Saturday, March 11, 2006

If I ever had a cat, I'd call it mackerel

291. Pink Fish and Beans

This recipe, from the children's chapter, is suggested as a quick and easy meal to feed a child. Nigella says to poach Pink fish (trout), then chop it up roughly and add it to a tin of borlotti beans. Thankfully, she also says you can use smoked mackerel for the fish (thus dispensing with the need for cooking at all!). I went for the smoked mackerel option, not only for the ease of execution, but because I had a packet of it left in the fridge from when I made the crepes parmentier. She concedes that this is a "radical substitution... but can be successful".

I made this for lunch on Thursday, adding some mixed salad leaves, and ate it on the bus to work. It was very nice - "fish and beans" is indeed, a good combination.

pink fish and beans

However, I'm not sure if children would go for this. As Nigella acknowledges, the texture of smoked mackerel is quite dense and oily, and the flavour is very smoky. It could be a bit strong for a childish palate. Furthermore, the mackerel I bought had bones in it. Eek! So, I'd only advise using the smoked mackerel if you're happy to really get your fingers in there as you break up the fish, making sure to get out each and every last bone.

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