Tag Archives: fish

Sole Véronique

Such a lovely yet understatedly light and elegant dish that features a wonderfully decadent sauce that is intensely flavoured to the point that you really want to lick the plate clean! The sauce somehow however does not overpower the fish, but complements it perfectly, as do the subtle addition of grapes that work curiously well – absolutely lovely and extremely quick and easy!

What you need…

700g Lemon or Dover Sole fillets, skinned and trimmed

Sea salt and black pepper

400ml boiling water from the kettle

1 fish stockpot (I use Knorr)

100ml dry white wine

300ml double cream

1 egg yolk

40 seedless white grapes, halved

What to do…

In a jug, dissolve your fish stockpot into the hot water, using a balloon whisk to ease the process.

Season the fish and roll the fillets up quite tightly (this gives them a great texture as they can be quite thin). Put them into a wide saucepan, pour over the hot stock and wine. Pop on the lid and poach the fillets for 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish from the liquid and transfer into a warmed baking dish. Cover with foil and set aside.

Returning to your fishy stock, turn the heat up to high and boil without the lid until the liquid has reduced to just 5 tablespoons (it is this process that increases the intensity of flavour). This can take 10-15 minutes – just wander off to do other things, but keep checking.

Add 1 tablespoon of the double cream to the egg yolk and set aside.

Remove the fishy stock from the heat and gently pour in the remaining cream, stirring as you do so. Return to the heat and again reduce the liquid – to about two thirds of the original volume – and until is has thickened to coat the back of a spoon.

Preheat your grill to high.

Mix the egg yolk and tablespoon of cream in a bain-marie (heatproof bowl in a steamer over a pan of simmering water) and use your balloon whisk again to beat until the mixture is frothy and thickened.

Pour the egg mixture into the sauce, stir in and then add the grapes.

Pour the sauce over the fish fillets and pop under the grill, cooking until the sauce glazes slightly – maybe 3 minutes.

Serve with a green vegetable (we had broccoli that had been boiled and then mixed in with hot olive oil, chopped garlic and chopped anchovies – the whole dish was absolutely gorgeous and the rich intensity of the sauce is truly a wonderful thing!

Inspired by…

The book, ‘Who put the Beef in Wellington’, the author of which borrowed the recipe from Mark Sargeant, who in turn was inspired by the dish’s original creator, August Escoffier; who, in 1903 whilst leading the kitchen at the Ritz, had the foresight to name this dish after a then popular comedic opera that was the big thing in London, Véronique! The original uses vermouth rather than white wine, but I didn’t have any!

How easy…

Very easy and absolutely worth every second!

Salmon with Sauce Verte and Garlicky Crushed New Potatoes

 

In this dish, the salmon is at its best – simply roasted with a little seasoning and a squeeze of lemon. But then you add the sauce verte, which has a summer-fresh piquancy about it and is the perfect foil to the fish. And finally, there are the potatoes: OMG – they are soooooooo yummy – we are having these with several more dishes over the next few weeks. The garlic-infused oil and milk mingling with the roughly crushed potatoes is a thing of loveliness as well as being really quite addictive! The whole thing together is a really easy, scrummy family supper dish.

Serves 4

What you need…

for the potatoes

12 new potatoes, washed

120ml milk

120ml olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Large pinch of sea salt

for the sauce verte

50g spinach

50g watercress

50g flat leaf parsley, leaves only

A handful tarragon leaves

A handful basil leaves

150g crème fraiche

100g mayonnaise

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

for the salmon

1 x baking sheet, lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper

4 salmon fillets

Squeeze of lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

For the potatoes, put all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil and then turn down low, pop a lid on, and cook gently for 20 – 25 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and infused with the garlicky oil: yum! Roughly crush the potatoes with a fork, taste and adjust seasoning according to your preference.

Whilst the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce verte and cook the fish. First, the sauce verte: bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the spinach and watercress for 1 minute. Drain through a colander and then tip the vegetables into a bowl of iced water. Drain again and then put them into your food processor and blend with the herbs until fine. Add the crème fraiche, mayonnaise and lemon juice and whizz until bright green. Season, whizz, taste, season again if liked. Decant into a serving jug. Set aside.

For the salmon, put the fish on the baking tray, skin-side up. Pop in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Turn over, season and squeeze lemon juice over before returning to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

To serve, place a portion of the potatoes into the centre of each plate and place the salmon fillet on the top. Either drizzle, dot or spoon the sauce over the top or pass the jug around so that people can help themselves. Enjoy this lovely, light family supper dish – really scrummy!

