I have known my friend Ian for getting on for thirty years now. We went to school together and stayed in contact ever since, I was best man at his wedding and I returned the ‘favour(?!)’ when I got married.
He emigrated to New Zealand around the same time that we were moving to Sydney, so over the course of the last 6 or so years and 3 children between us later, we have seen each other relatively frequently.
Ian has bought a kayak which spends most of the time in his garage or on the roof of his car (impresses the ladies apparently).
He also bought some fishing lines on the assumption that he could catch his supper whilst paddling around.
Yesterday, I received an MMS which had feet and fish in them. The excitement was palpable, after 27 outings, Ian had caught a fish (or two!) but alas, did not have a clue how to cook them.
So being the great mate, I rushed to the supermarket and bought my own snapper so I could create a simple recipe for him to wow the family with (Ian is a better kayaker than chef, in fact is probably better at telling jokes(!) than cooking).
The finished dish is deliciously simple and the light citrus notes and the warmth of the pepper showcase beautiful fresh new Zealand snapper.
I served it with a homemade tartare sauce and a green salad. Simple and delicious.
Serves: 4 as a main and 6 as an entreé
Around 500-750g fresh snapper (would work with any good white fish), skinless and boneless.
Zest from 4 limes
6 slices of bread (stale is fine)
2 Tbsp black pepper
1-2 beaten eggs
100g plain flour
Rice bran oil for frying
To serve: homemade tartare sauce and fresh green salad
1) Break up bread slices and place in a baking tray.
2) Put tray in a 100c oven for an hour or so until bread is dried through.
3) Put bread in a food processor and pulse until you have breadcrumbs.
4) Chuck in pepper and lime zest and blitz for 5 seconds.
5) Pour breadcrumbs back into baking tray.
6) The next stage is key to prepare well because once you start, things get messy and happen quickly! You are going to set up a production line with, from left to right – small baking tray of flour, Bowl of beaten egg, tray of breadcrumbs, large frying pan on hob, plate with kitchen paper to drain cooked fish.
7) Heat a scant 1cm depth of oil over a medium heat. It has reached temperature when a cube if bread sizzles gently in it.
8) Dip fish fillet in flour, then shake, then in egg, then roll in breadcrumbs. Shake off loose crumbs.
9) Gently place crumbed fish in hot oil and cook each side for around 2 minutes until golden.
10) Drain on kitchen paper
11) Serve with tartare sauce and green salad.