Thursday, 12 April 2018

#readcookeat recipe : Pan-fried fish with bacon (A Tangled Web)

While menu-planning last week, I decided to have a browse through my bookmarked recipes and came across a dish that I'd noted down from Mike Martin's most recent Sgt. Windflower mystery, A Tangled Web. (Click through for my review.) Sgt. Windflower is a man who likes his food, so I've already recreated many recipes from his tales, including Newfoundland Raisin Molasses Bread, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake, Triple Layer Vegetarian Lasagne and Pea Soup with Dough Boys. He adores cheesecake but also eats a lot of fish dishes, and that is what I came back to this time.

p118 "I'm a bit groggy but feel a lot better smelling that delicious fish. What's the ETE?"
Sheila laughed. "The estimated time of eating will be after you get a shave and cleaned up."
"I'm on it, Ma'am."
Half an hour later, Windflower was sitting at the kitchen table as Sheila scooped mashed potatoes on his plate along with string beans. She laid a piece of the halibut alongside the potatoes and poured a little sauce over top of everything. The fish was browned nicely on top and there were small pieces of meat sprinkled in the sauce. Windflower took a taste of the fish along with a small piece of meat. "This is delicious. What's the meat?"
"It's prosciutto," said Sheila. "It's the packaged stuff. I bet it would be so much better with fresh ham. I wasn't sure how this recipe for pan-fried halibut but work out, but I think it's okay."
"This is pretty darned good," said Windflower. "Garlic mash too," he added as he tried a forkful of potatoes. "Perfect."

I had a quick look on google but this doesn't seem to be a specific recipe, so I used it as more of a loose inspiration for my own creation. I didn't have prosciutto to hand so I used bacon lardons instead, but I wanted to move away from the basic Fried Fish with Scrunchions type dish that I'd already recreated. I opted for the addition of leeks and cream to make a rich sauce for topping the fish.

Pan-fried fish with bacon

ingredients :

fillets of halibut or any other white fish 
a knob of butter
salt, garlic pepper
2 leeks
150g bacon lardons (or prosciutto)
20cl light crème fraîche

Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and fry the fish. Sgt. Windflower used halibut but I opted for whiting as it was on offer in the supermarket.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry the bacon lardons until they release some fat, then add the leeks. If using prosciutto, you may have to add a little butter. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft and starting to separate into rings.

Add the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

Serve the fish and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Sgt. Windflower ate his with garlic mash but we opted for the end of a bag of duchess potatoes from the freezer. I also skipped the string beans as I'd already added lots of leeks.

If your kids aren't keen on fish, this is a great way of disguising it. If you are a fish lover, go easy on the sauce so that it doesn't drown the flavour though. It's a quick and simple but indulgent dish, perfect for a busy midweek meal. 

Adding to the #readcookeat linky over at Chez Maximka.


  1. Very tasty! Looks like the combination of fish and bacon/prosciutto is international. In one of my local recipes books there's a recipe for trout with bacon, which is also delicious. Sorry, I still haven't sorted out the linky for this month, I've had two intense weeks, and blogging has been on hold mainly. Love your posh potato swirls too!

    1. The potato swirls are an integral part of Christmas lunch at all school canteens every year so we couldn't resist them when we saw then in Lidl !! No problem for the linky, no rush xx

  2. I love fish..... and of course, bacon, so I'll be giving this a go!


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