Inspired by…

John Torode, Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Really extremely easy – I love it when something so lovely takes so little effort!

 

 

 

Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

A simple, one-pot dish and is sooooooo very tasty. The natural flavours of the salmon are enhanced by the addition of anchovies and a mixture of peppers and tomatoes works absolutely brilliantly as a contrasting accompaniment to the fish – the whole lot disappeared at a rapid rate – this a great one for a family supper.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking dish (mine is 26 x 18 x 7cms deep) lightly buttered

160ml hot water from the kettle

½ vegetable stock pot (I use Knorr)

750g – 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick slices

5 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 orange or yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

60g anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

4 sprigs oregano, leaves stripped from the stems

6 sprigs rosemary

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra for the fish

1 side of salmon – enough to cover your baking dish – mine was around 1.5kg

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c/400°f/gas 6.

Pop your ½ stockpot into a jug, tip on the hot water and mix together using a balloon whisk. Set your vegetable stock aside.

Bring the potatoes to the boil in salted water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain. Arrange the slices, slightly overlapping to cover the bottom of your baking dish.

Scatter over the tomatoes, peppers and anchovies. Pour over your stock. Scatter over the garlic, oregano leaves and then lay across the rosemary sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the oil and pop in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, rub a little olive oil all over the fish and season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs from the vegetables; then lay the fish on top. Cover with foil and pop back in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 5 minutes, just to give the salmon a little colour.

That’s it – all done – no accompaniments required and you know what? It’s very lovely! Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Ridiculously straight forward

Cider-Baked Luxury Fish Pie

 

I’ve never really been a fan of fish pie but this recipe is just rich enough to feel indulgent without that sluggish, overly full and slightly sick feeling that often comes with overly rich food! Haddock, scallops and prawns are the basis of this dish so, providing you’ve got good quality, the great natural flavours are already there, just waiting to party with your taste buds! It has double cream in but that’s countered by the cider to produce a tasty sauce that just begs an extra spoon at the table just to make absolutely sure there isn’t any left; and for the mashed potato topping, I did my own thing – anchovies don’t scream ‘salty fish’ as you might expect but just add a depth of flavour. At our table, it was agreed, we’re definitely having this dish again – absolutely lovely!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x 1 litre ovenproof dish, lightly buttered

100ml milk

400g haddock fillets

100ml milk

150g scallops

150g large raw prawns, shelled

25g butter

25g plain flour

100ml dry still cider

75ml double cream

1 dessertspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

for the topping

500g King Edwards potatoes, peeled and roughly chunked

3 anchovy fillets (from a jar in oil), roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

100g salted butter

Splash of milk

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas 5.

Pop the potatoes in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until soft (15 minutes-ish).

In a little saucepan, tip in the anchovies, garlic and butter. Put it on a really low heat, just to melt the butter and let the flavours develop. Ignore it until you need it later.

Meanwhile, pop the haddock into a large pan with the 100ml milk, bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove the fish to a plate with a slotted spoon, retaining the flavoured milk for later. When it’s cool enough to handle, flake the fish into large chunks into your ovenproof dish. Tip into the dish the scallops and prawns and spread about evenly.

Melt the 25g butter in a small sauce pan, tip in the flour, cooking for 1 minute whilst stirring like crazy. Remove from the heat and, using a balloon whisk, gradually mix in the cider and then the retained milk. Return to a moderate heat for up to 10 minutes, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the cream and mustard; add the parsley and season to taste. Pour over the fish and set aside whilst you complete your mash.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Add a splash of milk and the melted butter with anchovy and garlic. Depending on your preference, either mash traditionally or, if you would like a smoother, creamier version, use an electric hand whisk to create a lovely silky mashed potato (no points for guessing which approach I prefer!) Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you’re feeling really naughty, you could add a tad more butter or double cream.

Dollop the mash all over the fish mixture and then use a fork to give it a nice ‘roughed up’ texture.

Pop in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until lovely and golden brown. Serve and enjoy – it is utterly delicious!

Serving suggestion…

We really enjoyed this dish with garlic, rosemary and anchovy-flavoured greens together with Hasselback potatoes, both of which I will type up and blog this week – they are great sides that would go with a wide variety of dishes, were really tasty, attractive and required next to no effort (always a bonus!)

Tip…

I use Cooks’ Ingredients frozen and chopped garlic, rather than doing all that peeling and chopping business.

Inspired by…

Woman and Home magazine

How easy…

Dead easy, really quick and very little clearing up – perfect for a weekday supper, although the ingredients aren’t the cheapest.

