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What's river cobbler like? And advice on cooking spinach, please.

(21 Posts)
TheArmadillo Mon 12-Sep-11 19:46:38

Trying to get my kids to eat fish and want something cod-like to start with (but preferrably cheaper and more environmentally friendly). Asda has river cobbler but have no idea what it is like.

Anyone tried it?

Also they will eat raw spinach so wanted to try it cooked (to make a change from bloody mixed veg and broccoli), but have terrible memories of boiled sopping wet spinach from childhood. A colleague mentioned that they cooked it without water and it was much better. Not sure how to go about it and whether it is literally just spinach in a pan or whether you need to add something else. Any advice?


SinicalSal Mon 12-Sep-11 19:52:29

I don't know about anything about river cobbler. But pollock and hake are supposed to be sustainable alternatives to cod. I haven't cooked them but have eaten them and they are nice.

Spinach though - I rinse it under the tap. If it's full grown leaves I take out the spines if they're gnarly. I cook it in the water that clings to it then, only very briefly.

Usually though I stir it in to sauces at the end of the cooking time, i find they eat more that way. Bolognaise/chilli typed of things, and sometimes white/muchroom/cheese sauces as well.

Flisspaps Mon 12-Sep-11 20:06:50

River cobbler tastes pretty similar to cod/hake (not strong) and we used to have it a fair bit but I was put off when I saw pictures of some intensive river cobbler farming in Vietnam.

TheArmadillo Mon 12-Sep-11 20:51:17

Thank you - I will keep an eye out for pollack & hake and other alternatives as well then, but its an option. Have tried basa before (but have never found it again) which was fine. It just depends what asdas got in I suppose (we don't have a fishmongers).

I'll try the rinsed spinach as well. I would cook it in sauce but I want ds to try it and he doesn't eat sauces (though am doing it one on the side for the rest of us).

SardineQueen Mon 12-Sep-11 21:03:46

Spinach is good in the microwave (DH showed me). Give it a wash in a colander and shake the water out, what is left is enough to steam it. Bung it in a bowl and microwave for 1 or 2 mins (our microwave it's 2 mins). Try to squeeze any leftover water out before serving but it is miles better than boiling.

Other ideas:

Sag aloo is delicious
Stir the spinach through curries and stir frys a min or so before the end (this avoids the watery prob as well)

TheArmadillo Mon 12-Sep-11 21:05:26

ooh I always love cooking veg in the microwave - is cheaper and saves pans! Thanks for that.

TheArmadillo Mon 12-Sep-11 21:07:30

I'd forgotten sag aloo - might make some the week after. mmmmm

Am a bit bored with current meals so am trying to spice it up a bit.

If I get ds to eat cooked spinach and plain potatoes seperately, it is possible, in theory at least, that he would try sag aloo. We're working on widening his diet at the moment. He is really trying (and I mean that in both ways).

SinicalSal Mon 12-Sep-11 21:07:38

I have gotten frozen basa in Aldi, if that helps. Though I didn't like it...

Does your son eat cheese? Chicken breasts stuffed with philly & spinach is an easy introduction. Or maybe try it with fish. Might be a bit too saucy for him though.

MissTinaTeaspoon Mon 12-Sep-11 21:07:47

I never boil spinach. I stir fry it in a bit of olive oil with a pinch of nutmeg.

Pinner35 Mon 12-Sep-11 21:08:12

I just put spinach in a colander and pour a kettle of freshly boiled water over it. Wilts it just enough to do whatever you want with it.

SardineQueen Mon 12-Sep-11 21:23:28

haddock mornay nicely combines the fish and the spinach for when ds starts eating sauces?

Am trying to think of sustainable white fish but all of the ones I know are other sorts.

TheArmadillo Mon 12-Sep-11 21:42:14

On top of ds bland food no sauce regime, he will also not eat food that has been mixed together, including sandwiches - there are reasons he is so fussy though and he has improved a lot over the past year. Plus dh would never touch philly because he is a freaky cheese hater (except for small amounts cooked on e.g. pizza, potato gratin).

Haddock mornay - I would wolf that down, and dd would probably give it a go, but dh does not eat creamy sauces.

Our only shopping option is asda or small sainsburies unfortunately.

Thanks for all the ideas - we may be having spinach a lot over the next few weeks to try them all.

storminabuttercup Mon 12-Sep-11 22:26:38

River cobbler is nice IMO! Haven't seen the programme about the bad conditions though so that may put me off.

I've cooked it lots just in foil parcels, splash of White wine, glob of butter and some dill or parsley, twenty mins at 180 served with veg and new pots! Nice!

AtYourCervix Mon 12-Sep-11 22:28:32

Rier Cobbler is delicious. Spinach is disgusting. I have no idea how to cook either.

metalelephant Mon 12-Sep-11 22:44:20

This is lovely but is a mix... But so tasty and rather good for you. I always add a squeeze if lemon juice when served. you can add tomato juice/paste as it cooks or keep it plain.

It's spanakorizo (spinach rice) and is described as a spinach risotto like dish.

metalelephant Mon 12-Sep-11 22:45:13

A squeeze of lemon juice

SardineQueen Tue 13-Sep-11 08:39:22

I only linked ocado as it was the first one that came up! The ingredients are all easily available.

You could do the mornay in a dish for you and DD, and keep the fish, spinach and sauce separate for the others? They could have it with chips maybe and dip the chips in the cheesy sauce, mmmmmmmmmmmm

chocolatedigestives Tue 13-Sep-11 11:59:50

Hugh F-W (i think) featured cobbler on one of his fish programmes. The intensive farming of it in filthy water in Vietnam totally put me off buying it. It is sold as 'Basa' in some supermarkets, and it is sold as cod by lots of unscrupulous shops/chippies/restaurants.

Pollock and coley are brilliant alternatives to cod...check that your fish is from the north atlantic (or north sea) if you are worried about food miles. Lots of fishfingers are now made from pollock.

nocake Tue 13-Sep-11 12:13:35

The issue with river cobbler was relating to pollution in the water. However, various organisations (including BBC's Watchdog) have tested fish on sale in the big UK supermarkets and have found no traces of any toxins.

I've bought it and it was delicious. It's very close in flavour to cod, possibly a bit meatier. But I do worry about food miles so would probably choose pollock instead.

TheArmadillo Tue 13-Sep-11 13:12:15

so are basa and river cobbler the same thing? If so I really liked basa.

Thanks for these ideas.

missmartha Tue 13-Sep-11 13:28:29

I like river cobbler but as has been said , it comes from bluddy Vietnam.

I prefer coley to be honest. It's caught in local waters, cheap and tastes like cod.

Not endangered either.

God I should like a flippin' eco warrior.

I wilt spinach in a frying pan with some butter and seasoning. Scrummy.

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