This is what I call a flexi-recipe – either a family meal, or one where the kids eat earlier and the adults enjoy the meal (perhaps with a glass of wine) when the kids are in bed. Prepare and freeze the fish fingers ahead of time, then just cook when you need them. 

Makes 2 adult or 4 kid-sized portions
Preparation Time 10 minutes using pre-made Savoury Crumbs or 20 minutes from scratch
Cooking Time 6 minutes

For the Fish Fingers

  • 250g/9oz thick fish fillet, such as salmon, cod, haddock, pollack or other white fish
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly broken
  • 75g/2 1/2oz  3/4 cup Savoury Crumbs
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of salt (optional)

To Serve

  • tortilla bread or wraps
  • choose any accompaniment, including
  • shredded lettuce or rocket
  • tomato salsa, hot pepper sauce
  • ketchup
  • mayonnaise (flavoured with garlic, lime or lemon juice), soured cream
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced avacados
  • homemade guacamole or shop-bought guacamole

Method

  • Cut the fish into 12 finger shapes and season lightly with salt, if you like.
  • Put the flour, egg and savoury crumbs into three separate medium-sized sandwiches bags or shallow bowls. First, coat the fish fingers, a few at a time, in flour, the egg and finally turn gently in the crumbs so they are evenly coated. (The fish fingers can be prepared to this stage and kept in the fridge for a day or frozen for up to 3 months).
  • To cook, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. If you plan on cooking just a few, use less oil. Once hot, add the fish fingers and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Alternatively, if you have the oven on, lightly toss the fish fingers in the oil, put on a hot baking tray and cook for about 6 minutes until golden, turning halfway. (If cooking from frozen, add a couple of minutes on each side, and fry or bake until completely cooked through.)
  • Once the fish fingers are cooked, either warm your tortillas in the microwave or lightly toast under the grill, then tailor-make your tortillas to everyone’s liking. Serve hot.

Lifesaver for the freezer – Savoury crumbs

Simply whizz 200g/70z white bread (with or without the crust) to a fine crumb in a food processor. Add 50g 1 3/4 oz 1/3 cup polenta or semolina and 50g / 1 3/4oz 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese and put into one large or a few smaller freezer bags. You can also shake in other flavourings before you freeze ora dd just before using, such as grated lemon, lime or orange zest, chopped herbs, finely chopped nuts, dried herbs, garam masala, paprika, chilli powder, Chinese five-spice, jerk or Cajun seasoning. When just frozen, shake the bag to break up the crumbs so they don’t stay frozen in a solid clump.

Extracted from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt text © (2013), published by Duncan Baird Publishers, London (£20 Hardback). From Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt  © Commissioned Photography © Gareth Morgans/ Duncan Baird Publishers 2013

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