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Feb 14

Budget meals for students – A week of cheap fish recipes for £3.99

What – cheap fish recipes? But isn’t fish expensive, even in the supermarket?

Not all of it. In Waitrose, which wouldn’t claim to be the cheapest supermarket, 600g coley fillets cost £3.99. So, that’s the basis of six days’ dinners for under £4. Not bad. On the seventh day you can rest. From eating fish anyway.

Coley is what my husband calls ‘the cats’ fish’ and yes, we do feed it to the cats. But it’s got a lovely flavour and you just have to stop being precious about the flesh not being AS snowy white as cod.

It’s a little grey. But so are oysters, mushrooms and caviar, and think how fantastic they are.

So, buy a bag of frozen coley fillets and here are your six easy recipes:

 

Monday

Fish pie (serves one)

fish pie

Ingredients:

  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 piece frozen coley
  • 1 tsp flour (I use Doves Farm gluten free but wheat flour is fine)
  • 100ml milk, or soya
  • 1 pinch mixed dried herbs
  • 1 scoop frozen peas
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large potato (or sweet potato)

Method:

  1. Put half the butter in a saucepan and gently fry onion for 5 mins.
  2. Cut defrosted fish into 2cm cubes and fry 5 mins more.
  3. Add flour and stir 1 minute.
  4. Add milk and stir.
  5. Add salt and pepper, herbs and peas.
  6. Gently bring back to simmer.
  7. Peel potato, cut into 2cm chunks and boil until tender with salt (approx. 10 mins, depending on how small the chunks are).
  8. Drain and mash with the rest of the butter.
  9. Put the fish mixture in an ovenproof dish and spoon on the mash.
  10. Brown it under the grill or eat as it is.

Serving: Serve with salad or a green veg – or on its own.

 

Tuesday

Grilled pesto fish (serves one)

Fish with pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 coley fillet
  • 1 large teaspoon pesto
  • salt and pepper
  • wedge of lemon to serve

Method:

  1. Put the frozen fish on a baking tray, slather with pesto, salt and pepper.
  2. Grill until done (5-7 minutes) – the flesh will be opaque and flaking.
  3. Serve with with lemon juice squeezed on top, and salad or green veg.
  4. For a variation serve with potato/rice/noodles, or even bread to mop up the juices.

 

Wednesday

Microwaved fish (serves one)

White fish with parsley

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen coley fillet
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley/chervil if you have it

Method:

  1. This couldn’t be easier on a hectic weeknight, and I’ve done it for a family of four in only marginally more time.
  2. Put the coley on a microwaveable plate with the other ingredients sprinkled over.
  3. Microwave from frozen on high for about 3 minutes (for one fillet, but it’ll be about 6-7 minutes for 4 fillets).
  4. Take the plate out and add salad/veg/potatoes as liked. If you have a knob of butter melting over the top, that’ll be nice too.

 

Thursday

Easy fish and chips (serves one)

white fish with chips

I say EASY fish and chips because actually, these aren’t chips at all – they’re fried potatoes. But it’s the same combination of foods basically. I’m not going to suggest battering the fish because that’s too much palaver.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen coley fillet
  • 1 -2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g leftover boiled potatoes
  • salt and pepper, vinegar, ketchup

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan till hot
  2. Fry the fish (season with salt and pepper first) for 2-3 mins on one side without moving it.
  3. Cram the cubes of potatoes round the edge of the pan, and fry them too.
  4. Turn the fish and the potatoes, browning all sides.
  5. Turn the heat down halfway through.

Serving: Serve with all the trimmings if you have them – tartare sauce, ketchup, capers if liked.

 

Friday

Coley with anchovy sauce (serves one)

White fish with tomato anchovy sauce

Coley can be a bit tasteless so you can boost its fishiness with anchovies. Their saltiness goes well with the sweetness of tomatoes too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen coley fillet
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 50g tin anchovies in oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

Method: 

  1. Cut the coley into cubes or strips (you can almost cut it from frozen as it is quite a thin fillet).
  2. Gently fry the onion in the anchovy oil and then add the anchovies and coley.
  3. Simmer and stir and add the tomato puree.

Serving: Serve with some rice, or make an undressed salad to go with this, as there are a lot of strong flavours that need to be balanced with something bland.

 

Saturday

Baked bean fish hotpot (serves one)

Baked Bean and fish hot-pot

Ingredients

  • Slosh of olive oil
  • 1 coley fillet, defrosted
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery and or 1/2 red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs or 1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs
  • 400g tin baked beans
  • salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce

Method:

  1. Gently fry the onion in the olive oil
  2. Add the celery and/or pepper and herbs and soften.
  3. Tip in the fish and stir for 1 minute, then add the beans.
  4. Heat through and add a drop or two of Worcestershire sauce if you like it spicy.

 

Well done – a healthier week than the baked beans week we did a while back. Think of all the Omega 3 you just had! Your heart, and brain, will thank you for it.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

4 thoughts on Budget meals for students – A week of cheap fish recipes for £3.99

  1. It’s a blessing that I found your article on the net, I’ll try it and see how it goes, saved me time and headache trying to figure it out by myself. thanks




    0
  2. It’s a blessing that I found your article on the net, I’ll try it and see how it goes, saved me time and headache trying to figure it out by myself. thanks




    0
  3. Brilliant cooking ideas for coley, also brilliant for not expensive nicely flavoured meals, my bank account thanks you! 🙂




    0
  4. Brilliant cooking ideas for coley, also brilliant for not expensive nicely flavoured meals, my bank account thanks you! 🙂




    0

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