18/07/2013

Fish Fingers!

Fish Fingers!
Fish Fingers! No, really!

Some times you just want some junk food. Here in the UK, Fish Fingers are almost as large an institution as Yorkshire Puddings.

Simply, fish in breadcrumbs, but so accessible, cheap and quick to cook. The crunch is sublime.

That's the purpose of fish fingers ... but, how do that and keep it paleo?

We need to look to Italy for influence and Africa for the ingredient. Curious? Gari. Like semolina, gari (ground and dried cassava) comes in various grades from fine, to coarse to almost breadcrumb in consistency.

I have a bag of the coarse stuff in, bought out of interest and never really had much of an idea how to use it other than to put a crispy crunch onto things, as I might rolling in semolina. In fact, gnocchi rolled in gari are superb!

Before we do the fish, let's get the rest of the dish together ...

I went with some roasted butternut squash (cook in goose fat for about 30 minutes in the oven at 200C), some steamed marrow (maybe 10 minutes over boiling water) and some rocket leaves.

I also made up a tartar sauce. For two ramekins, two large egg yolks whisked with lemon juice and olive oil. Add a dot of mustard, some black pepper and sea salt. Whisk well. Stir in some chopped pickled gherkins and capers, stir in then pour into ramekins and chill in the fridge.

Now the fish ...

In a wide bowl, pour in some gari, then season with sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and marjoram.

Take some fillets of white fish. I went with pollock and cut into strips ... goujons is the posh word, Fish Fingers for fun! Roll the fingers in the gari powder and shallow fry off in your favourite paleo fat - yes, goose fat for me.

Each side needs about 3 minutes to cook through and crisp up. Move it too early and you'll get a chewy and gummy collapsed fish. Three minutes ... leave it! Turn ... three minutes.

Scatter over your plate and dip into the tartar sauce.

... can't find gari? Potato flour would do at a push, I guess, but I doubt you'll get the same breadcrumb-like crunchy texture. Any other ideas, drop them in the comments.

... if you do find gari, have a good play with it. You can make up an African food called eba, which is much akin to polenta.

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