Great World Cup nibbles – these might just keep the peace if you’ve got England and Italian supporters in the same room (well for 5 minutes anyway!). They’re served up bruschetta-style, on thinly sliced ciabatta with a spoonful of garlic mayo. This crowd pleaser also made a great starter for my Father’s day menu. For the full menu click here
50g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1/2tbsp juice, plus lemon wedges, to serve
75g ciabatta breadcrumbs, plus 4 slices
275g skinless cod fillet, cut into 12 x approx 6cm x 3cm fingers (See Britalian tip)
2 cloves garlic (1 crushed, 1 halved)
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Peashoots or watercress, to garnish
1 Place the flour onto a plate. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish. Mix the lemon zest into the breadcrumbs, season to taste, then tip onto another plate.
2 Take a piece of fish and dust it in the flour, next dip it in the egg (allowing any excess to drip off) and finally into the breadcrumbs. Chill for 1 hour – this will firm up the fish and make them easier to handle.
3 Meanwhile, mix the mayo with the crushed garlic and lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve.
4 Preheat the grill to hot. Wipe the cut halves of garlic over the ciabatta slices and set aside.
5 Heat the oil in large frying pan, add the fish fingers and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 mins either side until golden-brown and cooked through (you may need to do this in batches – keep already cooked fish fingers warm in a low oven). Remove the fish fingers from the pan and place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
6 Literally just show the ciabatta slices to the grill, to warm, then pile on the fish fingers. Add a spoonful of the garlic and lemon mayo and garnish with the watercress or pea shoots. Serve with extra lemon wedges (if you remember – I forgot for the pic!).
If you can only get cod fillet with the skin on, you will need approx 350g, when the skin is removed you should have approx 275g of fish left.