By Kate Harris, who blogs about more obviously political things at Be Young and Shut Up
This is a good recipe for when you’re tired, which I nearly always am. For those with a long-term illness or diability, it is relatively light on spoons. The most effort is probably mashing the spuds. Top tip: the cheeks are the tastiest part of a fish, for god’s sake don’t throw them away. The eyes are tasty too, if you’re not squeamish, though if you’re very squeamish don’t bother cooking a whole fish: cooking it headless would be a travesty, the head is full of flavour and juices. Show some respect for the fish and square up to it, face to face.
Whole rainbow trout (gutted, supermarkets and fishmongers usually gut them anyway)
One clove garlic, sliced
Handful of curly parsley, chopped
A few knobs of butter, at room temperature or slightly melted
Salt (preferably flakes, e.g. Maldon) and freshly ground pepper
Green beans, prepared
Three medium-sized good mashing potatoes (e.g. Maris Piper), scrubbed, peeled
Splash of whole or semi-skimmed milk, room temperature or warm (skimmed is the work of the devil)
1. Get heating up water for the potatoes and the beans. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
2. Get a large piece of aluminium foil and place on a baking tray. Get your hands in there and get rubbing your fish with olive oil, salt and pepper and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice. Stuff Mr. Fish with a couple of circle slices of lemon, the garlic, and some of the parsley. Scrunch up the foil at the top so the fish is in a little foil bag. Cook for twenty minutes.
3. Boil your spuds for about ten minutes in or so in salted water until you can push a fork right through and it feels soft.
4. While you make up the mash, boil or steam your beans for about four or five minutes until they’re tender.
5. Mash your spuds, then stir in a couple of large knobs of butter, I like them really buttery, but adjust to taste. Also splash in a wee bit of milk. Season. Stir in most of the remaining parsley, leaving a few bits to garnish.
6. Dollop your mash onto the plate with the green beans. Get your glorious fish out of its present wrapper, pour the juices from it back over the fish and on the beans. Add a knob of butter to your beans so they’re really glossy.
7. Enjoy! Don’t forget to try the cheeks. Trust me on this one.