Fried fish fillets with roasted tomato sauce

Fried fish fillets with roasted tomato sauce

By
From
River Cottage Every Day
Serves
4
Photographer
Simon Wheeler

An ideal dish for late summer and early autumn, when I’ve usually got more home-grown tomatoes than I know what to do with. In fact, I often make up a really big batch of the sauce, without the sugar and vinegar, and freeze it for use in soups, stews and curries later in the year.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 fish fillets, ideally with the skin on
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil
3-4 tablespoons plain flour

For the roasted tomato sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg ripe, flavoursome tomatoes, halved, such as fleshy plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a few sprigs thyme, (optional)
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 bay leaf
a little soft brown sugar
a little white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
ground mace
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. First, make the tomato sauce. Lay the tomato halves, cut-side up, in a single layer on a large baking tray. Scatter over the garlic and the thyme, if using, trickle over the oil and season generously. Place in an oven preheated to 180°C and roast for an hour, or until the tomatoes are soft and starting to brown. Tip them into a large sieve and rub through with a wooden spoon; discard the skin and pips.
  2. Measure the sieved tomato purée, then put it into a wide saucepan with the bay leaf. For every 500ml purée, add 1 heaped teaspoon of soft brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of mace. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring often, until reduced by between a third and a half to form a thick, glossy sauce – not quite a ketchup, but quite saucy nonetheless. Season to taste and adjust the sugar/ vinegar content too, if you like. Set aside while you cook the fish.
  3. Pour the oil into a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. Put the flour on a plate and season it well. Lightly dust the fish fillets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess, then transfer to the pan, skin-side down. Sizzle gently for 4–5 minutes, until the skin is crisp, the edges lightly browned, and the flesh about two-thirds cooked through. Turn over and cook for 1–2 minutes longer.
  4. Spoon the sauce on to warm serving plates, add the fried fish and serve with pasta, noodles or sautéed potatoes.
Tags:
River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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