Right... fish. Dangerous territory! Why? Well because it can go so terribly wrong on so many different levels.

Firstly, it's pretty expensive. Many of us find ourselves looking for good deals in the supermarket which, more often than not, is not such a good idea. Then you ask yourself what fish to go for. Cod? Haddock? Errr... what on earth is Hake? A pretty ugly fish let me tell you. 

Then there's those people who only eat white fish. I am guessing this is mainly due to the fact that it is the least pungent when not fresh. Oh and once you finally persuade yourself to buy fish it's like playing Russian roulette. You know you've lost when your friends come over and the first question they ask is "Have you had fish recently?" Awkward!

Going to your local fishmongers or, if you don't have one, the fresh fish counter in your nearest supermarket, seems much more daunting than it actually is. If you are no expert on fish you can explain what dish you are planning to cook, what flavour you are going for and what you like and essentially don't. The fishmonger will also be able to tell you what fish is currently in season and what the latest catch is. The price you ask?! Well it will hardly make a difference (I am serious... we are talking pennies) but the taste is a world apart from the plastic packed generic fish you get of the shelf. 

For this dish we decided to go for seabass. It's incredibly delicate in flavour, the skin absolutely delicious and paired with the sweet balsamico, bitter sprouts and salty pancetta, we've got ourselves a match made in heaven. Do try it! Major yumminess on a plate.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you might've noticed that I haven't cooked a lot of fish over the past few years. That is because it's an area where my confidence levels aren't the highest. So what's your favourite fish dish and how do you prepare it? I am keen to learn and become a regular fish eater.

Etta xo

PS Excuse the fuzzy iPhone images. I seem to have lost the nice pictures I took on my camera :(


COOKS 30-45mins

  • 2 x 150g seabass fillets (at room temperature)
  • 1tsp butter
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g frozen brussel sprouts
  • 100g smoked pancetta, diced
  • 1tbsp balsamico glaze or 100ml good quality balsamico
  • 2 large potatoes, quartered (you can peel them if you want)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Place the frozen brussel sprouts into a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then drain. Halve the brussel sprouts then place back in the bowl. Add the pancetta, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place onto a baking tray (make sure they are well spread out so they caramelise nicely in the oven) then roast in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. 
  2. While the sprouts are cooking put the potatoes into a pot of cold salty water and place on a high heat. Once the water starts boiling cook for 10 minutes. Check with the tip of a sharp knife if they are cooked then drain and leave to dry in the colander.
  3. After the brussel sprouts have been cooking for 20 minutes, toss them a little then place back into the oven for another 10 minutes. 
  4. If you are making your own balsamic glaze, pour the balsamic vinegar into a small pot over a high heat and leave to boil until it has reduced by half and has gone all syrupy. Make sure you use a good quality vinegar as this won't work with the really cheap ones (I used this one or this one)
  5. When your sprouts have another 5 minutes to go and your glaze is bubbling away it's time to make the seabass. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a pan over a high to medium heat until it starts to bubble. Place the fish skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp. The fish might start to curl a little so gently press it down with a spatula so it gets cooked all over. 
  6. Now pour the lemon juice into the pan and turn over the fish and cook skin side up for a further 1-2 minutes. Keep spooning the juices over the fish while it cooks. 
  7. Place your boiled potatoes on a warm plate, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on it. Spoon the brussel sprouts next to the potatoes and drizzle with the balsamic glaze and top everything with the seabass.
Here you have it, an absolutely divine fish dish. You will be licking the plate afterwards ;)
Enjoy with a crisp white wine or an ice cold glass of cider. 


  1. I used to eat a lot of fish in France. We didn't live particularly close to the sea but somehow a lot of fishermen sold their fish at our local market and fish was ridiculously cheap (actually, even at the supermarket!). So we bought some every week, from mackerel to sardines to salmon or crustaceans.

    Now that we live in England, I can't believe how expensive fish is here! I don't understand. We're on an island, right? Why is it so expensive than? I hardly buy any fresh fish now, and I find it really frustrating.

    On another note, loving that recipe! And I don't really have a favourite fish recipe in mind, I used to take the fish (whatever kind that may be) and pop it in the oven with herbs and olive oil. Always turns out delicious. :)

    1. Apparently fish and seafood is so expensive here because we export it to other countries. So sad! It's the same with fruit and veg. We produce tons and tons of apples yet most of the time all you can find is apples from New Zealand. :(