Being appreciated is one of the many pleasant bonuses that comes with being a parent. Both my children have good appetites and so a quick way to a healthy slice of appreciation is through food.
Our usual Saturday routine involves one of me or my wife taking my daughter to swimming and on our return she (my wife) will prepare fish finger sandwiches all round. She has honed her technique and now makes a particularly fine version that tastes not dissimilar to a certain fast food chain’s fish offering – for me it consists of chunky breaded cod, a slice of gouda, iceberg lettuce, a good dose of Maille tartare sauce and a splash of ketchup, all housed between two slices of a fresh sandwich loaf. It is a fine sandwich.
But yesterday was Badge Week at swimming, the focal point of the term and my daughter came away with her Junior Swimmer badge. This, coupled with my recent absences, felt like an appropriate time to make one of our family favourites, which my daughter likes to call “Daddy’s Fish Fingers”. Anyone from Trinidad and Tobago will know them as “Accra”. Essentially, they are a West Indian version of a salt cod fritter and dead easy to make.
I offer up my recipe for anyone interested:
Combine a cup of flour, teaspoon of baking powder, some fresh herbs (I went for thyme, chives and coriander) with your pre-soaked salted cod (a 350g packet soaked in cold water for 24 hours, with a couple of changes of water over that period), and mix together adding water until you have a soft batter. Heat some sunflower oil in a heavy pan over a medium-high heat ready to shallow fry and using a tablespoon dipped in water, take a spoonful of the mixture and add to the oil. Once the underside attains a lovely golden colour flip it over and do the same with the other side.
When done drain on some kitchen roll. This quantity should make around 20 accras.
A word of warning, having the oil too hot will crisp up the outside without properly cooking the inside so experiment with the heat levels until you find the right balance (if they are taking on too much colour before being cooked through, your oil is too hot). Generally, if they cook for 2-3 minutes on each side and stay golden, you’ve hit the sweet spot.
Serve with avocado, any other salad items (red onion and tomato works well) in a wrap – chilli/pepper sauce for the adults or a squirt of ketchup for the smalls and you are there.
Then sit back and bask in 5 minutes of appreciation until you are once again spoiling their fun for denying chocolate after their lunch.