To be fair to him, our [new] week planning chalkboard did clearly say “Fish and Chips” under “Saturday” so I could understand his confusion. I was, however, worried about the tone of disappointment present in his voice. You see, I think I know what my husband’s tastes are; I think I can judge pretty well what foods he will like and dislike; and only minutes before this exchange, whilst he was still nose down in his laptop completely disengaged from the meal preparation process, I had interrupted him to say that I was going to have some lime aioli with my fish, but that I wasn’t sure whether he would like it. Showing somewhat humbling faith in my judgement, he had replied that he would have his however I was having mine. That meant, with aioli.
Now, don’t get me wrong, personally I was really excited about this meal. The children had eaten earlier and were watching a movie, so I had the rare luxury of cooking for the “grownups” in relative peace; with time to think about flavours. I had made a spiced pine nut and almond crust for the snapper and felt that the lime aioli would really bring the meal together. It was just that I really didn’t think the aioli would be his thing; I mean, he doesn’t like mayonnaise… but I thought the fish would need something and so I added a dollop to his piece of fish and announced that dinner was ready.
So, when his voice expressed disappointment at the lack of “chips” in the “fish and chips”, I got increasingly worried about my experimental crust and the aioli. There was potentially not anything in this meal to save it for him!
It’s good to know that after seven years of marriage he can still surprise me. Not long into the meal I enquired about how he was finding it, to be met with the exuberant enthusiasm I had been looking for. He can’t say “aioli”; not then and still not now, days later; but he knows he likes it. He liked the crust too – but mostly the, what was it called again?
Spiced Pine Nut and Almond Crusted Snapper with Lime Aioli
I have estimated quantities below as I didn’t measure things out, but in reality I don’t think it really matters with this, its really just the concept.
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup almonds/slivers
Spice/s of choice – I used some salt and pepper and something with a little kick because that’s how we like it
Fish fillets – I used snapper
Preheat oven to 180oC.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Finely chop the nuts or crush in food processor (I used my Tupperware Chop n Prep handheld one which I LOVE for jobs like this).
Mix the chopped nuts in a bowl with your spices – check taste and adjust as necessary.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg with a little (1 Tbsp) water.
Put some flour out onto a plate or bowl.
Taking each fish fillet at a time, first coat in flour, then dip in the egg mixture, then roll/coat in the crumb. Try to be generous with the crumb and really push/cake it onto the fillet.
Put the crumbed fillet onto the prepared baking tray.
Repeat with remaining fillets.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 mins, depending on the size of your fillets.
Serve with a salad, wedge of lemon and Maxwells Treats Lime Aioli.