Lemon pepper basa with garlic potatoes

Let it be known that there should be no fannying about with fish and chips.

It’s Britain on a plate, perfected over decades, and there’s really only one way to do it: proper, deep-fried chips, with cod or haddock in a simple batter. Mushy peas on the side, if you fancy.

Try telling this to the twats on Masterchef. ‘Refined’ this, ‘deconstructed’ that. No. No. No. Poshing up fish and chips never, ever works. Not to mention that it’s messy as hell to make, and sodding expensive too.

I reckon if you want to marry fish and spuds, you need to do something notably different, and came up with this. It features meaty basa fillets (£2.20 for 2, ASDA); smashed roasties cooked in garlic and ghee; and a citrusy, spicy crumb for that all-important crunch.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

For the fish:

  • 2 basa fillets (unsmoked)
  • 2tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 2tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2tsp table salt
  • Butter

For the potatoes:

  • 4 white potatoes, skins on
  • 2tbsp ghee
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks, and cook in salted water on the hob until they’re tender (a sharp knife will help you tell). This should take no more than 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the spuds, return to the pan and use a masher or rolling pin to gently smash the potatoes.
  3. Melt the ghee in a roasting tin in a hot oven (190C). Remove from the oven, stir the garlic paste through the ghee, then tip in the potatoes and season generously. Move them around to ensure they’re covered with the garlicky, buttery mix, and put back into the oven for 50 minutes.
  4. Zest the lemon, and finely mince the zest. Combine with the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  5. Place the fish on a foiled baking tray, dot with butter, and top with the breadcrumb mix. Quarter the lemon and pop onto the tray.
  6. Once the spuds have been in for half an hour, put the fish on another shelf to cook for the final 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with garden peas, spritzed with roasted lemon.

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