I once told a college roommate that I could curry anything. We went on a currying spree, experimenting with things like curried canned corned beef hash (good) and curried Spam (edible, but not so good). Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you necessarily want to.
But I was draining the mackerel for fish cutlets this morning, and rinsing off the skin and bones and inevitable little bits of fish that went with them, and I thought — I hate to waste this, and I haven’t had breakfast.
The fish cutlet recipe calls for just using the cleaned fish in the cutlets. But could I do something with the bits left in the strainer? It turns out that if you heat a little oil, add half a teaspoon of chili powder, a little salt, ketchup, and lime, and about a cup of mackerel skin and bones, sautéing for a few minutes until dry, that actually makes a delicious topping to a piece of toast. Packed with nutrition too — all that calcium and healthy fish oil.
I like to think that my ancestors, back in Sri Lanka, making fish cutlets for a party, frugal in the way of village folk, would have done the same thing.