Fishy tales – saltimbocca fish fingers


Like the plastic debate and Fishy Rishi’s food policies, the topic of fish is pretty confusing. Unquestionably, the best thing would be a ten-year moratorium on catching anything but that isn’t going to happen. Are line-caught fish from the English Channel (where, let’s face it, things with fins, other than surf boards and scuba divers, are hard to find) better or worse than mass caught fish from seemingly properly managed fisheries around Iceland and Norway? We’re told they’re still plentiful, but should we be eating whiting and pollock just because there isn’t much cod and haddock left. We might not be eating them in quite such copious quantities but that’s only because we don’t like them as much. Even so, I can’t imagine stocks will last long. 

But, we need some sort of fish offer in the tapas bar so we’ve come up with saltimbocca pollock fish fingers. However sustainable it might be, the texture of pollock is improved no end by hanging the fish for a few days to firm up and dry out. Cormack’s Seafoods, on Ticklemore Street in Totnes, does this a s a matter of course but you can get a similar result by skinning and portioning your fillet and laying the ‘fingers’ out on a plate in the fridge for twenty-four hours or so.

Then it’s just a question of a light dusting of flour and wrapping each with a small sage leaf and a slice of BFS Air Dried Ham. To cook, turn in a hot pan with a decent layer of butter and oil until the ham is crisp on all sides. Pour the fat away and deglaze the pan with fish stock and White Port or, if you want to join me on an imaginary Sicilian holiday, Marsala.

I really walked the dolce vita with some Sicilian caponata and a glass of Nicosia Frappato.