Thursday, 17 October 2013

Fish and Chips - Oven Baked Fish with Garlic Fries, Coleslaw and Kale and Broccoli Pesto

Who doesn't love the old classic fish and chips?! Here is a clean spin on a classic kiwi favourite...

Baked Fish with Garlic Fries, Coleslaw and Kale and Broccoli Pesto

When I was in Seattle a couple of months ago for my brothers wedding, we went to a baseball game (such a cool experience - the quintessential american outing!), and at the stadium there was a tonne of yummy food - one of the best being the garlic fries...YUM! They were basically hot chips but smothered in a garlic and parsley sauce

Not exactly appropriate for a clean eating blog, but just thought if I was writing about them it would be rude not to put a photo in too! I love the apple wedges they give you - could only assume they were to freshen the breath after a serious garlic hit! 

Anyway, those fries inspired me to want to make something similar but clean and nutritious, as I am totally sure that the ballpark version was not exactly ideal from a health point of view! I was really keen to recreate that amazing flavour explosion though, and think that what we ended up with was pretty close. 

I served the fries with fresh gurnard that I dunked in a coconut flour batter and then oven baked, although you could pan fry it as an alternative. This would give it a more authentic 'battered fish' look and texture. There was also a fresh green and purple cabbage coleslaw and a delicious kale and brocoli pesto. I have a load of kale that has suddenly come up in the vege garden and had a very sad looking piece of broccoli in the fridge. What better way to get your leafy greens in than to blend the two together for a delicious accompaniment that really worked well with the fish. 

Baked Fish with Garlic Fries, Coleslaw, and Kale and Broccoli Pesto

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and free of refined sugar)


Oven Baked Fish:

4 fish fillets (we had Gurnard but you can choose any variety)

1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove of crushed garlic
1tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to season

Garlic Fries:

4 medium potatoes
2 large kumara (if you don't want potato, just use 4 large kumara)
6 large cloves of garlic, or 8 small, crushed or finely sliced
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 large handful of parsley (about 1/4 of a cup)

Kale and Broccoli Pesto:

1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1 cup kale (any variety, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
a couple of grinds of black pepper
2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp fresh coriander


1 cup purple cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup green cabbage, finely shredded
10cm length of telegraph cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 tomato, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon or 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin powder
salt and pepper


1. To begin, prepare your fries. Put a large pot of water on to heat over a medium high heat, and preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
2.  Cut your potatoes and kumara into chunky fries (about 1.5-2cm square). Place the fries into the pot of boiling water and parboil until just starting to soften.
3. In a bowl place the garlic, parsley, coconut oil and salt. 
4. Drain the water from the par-boiled fries. Pour the garlic sauce over the fries and shake or stir to ensure even coverage. Be careful as you don't want to break the fries up too much.
5. Place the fries on the prepared baking tray and bake for around 25 minutes or until crispy and golden. You will need to turn them a couple of times to make sure they cook evenly. 

6. While the fries are cooking, you can prepare you pesto, coleslaw and fish. 
7. For the pesto, place all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blend until well combined. Taste, and add more salt, pepper or lemon depending on how you like it. You may also want to add a little more water if it is very thick. I blanched the kale and broccoli before blending, but that was more to take some of the peppery-ness away from it to make it more kid friendly. It will be fantastic with raw veges too.

8. To prepare the coleslaw, place all of the vegetables in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the lemon or vinegar, oil, cumin and seasoning and mix to combine. Pour over the coleslaw and mix to combine.

9. Leave the fish until the end as it does not take long to cook, especially if you go with the option of panfrying. 
10. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs gently then add the coconut flour, coconut milk, water, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and seasoning. Whisk together until well combined. 
11. Ensure fish fillets are clean and free of scales or bones. Take each fillet and dunk it in the batter to coat well. Place on a lined baking tray if baking and repeat with all four pieces. Place in the oven and bake for around 10-15 minutes. If you prefer a bit of browning to crisp it up, you can finish the fish under a hot grill for a couple of minutes, but be careful to keep a close eye on it. If you are pan-frying, heat about 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Place the battered fish in the pan and cook until just opaque inside, and golden brown on the outside. 

Note: If you like a really garlicy flavour and you're not afraid of a really strong raw garlic taste (delicious but intense!) you can cook the fries in the oven first, then pour the garlic and parsley sauce over just before serving. I chose to cook them with the sauce on as cooking the garlic gives it a more mellow flavour making it a little more suitable for the kids.