Who’s ever had Meatloaf?* You know from ‘Meatloaf Night’ fame. What even is meatloaf? For as long as I can remember the American movies and sitcoms I have adored have featured meatloaf nights and I’m becoming to feel somewhat left out. I mean, really, if it’s good enough for Homer Simpson then surely!
You see I’ve toyed before with the idea of “nights”. Friday night curry, Wednesday night takeaway and somehow I’ve always resisted. Even the Sunday lunch is far too much commitment. I think it must be because I am restless, curious and above all greedy. There’s simply far too much I want to try and the 3-square meal restrictions that polite society and my waistband already adhere to are stretching me already. As indeed, are my waistbands.
Anyway, tonight’s meal Fish and Chips, but, a-ha!, with a twist – felt very much like it could be a reoccurring event. It could feature in my Outlook – “Oh I would love to come out, but tonight is fish supper night…” – but no, this was a one-off. I am still scared of fish. Not live ones (although I did have an Albino goldfish, who naturally was called Damien, when I was little who flipping terrified me) but fish on menus, the smell of fish and god forbid cooking fish still unnerve me.
But I have resolved to be brave and adventurous. And following on from the fishy fare in Sicily (squid, langoustines, anchovies, prawns AND mussels) has convinced me that there’s nothing to be scared off. And this fishy-dishy was a doddle. This recipe is enough for two and the “twist” – spoiler alert! – is that the chips are spicy sweet potato and the fish is covered with a coconut batter.
* 2 fillets of plaice *50g plain flour *50g coconut *50g breadcrumbs *1 beaten egg *oil *salt and pepper *2 sweet potatoes *1 tbsp olive oil *big pinch of chilli *huge pinch of cumin *more pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200Oc/180Oc fan and scrub your sweet potatoes before roughly chopping them into chunky chips. In a bowl or bag shake them in oil and the cumin, pepper and chilli. Pop in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes until they’re crisp.
2. Season the fish and roll the fillets in flour. Shake off the excess before dipping in the egg and then in the coconut and breadcrumbs.
3. Pop in the fridge and wait whilst the chips cook along.
4. When it’s time fry the fish over a moderate heat for about 3 minutes on each side, turning once, and then tuck-in.
5. I scoffed mine with mayo and mango chutney. And some asti from lidl because I’m a dreadful lush.
* p.s. if anyone has ever “had” the Meatloaf who sang “I will do anything for love.. but I won’t do that”, do let me know about it in the comments. And especially if he did do “that”…