Fish and Chips, such a tasty combination, especially when the fish is fried with beer-based batter and served with triple-cooked chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. Commonly it is made with cod or haddock. We prefer haddock because of its flavour and more importantly its texture. Both haddock and cod are expensive and in these days of high inflation we are keen to find a cheap alternative.
That’s why we recently tried this dish with weever, also known as Pieterman in Dutch and Vive in French. We were not disappointed, not at all. Excellent texture, taste a bit stronger compared to haddock but nevertheless yummy.
Weever is actually a really interesting fish. Weevers hide in the sand, waiting for prey. Their defence is based on a poisonous dorsal fin which makes it very painful when you step on it or want to get gold of them. Therefore it is unpopular with anglers, making it bycatch. And because of that, weever is not expensive. Great combination: save money and enjoy delicious food!
A nice, cold beer will go very well with this dish. Wine wise the choice is yours: unoaked Chardonnay, Semillon, dry Riesling, Rueda, Chenin Blanc or Picpoul de Pinet. The wine must be fresh, a touch citrussy and have balanced acidity.
What You Need
- For the Haddock, Cod or Weever
- Boneless Fillet
- All Purpose Flour
- Breadcrumbs (see below)
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- For the Pickled Radish
- Red Radishes
- White Wine Vinegar
What You Do – Pickled Radish
Take a cup of white wine vinegar, add it to a bowl, add sugar, perhaps some water (depending on the acidity of the vinegar), mix very well and taste. The mixture should be both sweet and sour. Slice the radishes and the shallot. Add to the mixture, stir and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours. Over time the colours will blend. The vegetables will keep well for a few days.
Feel free to use the same approach with other (firm) small vegetables.
What You Do – Haddock, Cod or Weever
Pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper. Check if there are really no bones. Take three plates, one with flour, one with beaten egg, one with breadcrumbs. Coat the fillet with flour, then dip it into the egg mixture and finally coat with the crumbs. Fry in hot butter (with olive oil) until lovely golden brown. Serve immediately on a warm plate.
What You Do – Breadcrumbs
Also known as chapelure. Use old, stale but originally very tasty bread. Obviously, we use our home-made bread.
Toast the bread and let cool. Cut in smaller bits and then use a cutter or blender to make the crumbs. They keep very well in the freezer, so best to make in advance, when you have some left over bread.