About this recipe:Avoiding the usual deep-frying method and making chips with a variety of root vegetables adds nutrients and makes this favourite a much healthier meal.
3 tablespoons fine fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons medium or fine oatmeal
4 haddock, cod or plaice fillets, about 115g (4oz) each, skinned
Olive or vegetable oil for brushing
For the chips
200g (7oz) potatoes, peeled and cut into batons about 1cm (½ in) thick
400g (14oz) mixture of parsnips, swede, carrots and sweet potato, peeled and cut into batons about 1cm (½ in) thick
½ teaspoon allspice berries
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 egg white
1 teaspoon salt
For the mushy peas
200g (7oz) green split or marrowfat peas
1 small onion or large shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 celery stick
1 bay leaf
15g (½ oz) butter
Salt and pepper
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr25min
For the mushy peas, put the peas, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf and 1 litre (1¾ pints) water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until the peas are tender.
For the chips, simmer the potatoes and other vegetables in a saucepan of salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat until hot, then reduce the heat to low. Add the allspice to the pan and toast, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the pan. Add the peppercorns to the pan and toast, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Place the allspice and peppercorns in a mill or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the blanched vegetables, ground spices and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss carefully until the vegetables are completely coated. Lightly brush or spray two baking sheets with oil. Lift the vegetables from their bowl, allowing any excess egg white to drip off. Arrange them on one baking sheet, so that they are not touching. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare the fish, put the breadcrumbs and oatmeal on a large plate or shallow dish and mix. Rinse the fish briefly under the tap and shake gently to dry. Press the fillets into the crumb mixture, turning to coat them evenly. Place the coated fish on the second baking sheet and brush lightly with oil.
When the chips have been baking for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and turn them, for even browning. Return the tray to the oven with the tray of fish. Bake both for a further 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the chips are nicely browned.
Remove the celery stalk and bay leaf from the mushy peas. Stir in the butter and mash lightly to give a textured mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with the baked fish and chips.
Alternatives to plaice:
Try this recipe with megrim. It's another flat fish from the turbot family.