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.
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)
- 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.
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!
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.
Fish 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.
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!
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!