Recipes: GP's Fish Fingers

My Grandpa (GP) and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. He was the sort of cook that if you needed wine, he'd open two bottles; one for the recipe and one for the cook. It still makes me smile today.

GP's food was loaded with flavour, and as he lived in Mallorca, he had the best ingredients on his doorstep. I learned so much from him; like the wonders of onions and garlic, or how much better risotto is when cooked with cava as opposed to white wine, or simply, how gorgeous Cointreau is on ice-cream. Try. It. Now.

When making fishcakes and goujons, he used to blitz up cornflakes to use instead of breadcrumbs. I recently fancied doing the same with some sole. The first hurdle was not having any cornflakes, so I used corn cakes, which worked a dream. The other tweaks I made to (what I remember being) his way of doing it were almonds and cayenne pepper.
Serves 2


300g white fish fillets, skinned
1 large egg (organic and free range), beaten
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup raw unblanched almonds, blitzed
2 corncakes, blitzed
Cayenne pepper, a pinch (or if you're like me, a big pinch)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To cook and serve:
2 lemons, one to cook and one to serve
Rapeseed oil


Preheat the oven to 60C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. I pan-fry these quickly in batches, so preheating the oven means you can keep the cooked ones warm when you're doing the rest.

Ensuring all bones are removed, cut the fish into slices. I like them chunkier, I even left one fillet whole to try something different. Whatever floats your boat.

In a bowl, mix your blended almonds and corncakes, and season with cayenne, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Put some of the egg on a plate. On another plate, scatter some of your 'crumb' mix. Simply dip the fish into the egg and then dip in the crumb, ensuring it's all covered, then lay on a chopping board.

Top up the plates with egg and crumb accordingly, and repeat until you've done all of the pieces. Scatter any leftover crumb mix over the fish.

The actual cooking is the quickest bit as you don't want anything to dry out. Heat some rapeseed oil in a pan. Cut a lemon in half and set it aside.

When the pan is hot, almost sizzling, add a small piece of fish and fry for a minute. For some more sizzle action, generously squeeze some lemon juice into the pan and turn the fish carefully; you can baste it a little now for extra flavour. Fry for another minute, or less, and keep warm in your preheated oven. Repeat with two or three pieces at a time until all of your fish is cooked.

You can serve these little beauties with a salad or some seasonal veg. I opted for steamed broccoli with sun dried tomatoes, parsley and chilli on this occasion. Garnish with a lemon wedge and get stuck in.

I reckon GP would've given this the seal of approval. With a glass of crisp Albarino, of course.