Sunday, 23 September 2012

Breaded Plaice Fillets Served on Scandinavian Rye bread


We made breaded plaice fillets, served on Scandinavian rye bread with a fresh remoulade
It is fresh outside.  An autumn nip in the air.  I am running about trying to find my makeup bag when Carmella arrives.  Of course I am late.  I wonder if I am ever going to get out of the door.  Before we head off the cat needs feeding.  She meows pathetically as though I haven’t fed her for a week.  The chickens get last nights leftovers and Polly needs cleaning up after but I am not cross - she is just nine weeks old.  I kiss the children and promise something delicious for supper to my husband. Goodbye, goodbye..  a day without children ..  hurrah  ..  and we’re off.  It’s going to be a fishy day.

Cambridge is just a fifty minute drive and we head to The Cambridge Cookery School.  Today is all about fish. It’s a subject that I need some confidence with.  I seem to stick to the same old, same old when it comes to cooking fish, with variations a theme, baked salmon, salmon teriyaki, fish pie and Lucas Hollwegs fabulous prawn risotto. Carmella and I arrive just in time.

We spent the morning learning to fillet fresh mackerel, and plaice.  The fish are wonderfully fresh with bright eyes, dark gills and firm skin.  They smell vaguely of the sea.  I know that part of the reason I stick to the same thing over and over with fish is that I can eat only the freshest fish.  The mere wiff of old fish and I flee the fish counter as though I am being pursued. We share our sources of fish with each other and I recommend Martins Seafresh.  The fish I have had from them is the freshest I've ever seen, saving catching it myself. 

The atmosphere in the school is bright, and I really like is that the school is absolutely spotlessly clean.  It’s one of the things I notice, and everything glistens.  Our teacher, Tina bubbles with information and clearly enjoys herself. We make fish stock, prepare mussels, make plaice en papillotte with our fillets, cook off the best place fillets in bread crumbs and make our own mayonnaise which we then turn into a remoulade.  My favorite is the mackerel in sweet and sour sauce, it’s a shame we have to eat it straight away because marinated overnight would mean the saffron and oranges would get right into the flesh and really get to tango together.  Nevertheless it is absolutely delicious and we eat our fish for lunch.  Tina pops a fresh lemon and fruit tart on the table left over from the pastry course and I find myself wondering about booking a day of pasty, it is just the perfect finish  to lunch.  We chat and enjoy the fish and agree that the trick to fish is getting it really fresh, and keeping it simple.  There is a tendency to over complicate things says Tina, but let the fish take centre stage.

We were finished by 2 o’clock, and I leave inspired.  With no children Carmella and I have the perfect opportunity to sneak off into Cambridge, so like a pair of schoolgirls skipping double maths, we spent the afternoon shopping.  I bought a new hat and bag, and some huge plump figs and I popped my head into Christ Church College. Sadly it was closing so I photographed the outside and decided that I must go to Cambridge more often, and I must cook fish more often.

Click below to listen to Tina's advice on how to make fresh mayonnaise. 






4 comments:

  1. A perfect way to spend a day. I've book marked Martins seafresh, the site looks great. Thanks. GG

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  2. Exciting! Am moving to Cambridge in the new year so will check this out. X

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  3. Serious now, a wonderful day, fabulous cookery school and I learnt lots too, great post xx

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