What I often find interesting is how people’s palates are so often influenced by what they were fed as children. If Mum did plain cooking then the palate is often plain and lacks adventure and if diverse and imaginative then the palate is also. There are the old favourites which invoke memories – a Beef Stew – a Sunday Roast – Sausages and Mash and Onion Gravy. Mind maybe I am reminiscing about an older generation as favourites now, seem to be things like Pasta and Curries or Ethnic foods.

The other anomaly is often foods or ingredients that do not appear on the repertoire of the family meal listings. Phobias about things like Garlic, Offal, and Peppers. These are often not allowed and dictated so by the master of the house rather than tried by the adventurous lady of the house who would love to have a go. Mind on some occasions the taboo comes from the lady.

Perpetually I do try to encourage people to think outside ‘their box’ so far as food is concerned and to be adventurous. Food does not have to be boring or mundane. With a little imagination you do not need to be a slave to the kitchen. With thought and planning, life can be quite simple, especially when balancing the family requirements and a job as well.

I usually plan a cooking and preparation day for the week say on a Saturday or a Sunday when I go into cooking mode. Last Saturday included Bolognaise Sauce, Casserole of Pork and Apples, Roast Crown of Duck (which became a stir fry with Rice and Cabbage and Oyster Sauce – a batch of 90 cup cakes for a charity function and all prepared and finished in a couple of hours. Good fuel usage and the weeks food was set with this foundation of thought and preparation.

So here are some ideas for Fish:

A Loin or Filet of Cod: Have some rashers of Prosciutto or Bacon. Spread flat on a board. Spread with Pesto and then wrap the cod inside. Roast in a hot oven till cooked (about 15 – 20 mins) Serve with a homemade Tomato Sauce or a bought one. There are good Pasta Tomato Sauces that can be used.

Filet of Haddock: Buy a conventional and interesting stuffing mix – like a Herb and Cranberry or Orange and Apple – make as per instructions on the packet. Pile on top

(not too thickly)of the fish on a baking tray – drizzle with a little Olive oil then roast in a hot oven till golden and crispy Then serve. Maybe with Jersey Royales.

Prawns Provencale:Buy or make a good Herbed Tomato Sauce with Garlic. Heat it up and throw in some Peeled Prawns. Serve with Rice. (Note – cooked peeled Prawns do not need cooking further as they become tougher. Why not try using Fresh Scallops for a change.  Maybe with a little cooked chopped Bacon too.

Bon Appetit………..