Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pan-roasted salmon with broccoli and anchovy-rosemary sauce

According to Jamie, Brits aren't eating enough fish. His view was echoed in a recent episode of Food Uncut, where a short survey as to why British people weren't choosing to eat fish threw up the following results: it was seen as too expensive; too time-consuming; too complicated. The reasons people gave for not eating fish sounded like excuses and probably were. Why would salmon fillets be complicated or time-consuming? In some ways fish is the ultimate fast food. What is difficult, here at least, is finding it.

I read Joanna Blythman's eye-opening book, Shopped! The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets which really makes you think about where you shop and what you buy for all sorts of reasons. In terms of fish, supermarkets typically freeze it before defrosting it and plonking it on ice on the 'fresh fish' counter. They also transport it unnecessarily far. It is unlikely that supermarket fish will be so fresh that it doesn't smell of fish. The solution is to find a decent fishmonger. But that is easier said than done. In a working day, I would have to find a fishmonger nearish to work (in the centre of a city). There is one, to my knowledge. But I tend to have to go there towards the end of the day when there is hardly anything left. The sheer lack of real fishmongers in a city only a few miles from the sea is ridiculous, really. So I do often end up with fake-fresh supermarket fish.

Anyway rant over and back to Jamie. This recipe is simple: pan-fry the fish skin side down, then briefly roast it. Make a sauce of bashed-up rosemary, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, black pepper and oil. Boil some purple sprouting broccoli. I did everything the recipe asked apart from the broccoli - I used normal broccoli instead. This is because (again thanks in part to Joanna Blythman) I try not to buy veg at the supermarket and buy it in a local farm shop at the weekend, and I buy what they have, and they had locally grown broccoli but not of the purple sprouting variety.

The recipe was simple but very good. For people who don't like anchovies, you can definitely taste them; this isn't a recipe where they lend flavour but become almost hidden. I like anchovies so it wasn't a problem. And, I realize, in effect, I have almost had 2 helpings of fish in one go. Which is another bonus.

4 comments:

Simon said...

You forgot to say that some supermarkets (I'm thinking one that begins with the letter T)laughably present their shop assistants standing behind the fish counter as "fishmongers". They wouldn't know one end of a filleting knife from the other.

TheGrem said...

A "Fishmonger" in Morrisons told me that we would not see any swordfish in Britain for years because it had been overfished. I saw some the other week, so praps she was fibbin.

Kathryn said...

Supermarket 'fishmongers' might have been working on the cheese counter the day before, the tills the day before that, etc. I don't think it equates to a professional description...

Lantrix said...

It is a lovely recipe. Even better when the Rosemary and Broccoli is picked fresh. from your own garden