Brill-iant use of fish and a glut of toma­toes

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

Brill is a species of flat­fish, very sim­i­lar to tur­bot. It is an oval shaped fish which has the pe­cu­liar ge­netic gift of both eyes be­ing lo­cated on right side of its head.

Like other flat­fish, it can change colour ac­cord­ing to its habi­tat. It is mainly caught in the South Is­land, with a large num­ber com­ing from the West Coast caught as ‘‘by-catch’’. Brill has a del­i­cate apri­cot coloured flesh that whitens when cooked.

Fish is an ex­cel­lent source of pro­tein, is low in sat­u­rated fats and rich in io­dine. As cold wa­ter fish, salmon, tuna, sar­dines and an­chovies all con­tain es­sen­tial omega 3-fatty acids which are great for car­dio­vas­cu­lar func­tion, brain boost­ing pow­ers and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory ef­fects. It is rec­om­mended to eat fish two or three times a week, how­ever preg­nant women do need to be aware of those fish con­tain­ing higher lev­els of mer­cury. In­ter­est­ing fact: Fish at the top of the food chain, and those that live for longer, ac­cu­mu­late more mer­cury in their sys­tems. Th­ese in­clude sword­fish, bluefin tuna, mar­lin and trout from geo­ther­mal re­gions.

I cre­ated the dish be­low out of ne­ces­sity, as my green­house is burst­ing at the seams with ripe toma­toes. Make the most of toma­toes whilst you can, as I have no­ticed an in­crease in price at the su­per­mar­kets lately, a sure sign they are go­ing out of sea­son.

I bought my fish from the fan­tas­tic new fish shop in Frank­ton called Har­bour Fish. A con­stant stream of fresh fish comes into the shop daily, all very well priced.

Pan Fried Brill with Tomato, Red Pep­per and Saf­fron Prep Time: Cook Time: In­gre­di­ents


20 mins 20 mins 2 fil­lets of brill 1 ta­ble­spoon of but­ter Sauce: 8 toma­toes 2 red pep­per, cut in half and de­seeded 1 chilli, de­seeded and thinly sliced 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 3 cloves of gar­lic, crushed 1 pinch saf­fron strands in 1 ta­ble­spoon hot wa­ter 2 tea­spoons lemon juice 1 tea­spoon pa­prika 1 tea­spoon ground cumin 1 tea­spoon crushed whole co­rian­der seeds 1 good hand­ful fresh co­rian­der, chopped 1 good hand­ful of mint, chopped 1. Turn oven grill on to high. Place the pep­pers, skin side up, on a bak­ing tray. Place un­der the grill for 10-15 mins un­til black and blis­tered. Re­move and place in a bowl cov­ered with glad­wrap to cool. 2. To skin the toma­toes, bring pot of wa­ter to boil and fill a large bowl with ice-cold wa­ter. Cut a small cross into the skin at bot­tom of each tomato. Pop into boil­ing wa­ter for 10 sec­onds then scoop out and put straight into the cold wa­ter. Peel away the skin. Cut in half then take out the seeds. Dice the toma­toes. 3. When the pep­pers cool enough to touch, peel off the skins and slice thinly. 4. Heat oil to medium high heat in a large fry pan. Add the gar­lic, pa­prika, ground cumin, crushed co­rian­der and cook for two to three min­utes. Add in toma­toes, pep­pers , lemon juice and saf­fron in wa­ter and con­tinue cooking over a medium heat for about 15 min­utes un­til the liq­uid is re­duced to a thick sauce. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste. I used about half a tea­spoon of salt. 5. Heat an­other pan to a medium high heat. Place about a ta­ble­spoon of but­ter in and cook the fish for 1-2 min­utes on each side. Divide the sauce be­tween plates, place the fish on top and sprin­kle with the chopped herbs. For a health­ier op­tion poach or steam the fish for about 3-4 min­utes. This dish would be lovely served with tab­bouleh, a cour­gette and chick­pea salad or a sweet potato and gin­ger mash.

Pan fried brill with tomato, red pep­per and saf­fron.

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