Recipe: Spanish-Inspired Chorizo Crusted Fish

It’s now getting to that time of year where I’m craving lighter food, sunnier flavours, yet still wanting needing warming comfort food as it’s just so damn cold. My answer to this is usually to head towards Spain; the chorizo sausage is not only my sandwich meat of choice (see my filming for Aldi for more info on that!) but pretty much a fridge staple for me at this time of year. Adding a comforting but vibrant flavour to pretty much everything, it works in lighter dishes such as omelettes, adds a twist to a comforting classic pie, and crumbled on pizza? Yum.

 photo Chorizo Crusted Fish Recipe 3_zps7yxqjkic.jpgThen there’s this recipe. Adapted from the Hairy Bikers to consider a tight student budget (one that was already splurging out on fish) this turned out a whole lot better than expected. I rarely cook fish because (1) money, and (2) when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong. I’ve had many a piece of dry, overcooked fish and it’s nearly put me off for life. This though I reckon is pretty foolproof. The chorizo crumb both protects and bastes the fish whilst it cooks, adding flavour and texture too.

We served this with garlic roast potatoes (I’m planning one of my ‘How to Cook‘ posts on potatoes soon!), veg and charred broccoli – trust me, it’s far tastier than it looks!

 photo Chorizo Crusted Fish_zpsdtkhjuf5.jpgThis recipe definitely tasted far sunnier than most of the recipes I’ve been cooking lately, whilst still feeling relatively comforting. It doesn’t hurt that it wasn’t too unhealthy either! The Spanish flavours work really well with the fish, and the chorizo crumb is something I really want to experiment with more. A topping for a really indulgent Mac’n’Cheese perhaps…?!

Ingredients (for 2, with some crumb mixture leftover)

  • 2 thick fillets of fish, around 150g is a good weight
  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice (from a bottle is fine)
  • 50g chorizo sausage
  • 1 slice of bread, or 1 small roll, around 50g
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp finely grated cheese

 photo Chorizo Crusted Fish Recipe 1_zpsslasyvgb.jpg photo Chorizo Crusted Fish Recipe 2_zpscxs4lfo5.jpgPop the fish in a dish, and sprinkle with the lime/lemon. Pop in the fridge to marinade whilst you prep the crumb mixture. Cube the chorizo and pop into a dry frying pan over a low heat until the fat starts to release. Add the bread (torn into small pieces) and toss together until covered in the chorizo oil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Once cool, tip into a food processor (I use my trusty mini chopper – which unfortunately now leaks when used with liquids) along with the garlic and cheese. Add plenty of black pepper and blitz to form crumbs. Add the fish and marinating juices to a lightly oiled baking dish, top with the crumb mixture (I found pressing it on with my hands to be the easiest) and bake at 190C for 15-20 minutes. Serve with plenty of veg.

 photo Chorizo Crusted Fish Recipe 5_zpsemgdvqx3.jpgThe leftover crumb mixture keeps well in the fridge for a few days, just crisp up in a dry pan before using. I loved using it to top my Sweet Potato & Pepper Soup, whilst W enjoyed it stirred through pasta with some extra cheese. I can imagine it being a great coating for ‘fried’ chicken too – yum!
 photo Chorizo Crusted Fish Recipe 4_zpsnlfujtw8.jpg

Disclaimer: I worked alongside Alpharooms to create this recipe, though as always all opinions are my own!

Do you shy away from cooking fish? Any good and easy recipes to share?

Restaurant Review: The Ness, Shaldon

A nice summery post for you today – fingers crossed the weather isn’t as gloomy today as it was at the weekend. I love watching rain, but I hate, hate, hate cloudy grey skies that don’t seem to do anything. Give me thunderstorms any day!

Anyway, remember a few weeks ago I posted about a lovely weekend away in Devon with my family? I promised a review of the pub lunch we had, and finally here it is. Worth the wait I promise – and if you decide to visit this lovely not-so-little but still quaint pub then the scary roads are worth it too! Just look at that view…

 photo 2014-07-19144402_zps1663e375.jpgWe wandered here after a sunny morning on the beach, thirsty and hungry. We were impressed with the welcome we all got, included the dog. We were offered a clean bowl from the kitchen (nothing annoys me more than places leaving out a single dirty dog bowl!) and pointed to a outdoor tap where we could fill it up as needed. Someone was impressed!

 photo 2014-07-20143824_zps39af775e.jpgAfter browsing the menu, I decided to be awkward and ask about various dishes as I wasn’t immediately sure which ones were tomato-free. A little disappointingly a lot of ingredients are bought in – though they are from a butcher (bonus) – and so they couldn’t guarantee they were safe for me. Said butcher labels with ‘herbs and spices’ which isn’t helpful! On a better note they were very accomodating and I was able to have a ‘starter’ of whitebait with some fries as my main. The drinks selection was also pretty impressive, especially given the precarious position of the cliff!

 photo 2014-07-19143632_zps7263bf26.jpgWaiting staff were a little confused, most people were sitting on the unnumbered tables outside which led to wrong meals trying to be delivered – but when ours came out (relatively quickly, but not suspiciously so) everything was all together. My sister ordered a massive Cornish pasty (half became dinner), mum had a gorgeous looking unfortunately-tomato-laced steak pie, and dad ate a fish-and-cheese baked dish. However…

 photo 2014-07-19150528_zpsb97ba80e.jpg photo 2014-07-19150537_zps4e12851b.jpgMine was absolutely stunning. Simple whitebait, so, so fresh. Not covered in a batter, just crunchy by itself. Salt and fishy without being overpowering, with the best tartar sauce I’ve ever had. Chips (skin-on fries) were also fresh tasting. One of the nicest pub lunches I’ve had. Pinterest worthy presentation too!

Have you been out for a meal recently?