.....a grateful nod to Nigel Slater
( I hope he forgives us for the many adaptations)
You can always rely on Nigel Slater for a versatile recipe and this is no exception, the original appears in his classic book 'Appetite', this is a family favourite for Philip, Judith and Kate.
We all have those certain recipes that, by the food stained finger prints on the page, tell anyone how fondly they are regarded. This is no exception, our copy has so many turmeric and tomato stains some of the recipe we have to remember by heart because it's no longer readable.
The recipe below allows for 2-3 servings, but feel free to add or subtract depending on how greedy you are feeling.
We use a mixture of white fish and raw prawns, but have also made it with vegetables (it is amazing with cauliflower and cooked new potatoes).
2 medium sized onions (garlic too, depending on how sociable you want to be afterwards!)
550g assorted fish and/or shellfish, whatever looks good on the fishmonger's slab
black mustard seeds
red chillies (to be honest the dish works well with or without these, how hot do you like it?)
garam masala, ground turmeric, dried chilli flakes, cumin seeds - one teaspoon of each
4 big plump ripe tomatoes (it's worth using fresh, tinned just don't taste as fresh)
500ml stock (fish or vegetable stock cube is fine)
100ml coconut milk
A few generous handfuls of chopped spinach
Get your aprons on, a little bit of turmeric can go a long way! Chop the onions and let them cook slowly down in the vegetable oil. Prepare your fish, cutting it into large chunks while the onions soften. Add a good teaspoon of mustard seeds to the onions and then the other spices, stir for a minute or two. Chop up the tomatoes into generous chunks (it's up to you if you can be bothered to be cheffy and skin and seed them, we skin them, but feel that life is too short to be deseeding tomatoes) and add them to the pan, letting them soften for a few minutes. By now things are smelling fantastic. Add the stock and simmer. At this point the world is your oyster/squid/salmon/cod/prawn and you can add any fishy product you want. Vegetarians amongst you can add almost any vegetable you want, we swear by cauliflower and chunks of pre-cooked potato, but green beans are fab, go wild, almost anything goes here. Stir in the chopped spinach and if using fish slide it into the pan now. The fish will take no longer than 6 or 7 minutes to cook. Very gently stir in the coconut milk, season with salt and serve with rice or naan bread, we've even been known to eat it with chips.
Now, what to drink!
Cape Heights Viognier £5.89
Viognier can be great and great value at the same time... and here's how! A powerful palate packed with jasmine and white spice, this is tight, focused, an almost crunchy Viognier with all the classic varietal flavours yet remains lean and almost muscular.
This wine is suitable for both Vegetarians and Vegans.
Rag & Bone Riesling £10.29
The fruit for Rag & Bone is sourced from Binder’s single vineyard, high up on the Eastern side of Eden Valley. Warm days and cool nights ensure that the grapes develop ripe, intense fruit flavours whilst retaining appealing zing and acidity.
The nose classically expresses the vineyard... it's like having a fresh lime in your hand that you crush gently over minerals... literally lime on the rocks!! The palate is bright, zingy, singing with natural acidity and really textural. It reflects the vineyard with its fine sandy texture with really bright, white textural fruit. Just a cracking Eden Valley Riesling. Dry, textural, limey - everything you want from an Aussie Riesling. It finishes lean, fresh, linear, crisp, fine, brittle and clean.