If you want to eat more fish, try these quick and easy midweek dinners

According to Bord Bia, of those of us who eat whitefish like hake, haddock and whiting, just over a quarter of us eat it once a week. it makes perfect sense – whitefish is one of the best fast foods. It is high in protein, low in fat and can produce dinner in under 20 minutes. 

Although the whitefish market was significantly challenged by Covid-19, the Irish market offered a lifeline for fishermen and producers as retail sales benefited from increased seafood consumption, says the organisation. All the more reason to incorporate more whitefish into our weekly menus. 

Whiting with a herb crust

Cooking fish under the grill is a quick and easy option. If you don’t have a grill you could cook it in the oven

Ingredients

  • 4 x 150g whiting fillets, boned

  • 80g butter, softened

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 10g fresh tarragon, finely chopped

  • 10g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 10g chives, chopped

  • 20g panko breadcrumbs

  • 300g baby spinach leaves

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To serve:

  • Lemon wedges and baby potatoes

Method

  1. For the herby butter: Set aside a tablespoon of butter. Place the remainder along with the garlic, tarragon, parsley and chives in a food processor, season and blend until thoroughly mixed.

  2. To prepare the fish: Brush the reserved butter over a grill tray. Place the fillets on the tray, skin side down, season with a little salt and black pepper, then spread over the herby butter. Sprinkle over the bread crumbs. Place in the fridge for ten minutes to allow the butter to harden up.

  3. To cook the fish: Heat the grill to high. Place the grill tray under the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the fish is cooked.

  4. To cook the spinach: While the fish is cooking, heat some olive oil in a wide frying pan and add the spinach. Allow to cook, turning frequently, for about a minute or until wilted. Season.

  5. To serve: Divide the spinach between four serving plates. Place the whiting fillets on top. Spoon over any butter from the grill tray. Serve with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over and some baby potatoes.

  6.  

Baked rice with hake

A one pot dish with tons of flavour and very little washing up!

Baked rice with hake

Ingredients

  • 4 x 150g hake fillets, skinned and boned

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

  • 100g bacon or locally produced chorizo, finely chopped

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely sliced

  • A few sprigs of thyme

  • 250g arborrio rice

  • 100ml white wine or water

  • 600ml chicken stock

  • A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

    To serve: 

  • Seasonal vegetables or salad

Method

  1. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F).

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 30cm casserole dish. Cook the bacon/chorizo and onion, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the onion has softened. Turn the heat to low and add garlic and thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add in the rice and stir well to coat the rice in the oil. Then add in the wine or water, stock and seasoning and bring to the boil. Put into the oven, uncovered for 10 minutes, then remove and nestle in the hake fillets. Season the hake and drizzle over a little oil. Cover and bake for another 15 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the lid.

  3. To serve: Mix together the parsley, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and a little seasoning. Drizzle over the fish and serve.

Haddock with pasta and broccoli

A tasty and simple white fish pasta, best served with a light green salad

Haddock with pasta and broccoli

Ingredients

  • 700g haddock, skinned and boned

  • 375g pasta – linguini or spaghetti are ideal

  • 250g broccoli, broken up into small florets

  • A little salt and black pepper

  • 125g cream

  • 125g stock

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

  • Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

  • 1 handful parsley, chopped

  • 2 handfuls watercress or spinach leaves, roughly torn

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water as per packet instructions.  For the last minute add the broccoli.  Drain and return to the saucepan, along with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid.  Keep warm while you cook the fish and make the sauce.

  2. Heat the grill.  Lightly oil a baking tray and place the fish on it.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook under the hot grill for 5-6 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

  3. Put the cream and stock in a saucepan along with the garlic, chillies, lemon juice and rind and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.

  4. Then stir this mixture and the watercress and parsley through the pasta.  Finally, flake the fish and gently stir it in. Serve with a green salad.

  5.  

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