Baked Sea Bass with Fried Brussels Sprouts

On 19th December 2015, This was Dinner

A fabulous version of fish & chips. And with one of my most loved but loathed by many vegetables, the sprout!


  • Slice some potatoes
  • Prepare some brussels sprouts (I did mine whole as they were tiny and halved the larger ones)
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Get butter, sea bass, fennel seeds, caster sugar, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)


Par boil the sprouts.

Toss the potatoes in oil and seasoning and bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes depending on how thick you have cut them.

Season the sea bass and drizzle with oil and sit on top of the potatoes when there is about 15 minutes left.

Heat some oil and butter in a pan and add the sprouts. When they start to turn golden, add the fennel seeds, lemon juice and zest and the sugar.

Nice and simple and very, very tasty.


This meal can be found in the December edition of Delicious magazine.

Mr Bennett Omelette

On 5th October 2015, This was Dinner

I had to go to my book and check the name of this recipe. Apparently, there is an Omelette Arnold Bennett, so named because the travelling writer was so delighted with the egg, smoked haddock and parmesan concoction that chefs at the Savoy created for him, he insisted on it being made wherever he travelled. (Source: The Guardian.)

Was Jamie Oliver’s recipe Gordon or Arnold?

Why do we say Gordon Bennett as an exclamation of what? Disbelief. Well apparently as an expletive. The short version? Gor Blimey which is in itself, a version of God Blind me, thus adapted to take into account one Mr Bennett’s ‘famously outrageous lifestyle and newsworthy stunts’. (Source: The Phrase Finder.) This was the 1800’s. I wonder who’s lifestyle and stunts could inspire an expletive that someone is looking up in the year 2215? I think Kanye is a front runner.


  • Finely slice some spring onions
  • Flake some smoked mackerel
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get chives, eggs, a lemon, butter, oil & seasoning ready


Beat some eggs in a bowl and add a little seasoning and half the parmesan.

Heat a little oil and butter in a frying pan.

Add the spring onions and cook until softened. Add the flaked fish then carefully pour over the eggs. Move everything around so it’s nice and even.

When the egg is cooked around the edges and turning opaque on top, your omelette is done. If you fold it over it will finish cooking on the inside.

Sprinkle with parmesan and snip over some chives.

TWD_0510_OmeletteAfter all that, I’m still no wiser as to why Jamie called his ‘gordon’, that’s why I’ve gone formal with my title but it was delicious so who cares?

Smoked Mackerel & Beetroot Pizza

On 28th September 2015, This was Dinner

I was reminiscing on my last post so I’m going to do so on this one! When I was first introduced to the pizza I thought it was amazing. Bread? Covered in cheese? Yes please! It’s cheese on toast for the future*

When I think about that first pizza I tried I would be disgusted if you gave me one now. I won’t name the brand but fake tasting tomato sauce and some poor excuse for cheese, I’m glad both the pizza and I have moved on.

We have also moved on in terms of the pizza itself. We realise it doesn’t have to contain a tomato base** and the whole of the food spectrum is your oyster. Apparently you can get a chocolate pizza from our local kebab shop!

So don’t read on if a smoked mackerel and beetroot pizza isn’t for you. Next month it’s a sprout and blue cheese one which brought gasps of disgust when I mentioned it at work. Heathens!

I’ve gone back to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things for this one.


Prepare a shop-bought pizza dough (or do your own)


  • Flake a couple of smoked mackerel fillets
  • Slice some cooked beetroot (not pickled)
  • Thinly slice some shallots
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get a lemon, horseradish sauce, natural yoghurt, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning ready


Stick a baking tray in the oven.

Toss the shallots in the oil and season well.

Mix the horseradish with the yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon. Season.

Roll out the dough to your preferred pizza sizes. Make them as thin as possible.

At this point I always transfer mine to the heated tray and build the pizza.

Distribute the mackerel, shallots and beetroot over the pizza(s). Pop in the oven and cook for around 10 minutes.

Pop the sauce over the cooked pizza and enjoy.


