So Valentines night… What did you do this year? If the V word hadn’t already irritated you by Thursday night then I’ll let you into a casual secret meal that we made for Thursday 14th Feb 2013.
A takeaway was tempting, but I had received a great cook book at Christmas from my boyfriend, so it was a good night to try it out for the first time! The book in question was:
‘The Cinnamon Club Seafood Cookbook’ Viveck Singh.
After flicking through many mouthwatering pages and refraining from temptation and expense for a midweek meal we plummeted for: ‘Spice crusted sea bream wrapped in banana leaf with green mango and coconut chutney.’ Our meal was made without banana leaf and without any coconut, but it was still tasty!
Our Sea bream was bought at Oxford’s covered market, Hayman’s fisheries, a fantastic gem within Oxford city, in my opinion. My favourite grocers within the covered market is Bonners, where the staff are always friendly, the quality and prices beat any ‘supermarket’, supplied all the veg necessary for our meal, as always!
One thing I couldn’t get was curry leaves, but Cowley road saved the day and with its mystery shops selling many various food items from all over the world, I got more curry leaves than I actually know what to do with! (Ideas welcome!)
So the about the meal itself:
You’ll need a bream per person, get this filleted from your fishmonger if you can. Or DIY it!
Sprinkle the fillets with:
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp veg oil
Set this to marinade for half an hour. I did this when I got in from work. So 17.40.
When you’re ready, or once you’ve had a glass of vino and catch up move to the next step:
4 garlic cloves
20 black peppercorns
1tsp red chilli powder
20 curry leaves
2 tbsp veg oil
1&1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
Pound the shallots, garlic and peppercorns to a coarse paste in a pestle and mortar, if you want a work out! Or you could electric mix it in your food processor, so much easier! Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover the bream fillets on both sides and set aside.
If you have a spare pair of hands, friend or other half get them to make the chutney:
We didn’t use the coconut, but it still worked well.
3 mangoes peeled pitted and diced.
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp veg oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp water
(80g coconut if you like it)
For the chutney add everything into the food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
Once you are ready you can cook your fish in a heavy based frying pan. Add 1tbsp oil to your pan once it sizzles add your Sea Bream. Cook for 3-5 mins on each side.
We served this with naan, pilau rice and the home made mango chutney! It was delicious and although not a dry curry it wasn’t doused in sauce either. Worth it for an occasion, or a regular Saturday night!