Wednesday, 31 March 2010


I popped in to Marks and Spencer yesterday looking for something cheap, tasty and easy for dinner and spotted a pack of kippers for £1. Took them home, boiled them in the bag for 12 minutes (drained off most of the buttery sauce to save our arteries) and served them with wholegrain mustard mashed potatoes and a mixture of peas and chopped green beans.

According to Wiki:

"A kipper is a whole herring, a small, oily fish, that has been split from tail to head, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked.
In the United Kingdom and North America they are often eaten grilled for breakfast. In the UK, kippers, along with other preserved fish such as the bloater and buckling, were also once commonly enjoyed as a high tea or supper treat; most popularly with inland and urban working-class populations before World War II."

Well there we go: kippers have a history of being working class food, frugal, but definitely not breakfast fare for me.

The mustard mashed potatoes were reheated potato from the night before mashed with some Extra Virgin Olive oil and French grainy mustard.

The result was surprisingly delicious. Kippers are smoked herrings (oily fish, so counteracts the butter they were smothered in) and served warm they have a melting, comforting taste that is reminiscent of childhood. I remembered that they used to stink our house out when Mum cooked them, but these ones were fine - perhaps as they'd been boiled in the bag rather than grilled.

Currently on a mission to use up the contents of my freezer and larder (merely to make room for fresher, newer ingredients). Spring clean for my kitchen! In Nov 2009 Nigel Slater wrote in The Guardian that he was using up all his half packs of old pulses and grains that are half spilling out in his cupboards. I'm doing the same thing and it feels re-assuringly frugal and creative. Something out of nothing.

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