We traditionally eat fried fish and bread on Good Friday. My mum’s was brilliant last year and she did it again today. Her recipe is here to share with you step-by-step. Recipe by Mummy, photography by myself.
Mandy’s Escovitch Fish – start the preparation on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday). Only buy fresh fish with clear eyes and ask the fishmonger to scale and gut them. Try to get organic ingredients where possible.
For the Escovitch pickle
1 1/2 onions med/large
2 or 3 sweet peppers – try and use bright colours
1 scotch bonnet (plus 1/2 of the seeds)
25 – 30 pimento seeds
Extra virgin olive oil
Organic sunflower oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Distilled malt vinegar
Cut the onions and peppers into rings, and chop the scotch bonnet pepper finely, retaining half of the seeds. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Soften the onions, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet and pimento seeds on a moderate to low heat. After 3 minutes, add lots of freshly ground black pepper. Once the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft, remove from the heat and add enough distilled malt vinegar to coat the pepper mix. Place the pickled peppers in a container to store until covering the fish (overnight).
For the Fish
9 small to medium snapper
10 pimento seeds
3 tbsp whole black pepper corn
1 large clove of garlic
4 leafy spring onions
1/2 of a carrot
1/2 of a scotch bonnet pepper
About 4cm of fresh ginger
Splash of soy sauce
Dried red chilli flakes
Organic sunflower oil for frying
Wash the fish thoroughly inside and out. Cut off fins and check for any stray scales. Score the body of each side of each fish with two deep cuts.
Season fish – grind black pepper and whole pimento seeds. Rub all over the fish and heavily inside cavity of each fish.
Blend (electric hand blender – or – pestle and mortar) garlic, green parts of the spring onions, grated carrot.
Finely chop scotch bonnet pepper.
Rub everything over the fish with a dash of soy sauce.
Cover and refrigerate over night. Do not use a plastic container.
Frying Fish on Good Friday Morning
Pour flour on a plate. Season flour with freshly ground black pepper and dried chilli flakes. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Remove excess seasoning from fish, coat each with seasoned flour. Dust off excess flour.
Shallow fry each fish until the colour you like (I like mine dark).
Leave fish to cool. Once cool, cover the fish with the pickle and leave to stand for a few hours.
My family steadily graze through this mountain of fish across Easter weekend with thick slices of hard dough bread