Smoked Coley with Butterbeans & Lemon Breadcrumbs

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Smoked coley is a robust flavoured fish that goes great with tomato based sauces. Often available for a very reasonable price, I find it goes better when cooked in sauces, rather than just grilled on it's own. In this dish, the coley is combined with butter beans, onion, celery and courgette to form a delicious tomato based stew. The dish is topped with toasted breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon zest which really gives it a lift. I often think the dish has a faintly French feel to it, but I'm not sure why.

You could also use smoked haddock or cod for this recipe.

The following recipe makes makes two portions.

For the sauce
• 5g / 1 teaspoon of low fat butter spread
• 1 medium onion. Peeled and finely chopped.
• 2 sticks of celery. Topped, tailed, washed and finely chopped
• ½ courgette. Washed and sliced into rough dice
• 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
• 2 sweeteners
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon of 'Fine Herbs' (Usually a mix of parsley, chervil, chive and tarragon)
•  ½ pint of vegetable stock
• 1 x 410g tin of butterbeans. Drained and rinsed in cold water
• 1 lemon juiced and zested. (Make sure it's unwaxed)
• 320g smoked coley. Washed, patted dry and sliced into half inch cubes
• Salt & pepper to taste

For the breadcrumbs
• 5g / 1 teaspoon of low fat butter spread
• 2 x slices of Weight Watchers wholegrain bread. Blitzed with a hand blender (or grated). 2 slices of  wheaten bread, blitzed would also work well
• 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley

  1. Heat a large pan over a medium/hot heat. When hot, add the onion, celery and courgette and stir fry for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, puree, sweeteners, bay leaf, herbs and stock and stir to combine. Let the tomato sauce simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add the fish, lemon juice and butterbeans and stir gently. Let it simmer for a further 6-8 minutes until the fish is cooked, while you get on with the breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat a separate pan over a high heat and add the butter. When the butter is bubbling, add the breadcrumbs and stir to toast until crisp. When they are starting to brown, add the lemon zest and parsley and stir to combine. (The breadcrumbs can burn, so don't leave them unattended and remove them from the heat when you're serving the fish).
  5. Taste the tomato sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Transfer to warmed bowls and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.

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