Hello, dear neighbors ! I hope everybody is well. My husband and I have just come back from a short stay in Brittany where we enjoyed daily walks along the coast and even a morning fishing session. When I say «fishing », I really mean digging in the wet sand at low tide, looking for cockles and clams. There is some similarity with pulling out weeds, (the same muscles get to work, ouch!) but not as easy as one might think ; now of course I could use Ernie’s fishing trick but I didn’t want to bring attention to my favorite fishing grounds…
Anyway, this recipe has nothing to do with shell creatures ; it is made with scrod and curry powder (I know, the title says it all, please forgive your aging neighbor!). Up until recently I couldn’t use curry powder in my recipes because of the cinnamon in it. Somehow it doesn’t agree with my husband. So I was really excited the day I found one that didn’t contain cinnamon ! All this time spent reading labels has finally paid off ! All these recipes I’ll be able to make now… Ok, let’s not get curried away – bad pun, I know, but I couldn’t resist it. Bottom line : if you have had problems with curry powder, don’t despair, dear neighbor, there has to be one out there tailored to your needs.
This dish is great for a meal with guests : you can make it ahead and warm up the fish at your convenience, or follow steps 1 through 4 and keep the baking for when your guests arrive.
Finally, one last note for Jack and other nightshade intolerant people : I am pretty confident that you can substitute pureed squash for the tomato paste, as I have done it before in a winter chili recipe. I know this is not the season for squash any more (or yet!) but maybe you have some in your freezer ?
Ingredients (for 2 pieces of scrod)
– 100 g (= 3.5 oz) peas, fresh or frozen; any other vegetable of your choice is fine too
– 2 pieces of scrod, about 300g (= 10 oz) , fresh or frozen
– ½ tsp curry powder of your choice
– ¼ tsp natural unrefined sea salt (kosher salt)
– 1 TBSP tomato paste (made from nothing but tomato and salt), preferably organic; in the States it is only available in cans but you don’t have to feel like you are going to waste what you didn’t use: just freeze tablespoons inside small plastic bags.
– 4 TBSP water
– 1 TBSP full fat coconut milk, and again here, frozen is an option ! Whenever I have leftover coconut milk from a container I pour it into an ice cube tray then transfer to a plastic freezer bag when set.
– some olive oil (about 1 TBSP)
1. Steam or cook the peas in salted boiling water. Cooking time varies a great deal, depending on size, freshness and also variety!
2. Preheat oven to 185°C / 365°F, (fan-forced) or 200°C / 390°F, if not fan-forced. Combine tomato paste, coconut milk, salt and water.
3. Season fish with curry powder and quickly pan-fry all sides in hot olive oil. Do not cook thoroughly : this will be done in the oven.
4. Place fried fish pieces in a baking dish. Put tomato-coconut-water liquid into the warm frying pan and scrape with a wooden spatula before pouring out onto the fish. This will ensure that no curry will be left behind.
5. Cover with aluminum foil or grease-proof paper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with peas and steamed rice or millet.