When the weather is cold, I crave mashed potatoes. I could eat it straight from the pan, piping hot. For me this is a comfort food from my childhood days, and I can happily eat it every day. With vegetables, pickles, meat cutlets or fish, it enhances any meal and is probably unfairly called the side dish.
Talking of fish, when I grew up, I remember that the hake was much scorned by the housewives. Whenever someone was buying the hake, you'd hear them specifying loudly "For my pussycat", while in reality they were buying it for the family meals. But it was the cheap fish and it would have been embarrassing to confess that you liked it. Fast forward the time, and I am happy to serve it to my family.
The last time I cooked the hake, I was on the phone to my Mum, when she asked me what we were going to have for dinner. I said: the hake. She asked wistfully: with the soured cream? But of course.
Hake in the soured cream with mashed potatoes
For 2-3 fillets of hake (keep the bone in) you will need
1 tbsp olive oil
a tub of soured cream
4-5 small tomatoes, sliced
half an onion (finely chopped)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp of plain flour
Dip the fish in the flour and coat evenly on both sides.
Pan fry the hake pieces in the olive oil with the finely chopped onion, add the sliced tomatoes. Once the skin starts to crisp, add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the soured cream and cook for another few minutes. Season well, squeeze the lemon juice over the fish.
Serve with the mashed potatoes (don't forget to warm the milk when you make your mash, it truly does make the difference to the flavour).
It might not be a great looker, but it tastes great, the sauce is totally of the plate-licking variety. Mop it up with a nice chunk of bread.