If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R Tolkien

09 March 2010

Fish, my favourite dish - should I eat or should I not?

While I have been well aware about overfishing and problems related, I was still shocked when I watched The End of The Line - Imagine a World Without Fish documentary on tv tonight. In a nutshell, if we keep fishing and consuming fish in the present way, the seas will run out of wild fish by 2050. Now, that's soon to me.

As a foodie, fish has been my favourite food for the past five years. I love seafood of all kinds, tuna, salmon, swordfish, fish and chips, mussels and prawns. I choose not to eat meat because I don't approve of the mass producing industry. How have I been able to close my eyes from the fishing industry? It was a selfish deed to start eating fish again - it is healthy for me.

The film really stopped me, and made me rethink what I buy. I've known to avoid cod, since it's nearly disappeared from the seas already. But I didn't know about bluefin tuna being overfished so badly. What is in those tins of tuna I buy? I avoid the cheapest stuff - they taste bad, and it's pretty obvious they can't be sustainable.

Also what is happening is that the big food producers are fishing in the seas of the developing countries - hence taking away the resources from the local fishermen and endagering their livelihood. Just so we westerners can get our food cheap as hell.

You'd think it's safe to eat farmed fish. Whaa whaa, incorrect! What do farmed fish eat? Wild fish, small white fish. A staggering amount of the caught wild fish is actually eaten by fish, not people. Problem is, we will fish away all the wild fish so it will be impossible to farm more fish. One solution given in the film was to eat small fish - anchovies, mackerel and herring. Lucky for us in Finland, herring comes in various forms, and Andy is definately doing his bit with the anchovies - he loves that stuff.

I am determined to change my ways and really pay attention to what I buy. I hope more people will do as well, since according to the program, there is still hope and we can affect the future of the seas. I am feeling quite emotional at the moment about this but I am happy that I have opened my eyes. How much attention do you pay to the fish that you buy?

Visit the website here , watch the movie. Think about it, and do what you can. Discussion please!

03 March 2010

I spy with my little eye...

Thai Fishcakes

...some recipes with spices that just need blogging!

Have been occupied with studies, work, cold (weatherwise and healthwise) and just an all round lack of motivation. Tonight's meal will not be blogged, ever ; it was a very politically incorrect pizza made from a base of a Mexican tortilla. Have to say it was deliciously thin and crispy without a trace of sogginess, for once being able to not go overboard with the toppings, opting for a simple margherita. But I just could not face any Italian reading about a tortilla pizza. Although I do have an Italian friend who tells me it's ok to have french fries on pizza... Hmmm.

While eating the horrendously delicious cheesy pizza I enjoyed watching Julie and Julia, which all the other food bloggers have all most likely gone to see in the cinema ages ago. I loved the characters and the two stories intertwining, and really it was a nice movie to watch after a day of writing uni reports in a cold. A feel good movie. Also inspiring if you're writing a blog and have kind of forgotten to post anything for a while. Naturally I share many of the feelings of Julie about blogging but I have very different aspirations from those of hers regarding to blogging. The movie is based on a true story a few years back from now, and five years ago food blogging was still a new thing. Getting people to read your blog was probably a lot easier. I definately feel like a drop in the ocean and feel like no-one is reading this. Feel free to introduce yourself if you are!

To the recipes, then. I have a couple of dishes that Andy cooked a couple of weeks ago. It seems that recently I haven't really been cooking much, it has mostly been Andy. He cooks better, I write better, so I guess it kind of works. Although he cooks better than I write, I guess.
Both recipes have spices so if you have a cold like we do, these will open up your sinuses for sure.

Thai Fishcakes
Recipe from Olive magazine, February 2010. Original recipe used prawns but we had some bland frozen white fish lying around so used that. Swap for something else if you like!

Serves two

Ginger, 1 tsp, finely grated
Fresh Coriander, handfull, chopped
Shallot,1, finely sliced
Red chilli,1, seeded and diced
White fish, 400g
Lime, zested
Fish sauce, 1 tbsp

Put ginger, coriander, chilli and shallot in a food processor and blend until fine. Add rest of the ingredients and mix until chunky. Season with black pepper and form into six flat cakes. Place on baking paper, brush both sides with a little bit of vegetable oil. Grill in the oven at 200 degrees for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with a salad, rice or noodles if you like. We also had a way too hot chilli sauce, won't be posting that!

Pineapple with Star Anise and Cinnamon Caramel a la Andy

Brown granulated sugar, 100 g
Pineapple, fresh or tinned, in slices, 200g
Star anise, 2
Ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter, 20 g
Dark rum, to taste... depends how much you like alcohol. We had 5 cl or so.

Vanilla ice cream to serve

Make the caramel by putting sugar in a frying pan on high heat. Don't stir. When it gets to a light caramel colour, add the spices and the pineapple. Once the caramel is darker and coats the pineapple, add the butter. Once butter is melted, add the rum and cook for a minute or so until the alcohol of the rum has evaporated. Serve with your favourite vanilla ice cream!