Thursday, 10 November 2016

Fish - beautiful and graceful creatures that give us a sense of calmness.

To eat, I’ve never been sure…I do sort of like fish but…I generally like the sauces, the mayonnaise, fish that is disguised as something else - like the skate in peppercorns with hollandaise - and the virtuous feeling that I’ve eaten something healthy more than I like the actual taste of the fish. 

I do wonder how many other unsophisticated people there are that feel just the same as me. After all don’t people eat fish on Fridays as a penance or a sacrifice?! And the most popular fish? tuna and salmon – the least fishy fish of all, the ones that don’t really count as fish, the ones that in fact taste like meat and of course the battered cod from the local chippy – yes, the fish that has no smell or taste, save for the fatty batter. 

This of course isn’t really true; after all there are an abundance of fish restaurants, books are devoted to fish recipes and people wax lyrical about them. My boyfriend certainly seems to love them, he’s constantly trying to convert me and has threatened offered to introduce me to new types on many occasions (he didn’t help his case when he told me that sharks pee through their skin which is why shark meat often tastes and smells of ammonia). No, some people do definitely like, even love, fish. To them fish is a treat, a luxury. I know the fault lies with me and I WANT to like fish. 

So here I am trying to develop a genuine taste in fish and appreciate fish for its fishiness, learning to love the smell (because we all know that all fish, not just the bad fish do actually smell of fish, because they are um… fish) and not for its sauces and many disguises. 

I’m going to begin my fish journey and what better place to start than googling, ‘the best fish for fish haters’? Unfortunately, my first search brings up ‘fishcakes - where a minimal amount of fish is used and minced and mixed with other ingredients to disguise the fishy taste…’ which just reinforces my theory that fish is nicer when it’s not fishy. My mind wanders, why on earth do we actually eat it? Surely, it means that fish are inherently unpleasant!

No, I digress. I will persevere and I’m starting with Tilapia. I’ve read over and over that it’s the fish for fishphobes like me. Yes, I’m going to try it with a parmesan crust and I will try my best to put my prejudices behind me. I know, I know that the parmesan crust may be considered by some to defeat the purpose as the strong cheese disguises the taste (like the skate in peppercorns with hollandaise) but it’s a start. It’s the start of a journey and who knows maybe one day I’ll love mackerel, haddock and kippers…

So for now, here are the ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • olive oil
And here is the recipe:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Whisk Parmesan cheese, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish.
  3. Coat tilapia fillets with olive oil and press into the Parmesan cheese mixture. Arrange coated fillets on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.
I’ll let keep you updated…

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