Our last attempt at cooking something different ended with an impromptu visit to the hospital. Well, I tell a lie, we didn’t have to go to hospital. But we weren’t far from picking up the phone and making the call for the emergency services – if only to call the police to arrest the devil chef who decided to make a coffee and dark brown sugar bruschetta!
This meant that we really had to try to come up with some more edible ideas. In some respect, we toned down our search, focusing on two main spices: cinnamon and ginger. And since we went for meat in an earlier recipe, we chose fish – Haddock – for this one.
“I won’t go as far to say that my taste buds had a euphoric orgasm as they felt flavour paradise, but what I will say is that people have to try it! Honestly, you must.”
To some extent this dish was very much Thai inspired. However, a few little twists made sure that it was unique enough. But it was a remarkably quick and easy meal to cook. And for the amount of effort put in, it was surprising that the result was so good.
The most interesting part of the recipe was cooking the fillet of fish. We wanted it moist and yet at the same time to retain some kind of crust. So we decided to bake it in cranberry juice. This happened to be one of the greatest achievements of the recipe. The fish was semi-poached, leaving it extremely succulent and infused with a fruity flavour, a dimension with which fish isn’t often paired. The cinnamon and black pepper crust not only added to the flavours, but gave the fish another texture. This was important because we wanted to avoid having a really wet and untextured dish, especially with the sweet potato mash.
The mash itself was fairly consistent with traditional recipes. Our only difference was the addition of fresh ginger. We added some garlic and red chillies too, but not too much to draw away from the ginger itself. Again, we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The first mouthful was admittedly rather bizarre. However, on the second, the taste buds had seemed to adjust and it tasted really good. The garlic went particularly well with the ginger.
So now, the two components together – the fish and the mash. I won’t go as far to say that my taste buds had a euphoric orgasm as they felt flavour paradise, but what I will say is that people have to try it! Honestly, you must. The ginger, cinnamon and cranberry flavours gave a real intensity to the dish but not in the way chillies would. It was more aromatic. Not at all sharp or overwhelming.
Aesthetically, the dish lacked variation in colour, and we would be the first to admit that. Our recommendation however, going along the Thai theme, would be to sauté some Tatsoi leaves in sesame oil – they’re from the Pak Choi family. A bit of greenness would do a world of good for both plate and palate.
It is with no surprise that we deem this dish to suitable for human consumption – unlike our last one!
A fillet of Haddock baked in cranberry juice and a crust of cinnamon and black pepper, served on ginger sweet potato mash: 100% FOOD!
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the fish:
1 Haddock fillet (although many other fish fillets would work perfectly)
100-200ml cranberry juice (depending on how large a fillet you are cooking – enough to almost cover the fish)
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 sweet potatoes
5cm fresh root ginger
1 garlic clove
1 small red chilli
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Peel, cut and wash the sweet potatoes. Add to boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Place the fillet of fish in some foil. Pour in the cranberry juice. Season the fish with cinnamon and black pepper. Seal the fish in the foil and place on a baking tray. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
- When cooked, drain the sweet potatoes.
- Place some olive oil in a very hot pan. Finely slice the garlic, red chilli and ginger. Add to the pan and flash fry.
- Add to the sweet potatoes with some more olive oil. Now mash!
- Take the fish out of the oven.
- Serve. And as a finishing touch, drizzle over some olive oil.