This brilliant fish dish was made with pollock in the seafood cookery book ‘From Tide To Table’ that we published in association with BIM in 2008 (now unfortunately out of print). It had featured in BIM calendars and, as Recipe Editor Orla Broderick said in the recipe introduction, “This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest fish dishes in the world! The topping is a wonderful store cupboard standby that’s perfect for children and adults alike.”
Being so simple, what will make it memorable is the quality of ingredients – in our case this month the USP was the spanking fresh hake, from the Fishermans Catch fishmongers on the pier at Clogherhead, Co Louth. So easy, so quick – soooo delicious.
The time it takes the fish will depend on the thickness of the fillet: it is important to cook it until just opaque and flaking. To check that it is cooked, gently prod the thickest part of the fish with the point of a knife and the flakes should separate easily. Red Cheddar cheese may be used for a deeper coloured topping, if preferred.
2 ripe tomatoes
150g/5oz mature Cheddar cheese
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
4 tbsp mayonnaise
4 x 150g/5oz pollock fillets, skinned and boned
sunflower oil, for greasing
knob unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Serve: buttered green beans and peas, or other vegetables according to season
Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds, then finely dice the flesh and place in a bowl. Finely dice the cheese and add to the bowl with the spring onions, then just bind with the mayonnaise. Season to taste.
Preheat the grill to high. Arrange the fish fillets on a lightly oiled, sturdy baking sheet and season lightly, then grill for 4-6 minutes until almost tender. This will depend on the thickness of the fillet. Quickly spread the mayonnaise mixture on top and flash under the grill for another 2 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Arrange on warmed plates with the buttered green beans and peas to serve.
Substitute the hake with haddock, cod, whiting or pollock.