Have you seen the amount of Buy 1 Take 1 cheese my relatives bring home? Here is one easy recipe that I created for times when I am just too lazy to do anything more and when I need to use up some of that cheese. This is also a good recipe when you need to cook something “fancy” but are too lazy to do so (or just don’t have the time to stand over a stove or work on breading).
Here is a pack of frozen fish fillet. We buy this at S&R. Regular price is around P150, but sometimes there’s a sale and the price goes down to about P130, and that’s the time we stock up.
I am also using a cream cheese spread that we got at Buy 1 Take 1 (Arla Buko, Provence flavor) and a Bega Extra Tasty cheese block (also Buy 1 Take 1 from some time ago).
Step 1: Think about it hours ahead. The first thing to do is to the thaw the frozen fish fillet, and that takes a long time. Ideally, you should be thawing the fish fillet, unopened, inside the refrigerator. But in my experience, even after 24 hours, the fish is still icy. What I do, is that I just leave the package (unopened) on a tray in the counter to thaw for around 4 hours. If I’m in a hurry, I submerge the unopened package in a bowl of water, and it’s usually thawed by 2 hours. Yes, it’s not ideal, but I work with what I’ve got.
Step 2: Bring out your ingredients. I’m using a garlic & parsley-flavored cream cheese spread that I didn’t particularly like as a spread or a dip… so I thought of this recipe to use it up. I also brought out the cheese I will be using on top. Salt & pepper, too, of course. That’s it. See? Easy, easy recipe for when you’re feeling lazy.
Step 3: Prepare baking dish or dishes. Make sure they fit into your turbo broiler with enough space for air to circulate! Prepare your turbo broiler, or you can just bake the fish in your oven.
Step 4: Put the fish fillet on your baking dish. Make sure the fish fillet is thoroughly thawed. When you open the package, there’s going to be some water from the melted ice – throw that water away. It’s your own personal choice if you want to rinse the fish fillet or not. But you need to make sure that there is no excess water when you put the fish fillet on your baking dish.
Step 4: Season your fish fillet with salt & pepper (front & back). Keep in mind that the cream cheese spread and the cheese topping will also be salty, so salt very lightly, really, just a very small pinch of salt per side. I like to likely rub the salt & pepper into the fish to make sure that they are evenly distributed. This prevents having certain parts of the fish saltier and other parts being bland. If you don’t like your fish salty, you can skip the salt.
I also trimmed the fish fillet and used the “excess” fish fillet to fill in the blanks on the baking dish.
Step 5: Spread the cream cheese on top! This is fun! The cream cheese already has chopped garlic and parsley (dark green specs on the cream cheese) so you don’t need to add any additional flavoring.
Step 6: Grate cheese on top!
Step 7: Bake using a turbo broiler at 150 C for 20-25 mins for the bigger dish, and about 15-20 mins for the smaller dish.
Step 9: Make someone else wash the dishes!
I use up the entire fish fillet pack because I don’t want to re-freeze the unused fish fillet. If I don’t bake it immediately, I will just cover it with cling wrap, refrigerate and bake it the next day (for baon, additional ulam, etc…)
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The Barat Queen
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