While riding my bike I create recipes. The legs pedaling, I bask in the sun and appreciate the delights of what comes by like the ancient buildings of the town centre, the greenery along the lakeshore and all the while I think about what I’ll prepare for lunch. I try to focus on what's in the fridge, if the creative inspiration suggests new ingredients I stop and buy the few things that I need, then back on my bike again and off to the house and into the kitchen. This morning I felt like having fish, so I bought some plaice fillets. I usually buy any fresh fish that has been already filleted, I just cannot deal with a whole fish, but if someone do the work of cleaning and filleting it for me I'm happy to cook it. What to do with these fillets then? While pedalling I think of the vegetables I’ve got, a few ideas spring to my mind, and I see courgette and carrot sticks, maybe a fish roll ... no no, I’d better try with thin slices of aubergine, cougette and small strips of yellow pepper. Breaded fish fillets, let’s go with fillets breaded in aromatic breadcrumbs scented with fresh herbs, needless to say, and then fry both fish and vegetables to give crispness to the dish, alternating the ingredients and here we have these pretty and fragrant towers. Today I had them as a main course, but if you serve one vegetable and fish stack per person it can be a nice starter. If you want something more substantial you may serve two for each person and accompany them witha nice scented couscous, try adding a little berberé, a nice blend of Ethiopian spices, or with a pinch of turmeric that gives a beautiful golden colour to any food that comes into contact with it. If you feel like something lighter you can serve this dish with a green salad with fresh cucumber slices and some spicy radish, I suggest that you always accompany it with lemon wedges, which, with its pleasant sour note will balance the fat roundness of the fried ingredients. If you prepare the line in advance it won’t take long to cook these little delicacies. Be organized and you’ll master this recipe in no time at all.
Here's the recipe for 4 stacks:
•8 thin slices of aubergine
•8 thin slices of courgette (cut diagonally)
•8 thin slices of yellow pepper, peeled
•12 small pieces of fish fillet, no larger than the aubergine slices
•fresh herbs (I used dill, parsley and tarragon)
•1 tablespoon flour
•vegetable oil for frying
Finely chop a mixture of herbs and add it to the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Prepare the flour and beaten egg into two separate bowls, and cut the fish fillets into smallish pieces. Dredge each piece in flour, then dip into the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs. Put them aside.
Cut the vegetables into thin slices and peel the peppers. Put some oil in a large pan and when hot fry the vegetables until they are golden, drain on paper towels and fry the fish fillets. Drain on absorbent paper and you’re ready to assemble the dish.
Put a slice of aubergine on a serving plate, stack a fish fillet on top of it, then two courgette slices, another fish fillet, a couple of pepper strips, another fish fillet and finally an aubergine slice. I decorated with dill and coriander flowers. Serve your vegetables and fish stacks while it is still warm, to better appreciate the flavours of all the elements of the dish.