Tinned fish, admittedly mainly salmon and sardines are always in my store cupboard. Salmon is ideal for sandwiches and I just adore sardines on toast for my lunch or as quick healthy and filling snack. One of my speedy standby meals is pasta with sardines in tomato sauce, healthy, quick and on the table in 10-15 minutes. So, when John West asked me if I was interested in cooking some meals with a selection of their products, I wanted to find out more about tinned fish.
Quality – The fish used in canned seafood is not inferior. The quality is as good as fresh fish.
Economical – Canned seafood is an economical way to buy seafood.
Healthy and full of flavour – Canned seafood is great for making quick and healthy meals. There’s a great selection to chose from including, tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel and you’ll also find these with with added sauces including tomato, lemon, mustard or BBQ. Tinned fish is packed full of health giving nutrients, especially omega 3 (except tuna as the omega 3 is lost in the canning process), which has been shown to have so many health benefits. These healthy fats are good for our brain, our heart and can also have a role in maintaining a normal blood pressure. Health experts currently recommend we eat two serving of fish a week, one of which should be an oily rich fish. So, given that a tin of sardines with soft bones provides around half of an adults daily calcium requirements, it’s definitely worth considering tinned fish as part of your weekly diet.
I decided it was time to think outside the tin and try some new recipes. The John West website has a wide range of recipes and I used some as a basis for the recipes in this post.
We love fishcakes in our house and the tinned red salmon was perfect for this recipe. It worked well and made a really tasty family meal. When my boys were small I used to make fishcakes as it was a good way to get them eating a variety of fish and to make sure they were getting their omega 3s. This recipe will work with any tinned fish and as well as making an easy family meal, it will also be excellent for making some canape size fish cakes.
Ingredients: 170g John West pink salmon skinless & boneless drained. 150g mashed potato chilled. 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley. Zest of half a lemon. 1 egg beaten. 50g breadcrumbs. (I used breadcrumbs from sundried tomato bread) 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil. Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To prepare the Salmon Fishcakes recipe preheat the oven to 190c or gas mark 5. In a large mixing bowl add the mash potato, tinned salmon, parsley and lemon zest. Season with a little salt and milled pepper and mix together. Divide into 4 balls and shape into fishcakes. Leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs into 3 separate bowl.
Dust the fishcakes in flour until completely coated,dip then dip into the egg and roll in breadcrumbs.
In a large frying pan, heat the rapeseed oil and gently cook the fishcakes until golden on both sides. Place onto an oven tray and pop into the oven to warm through, for about 10 minutes. Serve with tartare sauce and vegetables.
Tinned Mackerel – Mackerel, Bacon and Rosemary Gnocchi
The second recipe is made with tinned mackerel and this was one fish product I had never used before, preferring to stick with either fresh or smoked mackerel. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted and what surprised me more was that the entire family gave it the thumbs up. The addition of the gnocchi made it a nice filling dish and like tinned salmon it is packed full of nutrition and is great for famly meals.
Ingredients : 100g diced pancetta. 1 red pepper chopped. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil (optional, see cooking instructions) 1 small tub of half fat creme fraiche. 2 110g cans of John West steam cooked mackerel – natural with no added brine. 400g gnocchi. Half a bunch of chives snipped or rosemary chopped. 5 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan.
Cook the gnochhi according to the instructions on the packet and drain. Cook the pancetta and red pepper for 5 mins. If using a non stick pan, no oil will be needed but otherwise add 1tbsp of rapeseed oil. Mix the natural with no added brine. 400g gnochhi. Half a bunch of chives snipped or rosemary chopped. 5 tbsp freshly grated creme faiche, herbs and half of the Parmesan together with the mackerel fillets and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Stir in the gnocchi, pancetta and red pepper and pour into large oven proof dish. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until bubbling hot and golden brown. Serve with vegetables.
This post is the first of a two part series on cooking with tinned fish. Find up more inspiration for cooking with the John West product range and other fishy tales on the John West website
I was provided with a box with a range of John West Products. I was not paid and all opinions are my own.