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January 4, 2016
The Hairy Bikers keep it simple with this recipe.

While the 5pm Dining blog would like to wish all our readers a tasty New Year, we are aware that the early part of January is seldom a time of great culinary indulgence.

After two weeks of festive cakes, craft beers and ill-advised cocktail experimentation, the thought of eating some simple, light dishes seems quite appealing.

For the first time in about a month, a nice cup of green tea looks rather more inviting than a Flaming Cachaca Egg Nog.

Bright flavours

With this in mind, here is a recipe from The Hairy Bikers which is simple, easy-to-do and packed with bright flavours. It is also deliciously light and comes in at about 200 calories per portion.

Si and Dave commented: ‘This is a breeze to put together with some good cod, haddock or other fish and it’s so good to eat. It’s a great family supper but also good to serve when friends come over – let everyone open their own parcels at the table and enjoy the wafts of delicious saffrony, basily aromas. And it’s so low cal that you can enjoy a few steamed new potatoes and green beans alongside.’

The recipe is from The Hairy Dieters: Good Eating by Si King and Dave Myers and published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

The Hairy Bikers will be cooking live at the BBC Good Food Show Summer, 16-19 June, Birmingham NEC. Tickets available now:


Serves 4

Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20–25 minutes


1 tsp olive oil

1 red onion, sliced into thin wedges

2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced lengthways into strips

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

100ml white wine

pinch of saffron threads

200g canned tomatoes (or fresh)

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

1 tsp grated lemon zest

Oil, for spraying

4 thick fish fillets, about 150g each

4 thin slices of lemon

Flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.


Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and red peppers and fry them over a medium heat until they start to soften – you want them to stay fairly firm. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.

Pour the white wine into the pan and crumble in the pinch of saffron. Simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes. Cook over a low heat for another 5 minutes, then stir in the parsley, basil and lemon zest.

Cut 4 large pieces of baking parchment or foil – they need to be big enough to make a parcel for each fish fillet. Spray each piece lightly with oil and place a fish fillet in the middle. Season with salt and pepper, then put a thin slice of lemon on top and add a quarter of the red pepper and tomato mixture to each parcel. Bring 2 opposite edges of the paper or foil together and fold them together. Fold over the remaining 2 edges to seal the parcel neatly. Wrap the remaining parcels in the same way.

Place the parcels on a baking tray and put them in the oven. Bake for 12–15 minutes, then open one slightly and check that the fish is cooked through. Take the parcels to the table so that everyone can open their own and enjoy the sensational scents.