Fish dinners for the whole family that you can prepare in 30 minutes


As I write this week with the window open, I can hear the sounds of children screaming and playing below, but especially the sea. The sea is like the backing track of my life; he is always there and at night he puts me to sleep. When it’s wild outside, I like to feel safe inside my house while listening to the roar of the waves on the rocks not far away, but I also say a silent prayer for our local fishermen, may they be home safe and in port.

When we go for a walk, we can see if the fishmonger on the pier is open when his container door is wide open and the radio blares. There’s nothing quite like seafood that was caught hours ago. Fish is so cheap and I’m lucky to live in a city with more than one fishmonger. The closer you are to the outlet, the better the value in my experience.

If you’re not close to a fishmonger, the second best freezer substitute for seafood on a budget is your local supermarket freezer. Keep an eye out for shelled shrimp which tend to be more value for money than shelled shrimp. For fish, watch out for plain fillets marked for “steaming” rather than breaded or breaded fillets which may have a higher salt content.

Photo by Caitriona Redmond: Moya Nolan

The canning aisle is usually full of fish that people tend to consider unpalatable. A can of line-caught tuna in brine is a beautiful lean seafood on a budget because it’s so versatile and pre-cooked that you can add it to salads and sauces effortlessly. Add that can of tuna with sweet corn and mayonnaise and you have a dynamite sandwich on a much cheaper budget than pre-made pots.

Traditionally Friday was fish day in Ireland, back home it’s ‘Fresh Fish Friday’ and the only day of the week we do our best to eat local fish; At the moment we eat a lot of haddock and when it’s in season, pan-fried scallops in a little butter with a zest of lemon to finish it’s a treat.

For my two recipes this week, I’m cooking fast food fish with two main dishes that take 30 minutes each to prepare. Both dishes are full of flavor and are foods my family loves to eat.

Meal offers

For the first time since I started following the basket for the Irish Examiner, we have two supermarkets tied for first place and it’s the Aldi and Dunnes stores with the same overall basket price. Lidl follows very closely, its basket being only 20c more expensive. There are variations in the product types for these prices though and starting this week you will see more information such as the fat content of ground beef.

There are several packs of meat for grilling in all supermarkets this weekend.
There are several packs of meat for grilling in all supermarkets this weekend.

Today, Bank Holiday weekend Saturday, you can get ready-to-grill meat and seafood packs from all major supermarkets on sale with Dunnes Stores, SuperValu and Tesco offering 3 deals at €10. However, Lidl does offer a 3 for €9 BBQ package which is a little better value, so well worth checking out.

Finally, if you’re planning on making jam this summer, it would be a good idea to stock your cupboards with sugar and pectin or jam sugar right now to protect your home produce from price increases. Jam sugar costs €2.75 per kg in all major supermarkets to date.

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cooked salmon

recipe from:Caitriona Redmond

Baked salmon is tasty, quick and easy to prepare

cooked salmon

Preparation time

10 minutes

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Cut the parchment paper into 4 equal pieces.

  2. Pour the bulgur into a large heatproof bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover it, then cover tightly with cling film and set aside.

  3. Thinly slice the lemon. Place two slices of lemon dead center in each piece of parchment paper. Place a fillet of salmon on the lemon.

  4. Season with salt and black pepper then place a knob of butter (10 g) on ​​the salmon. Take the 4 corners of the parchment paper and push them together then twist to seal the salmon into a packet.

  5. Crumple the paper together so that it is well sealed. Place your package in an ovenproof dish and then put it directly in the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

  6. Finely chop the red pepper, spring onions and carrots into equal sized pieces. Remove the cling film from the bulgur as it should have soaked up all the hot water at this point. Stir in chopped vegetables.

  7. When the timer rings, remove the salmon patties from the oven.

  8. To serve, pour the bulgur salad into a bowl. It can be served hot or cold. Open a packet and flip the salmon over the salad. This will allow the juices captured in the package to be used as a dressing for your salad.

Fish and chips baking dish

recipe from:Caitriona Redmond

A healthier version of the chip shop classic

Fish and chips baking dish

Preparation time

10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 medium potatoes, peeled

  • 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 green peppers

  • 1 large handful of fresh green herbs of your choice (I used chives and parsley)

  • 300 g pieces of white fish (a packet of mixed fish is fine)

  • 200g fresh tomatoes to serve

Method

  1. Preheat a ventilated oven to 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (to save on washing up).

  2. Cut the potatoes into small cubes about 2 cm in diameter. No need to be too specific, it just helps the potatoes cook faster and get crispy on the outside. Dry the potato cubes with a bit of paper towel or a clean kitchen towel before pouring 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil on the baking sheet and tossing the cubed potatoes in the oil until until they are completely covered. Bake for 30 minutes, flip the potato cubes halfway through cooking.

  3. I use a mini chopper for the next part, but if you have a knife you will need to finely chop the garlic, peppers and green herbs together. If you have a mini chopper, whisk everything in the pitcher and mix with the sunflower oil. Make sure there is no skin left on your fish, then mix the fish pieces into the green paste you prepared in the chopper.

  4. Remove the roasted potato cubes from the oven and evenly sprinkle the fish pieces. Return to oven for 15 minutes.

  5. Serve with chopped fresh tomatoes and an herb salad if desired, although tomato relish is also fine.

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