Barramundi and veggie rice with homemade lemon aioli sauce

All the elements of tonight’s dinner were not only simple, but also low cost. I had already purchased the barramundi- a white, meaty fish- from Aldi. The fillets are sold skin-on, frozen in bags of 1kg. It’s really rubbish of me but I can’t remember an exact price, as it was last week that I bought them, but I think they were around the $16 mark, which is about £9. In the bag I bought, there were 7 fillets, making it great value.

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Ingredients

As I said, todays cooking was simple, but the star of the show was my lemon aioli sauce. The ingredients I used for the whole dish were:

  • 1 Barramundi fillet (defrosted)
  • Brown rice
  • ½ Courgette
  • Handful frozen peas
  • Tbsp Mayo
  • ¼ Lemon
  • ½ Garlic clove (more can be added to taste)
  • Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

The rice is very self-explanatory, taking around 35 minutes to cook, which is great if you have other jobs to be getting on with. The veggies are also simple. In a frying pan I added a drop of oil and pan-fried ½ courgette until it was beginning to brown. Once my rice was cooked I added the courgette and a handful of frozen peas. Instead of boiling the peas, I re-heated the rice and courgette over a medium heat until the peas had cooked through.

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Prepping for my sauce

Whilst the veggie rice was cooking, I began on the delicious sauce. I must add a slight warning, I currently have very garlicy breath so maybe this isn’t the best meal for a romantic dinner, or if you have plans in the evening. However, if you are like me: you love garlic and you also love sitting in and watching Netflix, it’s a great choice.

Into a small bowl I spooned 2tbsp of Hellmann’s mayo (A very expensive, but necessary, purchase out here!!) and added a glug of oil. I don’t really want to add a specific measurement in for the oil, mainly because I added the liquid elements slowly, creating the consistency I wanted. If you want it to be more solid like a mayo only add a little oil. Alongside the oil I also squeezed in ¼ lemon juice which gave It a great acidity.

Once my sauce was at the perfect runniness, I added salt and pepper to taste- I would go easy on the salt!

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Skin down!

Cooking the fish was also simple, as it is with most fillets that you buy frozen. In Aldi at home I buy the tuna steaks, but I have also heard great things about the salmon fillets. There are clear instructions on the packet too, if you are unsure, and many can be cooked from frozen- the barramundi must be defrosted.  In the same pan as I had cooked my courgettes, I poured in a little oil and once this was piping hot, I placed the barramundi skin down into the pan. Placing the fish skin down means it will crisp up, making it tasty.

IMG_8627Fish skin is also very good for you, containing lots of omega-3, however it can also be easily removed if you prefer not to eat it. After 4 minutes, I flipped the fish to ensure both sides were cooked evenly. This then cooked for another 3 mins.

When I went to The River Cottage for my cooking course we learnt a lot about fish, but one thing I found interesting was to not add salt to the pan when cooking. Salt acts in a way that extracts the liquid from the fish, leaving it dry. If you do require salt it should be added after cooking.

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Finished!

The only problem with this dish is that I didn’t present it beautifully, however by the time it was cooked I was pretty hungry- I tried my best!

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Saucy

Rice can be bought in large quantities for little cost, as can frozen peas, my peas today cost $2 from the supermarket and they will last for ages. Creating my own sauce made me feel like I had made the dish a lot more exciting and, despite the garlic breath, it was all delicious. To save money you could use unbranded mayo, I am just fussy and like Hellmans.

For a quick, simple supper look no further!

 

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