Before I decided to embark on this project, at the stage when I was flicking through the book idly wondering what I would decide to cook from it (apparently most people never make more than three recipes from any one cookbook, but I bet they imagine making more as they first skim through the book. I always do, and I don't always get round to making all those recipes that first caught my eye, for one reason or another - and I am quite an obsessive cook compared to many), this recipe was one that I knew I would definitely make, along with various pasta dishes, the chicken dishes, the pork chops, salmon fillets, and chocolate brownies. This doesn't mean that these were the recipes that stood out most or excited me most; they are simply, realistically, the ones I was most likely to make. Again it doesn't just mean that they are the easiest recipes, but they work with the most familiar and accessible ingredients and don't take too long and therefore they slot most easily into weekday dinners. This particular recipe caught my eye because I love white fish wrapped in prosciutto or pancetta, not to mention lemony mayonnaise.
It is clearly unseasonal, but forget that for now (and see my previous post); January is sluggish enough without too many foodie prohibitions being slapped on it. This recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner, particularly if like me you use decent bought mayonnaise. To make it, you season fish fillets with chopped rosemary, grated lemon zest and pepper, and wrap the fish inside flattened out slices of smoked bacon or pancetta. Fry the fish briefly then transfer to the oven (preheated to 200C) and roast for 10-12 minutes. Steam the asparagus (or boil it) and spike some mayonnaise with lemon juice and pepper; it will be a thinner texture than usual, but this makes it more of a sauce. Serve with the mayo drizzled over.
I changed the recipe slightly because where Jamie suggested 1 inch thick fish fillets, mine were pretty thin; I didn't use the oven at all and simply fried the fish wrapped in pancetta on the hob, which worked beautifully (the fish began to turn an appealingly golden shade.) The lemony mayo was delicious as usual and the fish was tasty - but then, anything wrapped in smoked bacon is likely to be. Most importantly, probably, this is the kind of dinner you can rustle up easily after work without breaking into a sweat; it is probably the perfect meal for a mid-week supper, when the weekend seems a long way off and you want to eat something nice but you don't want to be chained to the stove.