As you may or may not have seen I have started contributing on a fairly regular basis to the awesome ‘mybaba’ blog. It is mainly ‘little people’ focused with the occasional ‘grown up’ recipe thrown in for everyone’s sanity. The interesting thing about food for children is that so much of the popular stuff is appealing to both young and old alike, I mean honestly, when can a ‘grown up’ authentically turn down a beautifully fried fillet of plaice? Take ‘anything’ coat it properly in a good breadcrumb mix and actually it usually gets inhaled without a backward glance. This recipe is exactly that. Very simple plaice, coated in a combination of panko breadcrumbs and polenta and then cooked speedily in a frying pan. Perfect friday food, deliciously fast and a world apart from the nasty breadcrumbs that came from my childhood. Panko breadcrumbs are a brilliant larder staple, they keep for an age, are known as ‘Japanese style breadcrumbs’, and have a courser texture than your average crumb, once fried, the result is a very light and crispy finish. They can be bought online, are sold in some supermarkets, and unsurprisingly, also in some fishmongers. The recipe below uses plaice but I have coated pretty much all sorts in this mix, haddock, mackerel, monkfish and salmon. For a real lottery I pick up the off cuts from our local fish monger (which he sells as fish pie mix) and coat the whole lot for a complete spectrum of taste and color, imagine the ‘blues’ surprise, slash horror, as he tucked into a piece of breaded salmon and announced loudly, ‘Mummy the fish has gone PINK’!!
Serves 4 Toddlers
1 small plaice filleted, cut into finger pieces
40gms of panko breadcrumbs
40gms of polenta
4 tablespoons of plain flour
1 large organic egg
A little butter and a splash of olive oil
1. Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk together and set aside. Place the flour in the bowl and set aside. Place the polenta and breadcrumbs in a bowl and set aside.
2. Flour the plaice (or whatever fish you are using) by dipping the fish into the flour on both sides, now place the fish in the egg and when each sliver is covered in egg, pop it in the breadcrumb mix pressing hard down to make sure it gets well covered. This is a little messy and you definitely do not want to be answering the phone mid dip!! Have a plate ready to put the fish on to.
3. When you are ready to eat, fry off the fish in a large frying pan with a little butter and olive oil. It does not take long – just a couple of minutes on each side and serve with either homemade olive oil chips or mashed potatoes and peas, and of course lots of ‘red sauce’ if you are pink or blue!!