Cook Arford

Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Tag: Fish (page 1 of 2)

Swedish Pickled Herring

First catch your herring! (See This apparently is a classic recipe for Swedish pickled herring called glasmastarsill, or glassblower’s herring. You need:

  • 450gm herring fillets (or as many as you can fit in)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 4 cups water

Mix the salt with the water (if you use boiling water let it cool completely) the soak the fillets in the brine for 24 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile…

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups distilled vinegar
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 3 cloves

Boil that lot for 5 minutes and let it cool completely.

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced

Drain the herrings. Now assemble the herrings, cooled pickling liquid, bay leaves, onions and lemon in jars, dividing the spices between the jars. Try and make the jars look pretty by showing the skin side of the fillets, lemon and bay leaves. Fill to the top and jiggle about to release any air pockets. Leave in the fridge for two days before sampling. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Lebanese Fried Fish and Tarator Sauce

We seem to be on a bit of a Middle Eastern theme at the moment. I had a solitary whiting and a hungry Olwyn on her way back from Pilates so I thought why not add a quick starter to our chicken with pomegranate molasses? You can use Tarator  Sauce for falafels as well. Nutty, lemony, garlicky, good. Here are the base ratios, add your garlic and salt as you like.

Tarator Sauce:

  • 2 scoops tahini paste
  • 1 scoop lemon juice
  • 1 scoop water
  • salt
  • garlic puree

OK if it helps I used a tablespoon for a scoop, with one garlic clove and half a teaspoon of salt. Just mix it all up. You can added chopped parsley if it looks a bit ordinary without.

Fried Fish:

  • Skinned, boned fish fillets cut into chip-sized strips
  • oil for frying
  • Enough flour. OK, for a more scientific measure I used 60ml for two medium-sized whiting fillets-worth of strips
  • Season with white pepper, salt and ground cumin. For the above I used 1 tsp cumin, half tsp salt, quarter tsp white pepper

Put oil in a pan to 1 cm depth and heat until a lump of bread goes golden in 30 seconds. Mix the flour and seasonings. Dip the fish in the flour then straight into the oil for about a minute or until it looks cooked. Serve with shredded lettuce, a lemon quarter and Tarator sauce.


Swedish Fishcakes

For four people you will need

  • 200g fish per person (800g): any boneless white fish or a combo with some cooked prawns, salmon fillet, even a mackerel fillet or smoked mackerel. Great for using up belly flaps, cod cheeks, and that stray rockling
  • 4 slices dry old white bread
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for cooking – veg oil or sunflower

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and couldn’t be easier because you don’t need to faff with potato or egg wash. It is 100% fish so the fishcakes will be fairly firm. If you like softer fishcakes, you can add in 25% cooked mashed potato to the fish mix.

You will need a food processor or be very diligent at chopping. Firstly take the crusts off your bread and whizz them to breadcrumbs. Set aside on a large plate. Take a tablespoon or two of the crumbs and put them  back in your food processor. Chop the parsley and put it in the processor. Grate the zest off the lemon and add that too. Add salt and pepper, and your chosen fish combo. Whizz to a chunky gloop.  Tip the lot onto a chopping board. Here’s a tip: to divide it easily mould it into a large round cake. Now slice your cake into four and four again like a Union Jack. Take each slice and mould it into a burger shape. You should have eight of equal size. Roll them in the breadcrumbs and pat them to stick. If you have time, put them all on a plate in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes, that helps stop them  falling apart.

Now heat oil in a frying pan, about 1cm deep. Heat it so a cube cut from one of your spare crusts goes crispy golden brown in 30 seconds (but not burnt nut brown!). Now add your fishcakes. You may need to play with the heat controls so it cooks them without burning. After 5-8 minutes turn them over and give them another five on the other side. Hopefully the side you see will be not pale, not black but golden brown.

When cooked through, drain on kitchen towel and serve with your favourite accompaniments. In my opinion new potatoes and peas are hard to beat.


You can make a nice starter by making mini versions of these fishcakes. Do exactly the same as above but make the fishcakes smaller, starting with a ball of gloop the size of a heaped tablespoon, and allow three per person. Cook them about 2-3 minutes a side. Serve with salad leaves and a flavoured mayonnaise. What’s that you ask. Here are two suggestions:

Rocket Mayo:

  • 100ml good quality mayo
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 60g rocket (a small packet is 60g)

Zap your rocket into a paste with a stick blender. You may have to do this with the lemon juice to stop the rocket wrapping around the blades. Where did all that rocket go, you wonder. Mix with the mayo. Done. A spoon or two of rocket mayo can be blobbed onto the plate before serving.

Lemon and Lime Mayo:

  • 100ml good quality mayo
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Juice of one or two limes depending on size.

Mix. The problem with this one is the resulting sauce is a lot more runny than mayo so it needs to be served separately.

Smoked Pollack Hollandaise

This is a bit of a cheat but dead quick. You can use any smoked white fish or hot-smoked salmon. For two:

  • Two fillets of smoked pollack or equivalent, 400-500gms total
  • Half a packet of fresh spinach
  • Two thick slices of real bread – sourdough is excellent
  • Packet of hollandaise sauce
  • two eggs.

