Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Cook from a Cookbook - baked fish parcels

Here we are then, slightly overdue, as I know I promised to do this last week. But weekend shenanigans got in the way of my cooking time, so the meal I intended to cook on Friday was postponed until yesterday evening.

Ok, not exactly a "cookbook" but in fairness, I have a whole folder of these
recipe cards and they are as underused as everything else on the shelf!

I actually managed to get a shot of all the ingredients in one place this time!

We've used some of these Sainsburys recipe cards before, and always had fairly decent results. Our chilli recipe, which forms a staple of our fortnightly menu rotation, comes from one of them. They rotate them quite regularly throughout the year, so you can quickly build up a little collection of them (and keep them in the handy ring binder they also produce).

Top of the list to try was this baked fish parcel recipe. For a first go, we used exactly the ingredients it suggested, which is why we've got the rather bizarre square lumps of frozen fish.

Doesn't look like fish at all. Very strange.
Previous to this, my only experience of these fish blocks was when we had a very poorly cat, and we used to make up fish, rice and peas for him to eat!

Anyway, the recipe is fairly straightforward. Make up some couscous using vegetable stock instead of water (but seriously, who just uses water in couscous anyway? How bland would that be!) and mix in some sliced red onion and chopped tomatoes.

This is as arty as the photography gets on this meal, I'm afraid.

Then make up parcels of the couscous mix with a fish block on top, in greaseproof paper and foil, and bake in the oven. It said 30 mins, but ours took 40, as the fish wasn't fully cooked when we took them out the first time. And we forgot to chop the parsley and put it on at the end, but to be honest I don't think you need the parsley anyway.

Not the most attractive of meals.

You just serve it in the parcels of foil, which makes for awkward eating too.

It was tasty enough, but now we've road tested it, when we do it again we will make some changes. Like using real fish. Don't get me wrong, with all the switching about of meals at the weekend, having the frozen fish was really, really handy. But next time we'll use real fish, from the fishmonger. And make sure we have a lemon on hand, as a squeeze of lemon juice would have really made it pop.

Next week, hopefully something a bit more of a challenge! I have the entire weekend to myself, as Jamie is away, so I shall try something more adventurous.


  1. The recipe cards totally count ;) I have a folder of clippings from foodie magazines and will definitely be breaking those out for the challenges too. 

    The recipe sounds tasty, but I'm with you on substituting for fresh fish (as easy as the frozen stuff is) As for using water in couscous - just no! I thought everyone used stock, it sort of went without saying ;)

  2. My last Cookbook Challenge post has to be scrapped due to the fact that my photos made the food looks gross (ws actually quite nice).

    I think that last quick snap of the FO when ou're really hungry and the food is cooling is the hardest.

  3. A little bit sheepish18 October 2011 at 15:20

    The idea sounds good, I think I might have to give this a go, but would probably go with your changes


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