5-2 Diet Smoked Haddock and Pearl Barley Casserole:
During the time I’ve been following the 5-2 diet, fish has been something of a mainstay for me. And, I’ve got to know some of the suppliers – in particular John, who runs DelishFish in Petershead, but a few others too. And, over the last few weeks I’ve seen some of my friends getting increasingly incensed at the way their industry is being portrayed in the press. Our lovely island has always relied on fish sourced from our own waters and some of the best British dishes depend on the wonderful, incredibly fresh fish that is landed daily and brought to our plates. Now, the government and the EU determine what quota of fish we are allowed. And, the regulations work by type of fish. It’s all done for the purpose of ensuring that we have genuinely sustainable fish supplies for the future. The problem is, it seems incredibly complicated. Genuine sustainability issues get muddled up with politics. The Marine Stewardship Council is responsible for monitoring and labeling sustainable fish supplies, but even the simplest chart I found from them seems incredibly complex!
For those of you who like me, want to support the British fishing industry, I think there are only two things to remember.
Firstly – Buy British where ever possible. Apart from anything else, you’ll be supporting the British economy.
Secondly – Get to know your British Fish. It’s not just about Cod and Chips. If you are worried about cost, ask your fishmonger or the fish counter at the supermarket for suggestions. One way we can all help the British fishing industry without getting deeply involved in campaigning is by buying fish that isn’t on the restricted quota list. The MSC list does actually help with that, by suggesting alternatives, where the fish you have selected is not regarded as being sustainable.
Anyway, enough of the politics. One of my favourite fish is Haddock, particularly properly smoked Haddock. And John at Delishfish has a particularly good Smoked Haddock. This particular recipe is one I developed when I had a yearning for a wonderful Scottish soup called Cullen Skink. Unfortunately, it really isn’t 5-2 diet friendly – it’s made with a lot of cream and mashed potatoes!
I have to admit, this is NOTHING like Cullen Skink. It is very nice though and a good comfort dish for a 5-2 diet fast day.
- 140 g Smoked Haddock
- 20 g Peas
- 30 g Pearl Barley
- 1 Small Onion Finely chopped
- 100 ml Chicken Stock
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- 1 handful Parsley
Melt the butter in a heavy based pan.
Add the onion and gently soften for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently
Add the stock and the pearl barley and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the pearl barley starts to soften
Add the Smoked Haddock and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the peas (I used frozen ones).
Cook for 2-3 minutes more and then check the seasoning before serving garnished with freshly chopped parsley
It also comes in at exactly 350 calories.
My take on the situation at the moment is to watch and learn. Yes I am watching Hugh’s Fish Fight. But I’m also reading, because there seems to be a lot of media oversimplification in what we see on the TV show. And listening to my friends who fish the the seas around the UK. Just as I’d rather buy British beef, I’d rather buy British fish. Anyone watching tonight’s HFW Fish Fight might just have other reasons for worrying about buying fish that isn’t from UK fisheries.