Get yourself ready, this is going to be on the table in five minutes. Make the sauce according to the packet. Wilt the spinach in a pan for three minutes. Poach the eggs until soft. Toast the bread. Heat the smoked fish in the microwave for a couple of minutes (it is already cooked). Assemble: base layer of toast, the spinach, fish, egg and sauce poured over. As an alternative to the toast I have also used sliced boiled new potatoes.

This can be a supper dish or a great brunch or lunch dish.

Cod and Chorizo Stew

This is a really quick one-pot dish and one you could easily do camping or in a boat. You don’t need to be at all precise with quantities, but for two we used:

  • 2 cod steaks or fillets
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 100g chorizo, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of white beans – butter, haricot, borlotti etc.
  • Chopped fresh parsely
  • Olive oil

Simply fry the chorizo and onion in a pan until the onion is soft and the chorizo makes everything red. Add the tin of tomatoes, cover and cook for five minutes. Add the cod and cook for another five minutes. add the beans, and cook for a final five minutes. Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsely and serve in a bowl with crusty bread.

Posh Fish & Chips

Thank you Jamie Oliver. This can be based on any white fish but why not use pouting like Jamie does. This involves breaded fish strips, sweet potato fries and a very tasty basil mayo relish.  Quantities can be scaled up easily depending on number fish and number of mouths.

Sweet potato fries:

Heat oven to 200deg C.

Wash but don’t peel some small sweet potatoes. Slice length-ways to make small wedges, about six per small potatoes gives you chip-sized wedges. Toss in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and paprika. Place on an oven tray and roast for 35 minutes, turning occasionally. They are done when a knife point goes right in easily.

Basil mayo:

Per person (or multiply up): take about ten basil leaves and pound to mush in a pestle and mortar. Add juice from 1/4 lemon and add half a tablespoon of plain yogurt and  a half a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Mix together, job done. This is very light and refreshing.

Fish fingers:

Heat cooking oil in a frying pan, about 5mm deep will do. Fry a clove of garlic in the oil first to flavour it, then remove. Take two pout fillets per person, skinned and boned. Slice down the middle to create four “fingers”. Dip in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Drop in the oil and fry each side until golden.

Serve with peas. Very good!


Salmon and Spinach Pasta

Super quick pasta dish. I like any pasta sauce that cooks in less time that the pasta! For two (easily scales up):

  • 2 skinless boneless salmon portions
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes, sliced,  and their oil
  • 175g pasta of your choice (I like shells for seafood)
  • 1/2 pack of fresh spinach
  • A blob of creme fraiche (optional)

Here’s what to do. Boil the pasta according to the instructions. Meanwhile, heat the tomato oil in a pan and cook the salmon and tomatoes until the salmon looks cooked and flakes easily. Add the spinach and put a lid on the pan for a couple of minutes until the spinach is wilted. At this point you can add the creme fraiche if you like, or just stir about to mix, and adjust the seasoning. Mingle with the pasta and serve.

Quick Thai Fish Curry

You can use any white fish for this, preferably firm and chunky. Serves four but easily divided down to two or even one.

  • 450g white fish skinned, boned and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 25g seasoned flour
  • 1 clove garlic crushed, or paste
  • 2 tbs red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • handful cherry tomatoes
  • 20 Thai basil leaves or our own if they are not available
  • Oil

Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Toss the fish in the flour to coat and fry in hot oil for 3-4 minutes turning to seal. Remove the fish and keep warm. Mix the coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste. Stir fry the garlic then add the sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer then add the fish back in, with the cheery tomatoes. Simmer for five minutes. Meanwhile stir fry some fresh vegetable and cook some Thai Jasmin or Basmati rice. When all is done, add the basil leaves to the curry and serve.

Thai Pesto Noodles

A bit fusion but it works. Takes about 5 minutes. The photo above was taken in Thailand where we went to cookery school for a day. First we were sent on a shopping trip to buy authentic ingredients in the market! This recipe did not come from that school but I thought the photo was appropriate for the ingredients anyway.

  • 4 slabs of dried egg noodles
  • 400g raw prawns
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 75g peanuts
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lime – zest and juice
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs olive oil.

Cook the noodles. Stir-fry the prawns in the olive oil. Blitz everything else except the sesame oil in a blender. Drain the noodles, stir in the sesame oil, stir in the prawns and pesto and eat.

Spaghetti, Pesto and Prawns

Without having to buy pesto! Quantities here for four – this scales up or down easily.

  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50g parsley leaves
  • 1 grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 80ml good olive oil
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 300g cooked prawns

Dry fry the almonds. Zap all but spag and prawns in a blender. Add 2 tbs water to loosen it if necessary

Cook the spaghetti. Drain, add the prawns to warm though. Add the pesto. Done! I have not made this for a while but the recipe in the book has a smiley face and Oli next to it so I will have to make it again soon.


Older posts

© 2018 Cook Arford

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