Once up on a time, we weren’t so concerned with the processes that went into creating the food that we eat. Ignorance, it seemed, really was bliss. But then came Jamie Oliver with his chicken nuggets exposure and left me feeling a bit sick. I can’t look at all of the old favourites without feeling a proverbial chunk in my gut ready to rise up. Things like hot dogs, chicken nuggets and shaped meats – now I’m a little older and questionably wiser, I AM more aware of what is in these processed foods and how they are created and quite frankly, I am disgusted.
Not disgusted in those that eat them – they’re cheap and convenient and for some families, that is the only option for them. Neither am I disgusted in the shops that sell them; supply and demand is the driving force behind business and if we want to see change, we must BE the change. I’m disgusted in those that make this rubbish; knowing that it’s just that… rubbish.
I wont lie, I’ve fed my daughter a chicken strip or two knowing that there’s about 80% chicken in there are the most and the rest is made up of unthinkables, water and breadcrumbs. But, she loves them and while I know they’re not rotting her from the inside, I certainly do not want her to become accustomed to their taste. I want her to know what the real taste of these bite-sized beauties should be when made properly, at home by mum. So I went on a search for different methods of creating breaded bits and thought I’d have a go.
We know a fish man, and he brings us a lot of fish on a regular basis. And since I can’t stand the stuff there was no better excuse to defrost it and get it cooked. We had a fun day creating these little fish fingers/strips/goujons and although a bit messy, they were pretty easy to make and with minimal ingredients too. To make them you will need the following:
One large fillet of white fish – I used haddock, being a Grimsby girl
One chunky crust of bread, or two medium slices, blended into find breadcrumbs
One large egg, whisked
3-4 heaped tbsp of plain flour
First of all, I sliced the fish into strips as long as my finger. I then I pre-cooked the fish as I am a little paranoid about undercooked food. You could get away with not doing so but to be safe, I grilled it until the fish was visibly cooked and then left to cool down. Next, get a bit of a production line going and involve the kids. Get 3 bowls and add the flour to one, the egg to another, and the breadcrumbs to the final one. Take one fish strip at a time and dip into the flour – don’t forget to tap the excess off or you’ll end up with a clumpy mess. Next, dip into the egg and let the excess drip off then pop into the breadcrumbs and give it a bit of a shake around. If you touch the crumbs you’ll end up washing your hands after you’ve done each fish strip – this is very VERY annoying and boring. Lay the breaded fish onto a baking tray and cook at 200 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have browned slightly.
I served ours with a few chips and some beans for a quickly family tea and truth be told, although they were yummy they were a little chewy which did put Peanut off slightly. But that’s down to my own paranoia and lack of faith in my cooking skills; next time, we’ll try without pre-cooking and grill from fresh.