Salmon-sated? Cast your net wider
IT’S EASY to get stuck i n a salmon rut. Whether you’re cooking for one, for a family or for a Friday-night clan gathering, salmon is a perennial haimishe favourite. However, it’s not the most cost-effective fish in the sea (or the fishmonger’s icy display) so it might be time to dip your toe into the sea and give another fishy friend an outing. I asked a couple of north-west London kosher fishmongers what alternative fish might be reasonable (and sustainable) at present.
“Obviously, being kosher, you’re a little bit limited but there’s lots of nice things around at the moment,” says Dominic Corney of JA Corney in Temple Fortune.“Wintertime is great for fish. They love cold water and eat a bit more to keep warm, so are nice and fleshy.”
Corney also recommends herrings, which, he says, are just coming into season and are good value at £4-£5 per kg.
“Gurnard are also lovely and in season. Larger gurnards are great for casseroles as they have nice, firm, white fillets and taste a bit like Dover sole. It’s an English fish, so it comes from local waters and there is an abundance of them.”
According to Corney, sardines are also plentiful and popular: “People are wary of the bones but we can fillet them and, if you grill the sardines, any tiny little bones remaining will crisp up, so you can eat them.”
Moishi Schmahl at Nat Jacobs, in Edgware, suggests the priced rainbow trout, sardines and mackerel as cost effective fish worth trying at the moment.
The richness of rainbow trout works well with slightly acidic sauces and salsas. Try grilling it and serving with the caper brown butter.
For a couple of servings, heat 30g of butter in a small pan until the solids in the bottom of the pan turn light brown and start to smell nutty — watch it carefully once it starts browning, as it can quickly burn.
Once it has browned, chuck in a tablespoon of lemon juice (careful, it might spit), a tablespoon each of chopped parsley and of chopped capers. Pour over the grilled rainbow trout fillets.
Kippers and mackerel are also quick, easy and sustainable. Serve with a poached egg, or flaked into leafy green salads, rice salads or kedgeree. Definitely not just breakfast fare.