Saucy Fish Co

I have been rather busy of late, what with trying to arrange my move to Geneva (coming round horribly fast!), appearing in a production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War!’ and both my partners birthday and Mother’s Day this weekend.  As a result I haven’t had much time to cook (or write!) and so the Saucy Fish Co’s offer to try some of their new range came at just the right time!
The Saucy Fish Co. from Grimsby won the Seafood Prix d’Elite “Seafood Product Line Award” in 2010 and their products are now stocked in large (and some small) Tesco’s.  The range covers fish fillets with sauces, foil bag bakes, fishcakes and stand alone sauces.  From the vast selection of products I decided to try the salmon fillets with watercress and crème fraiche sauce and the salmon hollandaise “saucy fishcakes” with an added packet of hollandaise.

The products I tried

First up, the salmon fillets with sauce.  The two fillets themselves were a lovely size and had a great colour, but I was rather surprised to find that the skin had not been scaled!  I don’t think I’ve ever bought a fish fillet before where this has been the case.  Slightly perturbed, but still undeterred, I got out my sharp knife and proceeded to remove the scales in my kitchen sink (liberally spreading them about in the process).  This wasn’t too difficult to do, but it did make quite a mess. The fillets didn’t look quite so pretty when I had finished (I may have been a little rough).

The fillet complete with scales

I then proceeded to cook the fillets in the pan (skin side down for two thirds of the time and a quick flip over to finish the top) whilst warming the sachet of sauce in a cup of hot water. This was the method suggested by the packet.  The packet recommended cooking the fillets for 10 – 15 minutes in a pan, but I personally think that’s a bit much and would dry out even the middle of the fillet, let alone the thin end!
So I did mine for about 6 minutes in a hot pan which gave a nice crisp skin and flesh that was just cooked through.  This I served up with some steamed charlotte potatoes and a dribble of the sauce (it was a very small packet for two people!).

The salmon served up

After my disappointment the scales I was glad to find that the fish tasted great.  It had a strong flavour and a lovely moist texture.  The sauce had a great tang from the crème fraiche which cut through the oiliness of the fish, however I don’t think the watercress flavour came through very well. A bit more peppery punch would have been nice!
A few days later I cooked the saucy fishcakes.  These were a salmon fishcake with hollandaise sauce in their centre -a very fun idea!  Again I think that the packet exaggerated the cooking time a little (or else my oven is ferocious) as I put them in for the recommended 20 at 200°C and they came out a little crispier than I would prefer!  We had these with sautéed potatoes and some salad

The saucy fish fishcake served up....

...and cut open

These also had good flavour, although a little more salmon wouldn’t have gone amiss, I think it’s a little cheeky to call them salmon fish cakes when they’re  only 19% salmon with another 15% cod..  The cakes themselves were nicely soft and the hollandaise inside was really  buttery. I think the idea is really novel and worked well; it just needs a little tweaking!

Well, after eating both the salmon filets and the fish cakes I was feeling a little fished out so I decided to have the hollandaise sauce with eggs instead. One evening I cooked myself some eggs Florentine using half the packet and a few mornings later I used the rest making eggs Benedict for breakfast with my partner(you get plenty in this pack!).

The eggs florentine

and the eggs benedict

The sauce was made with different ingredients to the one in the fishcakes. It had a very pale yellow colour and lovely thick consistency.  I heated my first batch in the microwave, and the second batch in a pan on the stove.  Both times the sauce came out fine.
The flavour divided opinion however.  Personally I found it a little too acidic.  I can see how the vinegar flavour would be great when accompanying a fatty fish, but on eggs I found it a little sharp.  My partner however preferred this sauce over others we have tried for the very same reason.  He thought the vinegar cut through the richness of the eggs Benedict and lifted the dish.  So there you go a nice pre-made sauce which requires very little work, this was the easiest and most successful of the Saucy Fish Co products I tried.
All in all, and despite my little grumbles, I think there is a lot of promise in this range.  Prepared food will never be the same as home made, but with a few tweaks I think this could be a great range of convenient fish products!


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