Sea Perch with Apple-Cranberry Chutney
Have you had sea perch lately? I must admit we often fall into the trap of just buying the big 3 – tuna, salmon and cod, although salmon is a particular favourite around here. The ‘big 3’ are the most eaten fish of all, and a lot of people forget there are so many other wonderful choices. For example, sea perch is really flavourful. The filets are quite delicate and thin when compared to meatier fish like salmon or halibut, but they should hold together during cooking. The skin is edible and tastes nice so there’s no reason to remove it. Sea perch, or ocean perch, are small, so you will need several per person.
As for the chutney, this goes so well with the fish. You might take a look at the ingredients and think it would be better with turkey but I promise you it’s also great with the fish, and makes a nice change. Served with white rice or potatoes this is a fish recipe the family aren’t going to complain about! Chutney is popular in the UK and served with everything from a cheese sandwich to a salad lunch or even an Anglo-Indian curry recipe!
You will have some chutney left over, most likely, so just put it in the fridge in an airtight container and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Then you can add some to your next cheese sandwich or cold turkey salad perhaps. Start the chutney first because it needs time to cool down to room temperature, and then you can get on with the fish while the chutney cools. Also consider whether you want to have rice or potatoes with this. Oh, and try not to pick at the chutney too much. It smells and tastes really good and if you’re like me, you will want to grab a teaspoon and eat it (or ‘taste-test’ is, which is my excuse!)
One final thing: although a cheese grater works for grating citrus zest, you should invest in a good citrus zester for making strips of lemon, lime or orange – trust me, this is so handy to use and you can add strips of zest to everything from jams and marmalades to salads and soups, or use them as a colourful garnish!
- 450g (1 lb) sea perch fish filets
- 2 beaten eggs
- 70g (½ cup) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cored red apple, in ½-inch pieces
- 140g (5 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 45g (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Finely grated zest of ¼ orange
- Zest of ½ lime (use a citrus zester to make little strips)
- Put all the chutney ingredients (apart from half the lime zest) in a pan and bring the mixture to a boil over a moderately high heat.
- Now turn the heat down to low and simmer, partly covered, for 15 minutes or until everything is tender.
- You should stir it every few minutes while it is cooking.
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, put the flour on a wide plate and the eggs in a small dish.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium to high heat.
- Dip each perch filet in the egg to coat on both sides, then in the flour.
- Now put the fish in the frying pan, not letting the filets touch one another.
- Grind half the salt and black pepper over the fish.
- Cook for 4 minutes, then flip the fish using a wide spatula.
- Be careful not to break the filets up (although if you do, it's not the end of the world).
- Grind the rest of the salt and black pepper over the fish.
- Cook for a further 4 minutes or until done.
- Serve the perch with the chutney, perhaps with some boiled white rice or potatoes too.
- Sprinkle the remaining lime zest over the meal just before serving as a nice garnish.
This pan-fried sea perch with apple and cranberry chutney is certainly an eye-catching dish and those colours look really pretty on the plated meal. We love the crispiness of the sea perch. Well it’s crispy on the outside but gorgeous and juicy inside. This isn’t a strong-tasting fish so if you’re not into strong fish give it a try and see what you think. The apple and cranberry chutney is so simple to prepare. You just have to simmer the ingredients for a while and that’s it. We like to add lime zest to the finished dish for a splash of green and to give it an elegant finish. Add some white rice and you have all the makings of a filling, delicious dish which the whole family will love.
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