Blackened fish with fried banana

Serves 4

With the time difference, early mornings in Barbados I would often be wide awake, which at least was a good opportunity to get down to the beach and some early fishing. On the first day, I caught a small trevally which was a good eating size and perfect for breakfast. I scrabbled together what was in the fridge along with some sort of Bajan chutney and a pan-fried banana – it was a little improvised but lovely.

4 fillets of fish such as trevally, John Dory or sea bream
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
2 under-ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthways
1 lime, quartered, to serve

For the Bajan relish

1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
140g green onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Scotch bonnet or Habanero (fresh or dried), finely chopped
1tsp fresh marjoram
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp black pepper
A good pinch of sea salt

For the blackening spices

1tsp paprika
1tsp ground dried thyme
1tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp finely ground black pepper
1tsp finely ground white pepper
1tsp garlic powder

First make the relish: heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add all of the ingredients, cover with a lid and cook gently on a low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat, transfer to a small bowl and leave to cool.

Mix all of the ingredients for the blackening spices and generously coat the fish fillets with them.

Get two preferably non-stick frying pans: with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil fry the bananas in one for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden; then keep warm. With the other pan, fry the fish for about the same amount of time, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

To serve, place the fish on warmed plates with half a banana next to it and a spoonful or two of the relish and the lime.

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