Human Impact – Sustainable Sustenance

After Tuesday’s look at some of the most reprehensible dishes served across the globe we thought we would do a follow up, get all high and mighty and tell you what you should be eating. So put down the seal club, rest your finning blade to the side and come join us in the kitchen for some sustainable alternatives to your species destroying diets.

Fish Stew

Here’s a soup style starter that doesn’t involve the needless killing of several million sharks each year. Courtesy of Allegra McEvedy the co-founder of LEON, they make those nice sweet potato falafel wraps you have for your lunch sometimes.

Ingredients: 600g fish bones (free from any fishmonger/counter); Half a tin of tomatoes; A couple of carrots, sliced; Half an onion, roughly chopped; 1 fresh red chilli; 2 pieces of star anise; 2 bay leaves; 2 cloves of garlic, whole; 1 small head of fennel, cut through the root into 8 wedges; Half a head of cauliflower, about half a dozen florettes; Some saffron; 100ml white wine; Half a tin of kidney beans; 1 black bream, scaled and filleted (keep the bones); 300g piece of coley, on the bone; One gurnard fillet, scaled, cut into two-bite chunks; Anything else you fancy (my fishmonger had a few small, stray pilchards); Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped; Salt and pepper

Put all the bones, plus a third of the coley in a saucepan with the tomatoes, carrots, onion, chilli, star anise, bay leaves and garlic. Cover with a litre of cold water. Bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, then strain through a colander into a large bowl. Allow it to drip for a few minutes, before pushing at the bones with the back of a spoon to get all their flavour out.

Rinse the saucepan, then put in the wine and fennel and bring to a simmer. Once the wine has halved in volume, add the kidney beans and the fish stock and simmer it down by two thirds (for about 20 minutes). Add seasoning.

Sprinkle the saffron into a small saucepan filled with about 3cm of water and add a pinch of salt. Once simmering, add the cauliflower pieces, pop a lid on and cook for about five minutes, moving them around so they half steam and half simmer. Strain the saffron liquid into the stock, and put a lid on the cauliflower to keep warm.

Once the base has reduced, lay the fish pieces in it, put a lid on and simmer for about three minutes. Lift the fish out and place on two warm bowls and finish the dish with some fennel, cauliflower and a ladleful of the fish soup, after adding the chopped parsley.

Trout or Mackerel?

The trouble is we’re always eating tuna, cod or haddock. It’s time to turn to something a little different and much more sustainable. Jamie Oliver stopped crying long enough to get these recipes down so you can have a choice on what to have for your main dish.

Rainbow trout and horseradish, yoghurt & balsamic beets

Ingredients: 400g new potatoes, large ones halved; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; 4 x 100g rainbow trout fillets, skin on and pin-boned; olive oil; a few sprigs fresh thyme; 2 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt; 1 lemon; 1 heaped tsp creamed horseradish, or to taste; 4 jarred beetroots, quartered; balsamic vinegar; knob of butter; 2 handfuls of watercress, washed and spun dry; extra virgin olive oil.

Add the potatoes to a pan of salted boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Put a large frying pan on a medium heat.

Season the trout on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add a good lug of olive oil to the pan and scatter in the thyme tips, followed by the trout, skin-side down (you may have to do this in two batches).

Press down on the fish with a fish slice to help the skin crisp up. Cook for 4 minutes, jiggling the pan every now and then, and turning for the last 20 seconds or so to finish it off – you want to cook it about 90 per cent of the way through on the skin side.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the yoghurt with the juice of a lemon, the horseradish and a small pinch of salt.

Have a taste to check it’s hot enough – it needs a good kick.

Dress the beets with a good splash of balsamic and a small pinch of salt.

Drain the potatoes then toss them with a pinch of salt and pepper and the butter.

Squash half on to each plate.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the hot pan of fish, then transfer two fillets to each plate.

Top each portion with a good dollop of horseradish yoghurt, a spoonful of dressed beets and a little watercress, then drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Crispy-skinned mackerel with Asian-inspired dressing

Ingredients: 1 mug basmati rice; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; 4 x 170g mackerel, skin on, butterflied and pin-boned; 1 lemon; 1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced; two sprigs fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped; two sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked; 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced (optional).

For the sauce: 1 clove garlic, peeled; 1cm piece fresh ginger; 1 spring onion, trimmed; 1 fresh red chilli; 2 limes; two sprigs coriander, leaves picked; 4 tsp sesame oil; 4 tbsp soy sauce; 2 tsp runny honey; extra virgin olive oil.

Put a griddle pan on a high heat to get really hot. Add the rice to a pan with 2 mugs of boiling water and a pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil on a high heat then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave for seven to eight minutes. Once the griddle is screaming hot, add the mackerel skin-side down (you may need to do this in batches). Use a fish slice to press the fish on to the pan.


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