing olive oil over it. Rosemary leaves are a must thanks to its sensational aromas that soften that ‘lamby’ taste that some people find overpowering (father in law). They were then fried on a hot griddle pan for a few minutes on each side. The Mrs found it a bit too rare and needed to microwave it in the end. Quite impressed with the quality of the lamb though – tender and flavoursome. Gosh rosemary is amazing – rarely will I ever cook lamb without it.
For me though, the fish stole the show. Unbelievable and ASDA fish is usually unfresh. Also I bought sea bass fillets which I’m sure my dad would raise an eyebrow to. Growing up in a chinese family where fish is ALWAYS cooked whole and where filleting is always frowned upon as wasteful makes eating fillets quite a new experience. On the whole I agree as the meat stuck on bones and the cheeks are often the most flavoursome and tender parts of the fish. However eating those lovely parts are sometimes tricky and so the alternative is the buy the whole fish yourself, fillet, and use the bones for stock! In any case I learnt from this cooking experience that fillets are MUCH easier to cook well, and I say this because the depth is much less and even than a whole fish, you have much more control over the amount of cooking (yuck to overcooked fish).
Anyway I digress. So easy to do. Olive oil rubbed over entire fish, add salt and pepper. Heat up the grill at a fairly hot setting and grill skin side up for a few minutes. My fillets were only a couple of cm thick and so it didn’t require long (around 5 mins) – in any case again to my surprise the skin was blistering (sign of very fresh fish!!). I finished with a squeeze of lemon juice after it was cooked. Despite the fact this is farmed seabass it was still delicious – so no complaints there (I’ve already added the picture at the top of this post).
To end/start the meal I made some miso soup from the remains of the dashi that I had been using all week. Again so simple. Heat up Dashi to a gentle simmer, add some oyster mushrooms, followed by miso paste once they’re cooked. Ok oyster mushrooms shouldn’t go in miso soup, but hey everyone’s allowed some variation in cooking 😀
All in all a feast of a meal. I served it with japanese white rice, so a multi fusion meal. The boss seemed to enjoy it but we were both particularly impressed with the ASDA fish which was prepacked might I add! Next time will definitely grill barnsley chops though.