One of the things I still miss about living in Sydney is being able to visit the fish markets.
When we were in Cooma I used my lack of access to the fish markets as an excuse not to cook fish very often. But to be honest a large part was the reaction my Irishman would have when faced with a steaming plate of salmon or snapper…
Fish for dinner? Really? (with a really unhappy look on his face).
No fun for anyone.
When we moved to our little farm, much closer to fresh fish, we made a deal to try and have fish at least once a week. With no complaints.
I wish I could say we’re a family of pescetarians. But while Fergal and I would be happy to have fish every day, another member of the family still has a long way to go.
I have, however, noticed one thing that increases the likelihood of getting a favourable fish dinner review from my Irishman.
It’s simple really.
Just serve the fish with potatoes. The old spud ‘trick’. Works (almost) every time.
So today I have the recipe for one of my favourite super easy ways to cook fish (and spuds).
Easy Tray Baked Salmon with Spuds
This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver. I used to think something like this would be a bit dry but I’ve found the solution! Serve with home made mayo AND make sure you include a lemon which will release the most delicious juices after it’s cooked.
enough for: 2
takes: about 40 minutes
2-4 medium spuds, scrubbed
2 bulbs fennel, + tops to serve
2 salmon fillets
1 lemon, halved
mayo, to serve
1. Chop spuds into big bite sized chunks and pop in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil.
2. Simmer spuds for 15-20 minutes or until just tender.
3. Meanwhile, crank your oven to 230C (450F). Trim and discard fennel stalks (keeping any leafy fronds). Slice fennel bulb finely and place in a roasting pan with the lemon. Cut 3 shallow ‘score’ lines on the skin side of the salmon so they look pretty and help to cook more quickly.
4. When the spuds are cooked, drain and toss in with the fennel. Drizzle with olive oil and top with the salmon. Season generously.
5. Bake for 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through. Serve fish and veg with mayo on top and fennel fronds sprinkled over (if you have them).
short on time / slow carb – replace spuds with a drained can of chickpeas or white beans. No need to simmer, just pop them in the baking tray with the fennel.
different veg – green beans, asparagus, capsicum (re bell peppers), snow peas, or chopped zucchini can be added straight to the pan like the fennel. Other veg will need simmering or roasting first until tender like baby carrots, beets, sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip or swede (rutabaga).
different fish – any fish fillets can be used but if they are quite thin be prepared to adjust the cooking time. At this temp some delicate fish will only take 5 minutes. You could also cook a whole fish like plate sized snapper or rainbow trout this way (adjust the cooking time upward – around 15-20 minutes).
carnivore – replace fish with chopped chorizo, sausage or chicken thigh fillets (sausages and chicken will need a little longer, around 15 minutes)
egg-free – you could skip the mayo or use a vegan (egg-free) mayo or serve with a drizzle of lemon pressed olive oil.
more veg – serve with a green salad or lots of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (also see the different veg for more ideas).
vegetarian – replace fish with poached or fried eggs.
hot! – add in some chopped fresh chilli with the fennel.