* cheese on toast was something I could easily have lived on (probably still could)

** according to Collins the definition is ‘a dish of Italian origin consisting of a baked disc of dough covered with cheese and tomatoes’.

Baked Trout with Fennel Potatoes

On 4th September 2015, This was Dinner

This was supposed to be Trout en Papillote but as I had no ‘papillote’ I baked it in foil Trout en feuille, if you will. Not quite as pretty but still very tasty.


  • Halve some baby new potatoes
  • Slice a couple of lemons
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get some trout fillets, oil & seasoning ready


Blanch the potatoes in boiling salted water. Drain then transfer to a baking dish and toss in oil and seasoning along with the fennel. Add half of the lemon slices to the tray.

Bake these in the oven for 40 minutes, adding the trout to the oven half way through.

Place the trout fillets on some foil, season then place a couple of slices of lemon on top and wrap the foil well around the fillets. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.


Cheddar, Haddock & Hake Polenta Fish Cakes

On 19th August 2015, This was Dinner

As good as these were they took a while. I’d walked the doggy first too so it was already a late start. It was gone 9.30pm when we had these, whilst watching GBBO. How cool was that lion?


  • Peel and chop some potatoes
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Finely slice some spring onions
  • Chop some parsley, separating stalks & leaves
  • Get a bay leaf, peppercorns, a small piece of smoked haddock, a small piece of hake, flour, egg, polenta, oil & seasoning ready


Put the potatoes in a pan along with the peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley stalks and salt. Top up with cold water and cover. Bring to the boil and cook the potatoes until tender, around 15 minutes.

Keep the water, transferring the potatoes to a colander to steam. Pop the fishes into the water and poach until it flakes (around 5 minutes). Remove and set aside.

Mash the potatoes, adding some pepper and a little more salt. Add the cheese half of the fish and mash well. Throw in the rest of the fish and the spring onions and stir through. Form the mixture into balls. Mine were just a bit bigger than golf balls.

Roll them in flour, dip them in egg then roll in polenta. Chill for at least 20 minutes but an hour would be better.

Heat about 1cm of oil in a large frying pan and then cook for a few minutes on ‘each’ side.


The BBC Good Food recipe that inspired them is here. I made the watercress sauce to go with it but didn’t like it at all so haven’t posted the details. They were good with Sriracha though.

Salmon & Broccoli Pasta Bake

On 11th August 2015, This was Dinner

I can never praise a pasta bake enough and this one was no exception. I had some spare cheese sauce left over that I’d frozen a while ago which worked perfectly to make this.


  • Cut some broccoli into florets
  • Slice some sun-dried tomatoes
  • Rinse some capers
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Cut some salmon into bite-sized pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Get cheese sauce, mascarpone*, pasta, basil, anchovy fillets, oil & seasoning ready


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, adding the broccoli for the last 5 minutes.

Add a little mascarpone to the cheese sauce along with the capers, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and add the remaining ingredients (not the cheddar) along with the cheese sauce.

Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake in the oven until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes).

TWD_1108_Salmon_BakeHere’s a plate full:

TWD_1108_Salmon_Bake2*optional, I used it to flesh out the sauce

Thai Inspired Fish & Chips

On 5th August 2015, This was Dinner

It seems I’m ploughing through the Donna Hay recipes. This one caught my eye after enjoying my very first full baked sea bass, I thought I’d do it again. And look, it’s more sweet potatoes.

I did do mine differently as I preferred to bake the sea bass.


  • Grate some ginger
  • Zest and juice a lime
  • Finely slice a red chilli
  • Finely slice a couple of sweet potatoes (I used a mandolin)
  • Pick a couple of coriander leaves
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get fish sauce, vegetable oil & seasoning ready


Oil and season the fish, squeeze over a little lime juice and pop in a baking dish and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Pop some oil (around 1cm high) in a large frying pan. Heat the oil and cook the potato pieces until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on kitchen paper,. sprinkling with a little salt as you go.

Mix the chilli and ginger with some oil, caster sugar and fish sauce and serve drizzled over the fish. Garnish with a couple of coriander leaves.