Lemon Sole with Brown Shrimp and Caper Butter Sauce

 

I’m becoming a regular visitor to the recently found fishmongers in Windsor. I wanted skate today but he’d just sold the last lot so I was reminded of a recipe seen on James Martin’s Saturday Kitchen this weekend with lemon sole and here is my tweaked version. It’s fast, simple and absolutely lovely – something that I am convinced is to do with the minimal tinkering applied to the fish – its natural flavours are there to be enjoyed, enhanced by a lovely little simple sauce. Just yummy!

Serves 4

What you need…

Splash rapeseed oil

800g lemon sole, cleaned and filleted to 4 portions

Sea salt and black pepper

100g unsalted butter

90g brown shrimp, cooked and peeled

2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed

Juice of two lemons

Small handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

What to do…

On a high heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Bubble away until the butter turns a lovely golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and, standing as far away as is feasible, pour in the lemon juice – it will go crazy and spit – you don’t want this all over you! Set aside and then add the brown shrimp, capers and parsley. Put back on the heat and keep warm on a very low heat, whilst you cook the fish.

Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add the fish and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fish and then drizzle over some of the brown shrimp and caper butter sauce. It’s lovely. Once a again, a reminder that the simple things in life often provide the most pleasure! (Providing you first have good quality fish, in this case!) Enjoy your lemon sole with brown shrimp and caper butter sauce!

Serving suggestion…

Parmentier potatoes together with creamed leeks with chestnut and thyme crumble (didn’t photograph – will post another day!)

Inspired by…

Bryn Williams, Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Ever so. All you need is great fish to start with and lemon sole is nothing like as expensive as Dover Sole, so…..no holding back!

Grilled Plaice with Mustard and Tarragon Sauce, Asparagus and Peas

This is a really lovely, delicate and light fish supper. The sauce is quite piquant and, when tasted on its own, really rather strong. But, take a forkful that includes a little fish, greenery and sauce and the combination is fabulous: the sauce is the perfect foil for the delicate fish – it just all works brilliantly. And – bonus – you can make the sauce ahead, leaving just a few minutes cooking of the fish and vegetables just before you want to eat. It’s on the ‘favourites’ list for me!

Serves 4

What you need…

500g asparagus, trimmed

100g frozen peas

1.5kg plaice, filleted and cut into portions

Splash rapeseed oil

1 baby gem lettuce, shredded

Small knob of butter

Sea salt and black pepper, for seasoning

Olive oil to drizzle

for the sauce

100ml water

½ fish stockpot (I use Knorr)

Splash rapeseed oil

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons cider vinegar

100ml dry, still cider

2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

100ml double cream

4 teaspoons chopped tarragon, stalks reserved

2 teaspoons capers

What to do…

First, blanch the asparagus. Pop in a deep frying pan of boiling, salted water and simmer vigorously for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Dry the frying pan – you’ll be using it again later.

Remove the frozen peas from the freezer and tip them out onto a plate to start defrosting.

In a jug, create some fish stock by pouring in 100ml water from your kettle and dissolving the fish stockpot, using a small balloon whisk. Set aside.

Now to the sauce: heat a splash of rapeseed oil in a pan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cider vinegar and bring to the boil. Pour in the cider and fish stock and bubble furiously until the stock is reduced by half. Add the mustard, cream and tarragon stalks and simmer, reducing and thickening the sauce so that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove the tarragon stalks and discard. Stir in the capers and chopped tarragon. Set aside.

When you’re about ready to eat, preheat your grill to medium and either oil a baking tray or line it with Bake O Glide. Sprinkle salt all over the tray and lay your fish fillets on top, skin side up. Place under the grill and cook for 6 minutes, checking the last minute or two to avoid overcooking.

Meanwhile, put your sauce back on a very gentle heat, just to keep it warm.

Return to your frying pan and splash in the rapeseed oil. When hot, add the lettuce and wilt for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and peas with the knob of butter and warm through for a couple of minutes. Season to taste.

Remove the fish from the grill and leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

To serve, arrange the greenery on warmed plates and place the fish on top, skin side up. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then spoon the sauce around the fish. Don’t attack – it’s to be savoured but remember to get a little bit of everything on each forkful and enjoy the combined flavours – simply lovely!

Tips…

Instead of all that peeling and chopping, I buy Cooks’ Ingredients frozen chopped shallots and frozen chopped garlic from Waitrose – lovely and fresh and saves a lot of faffing about.

Inspired by…

Chef, Nathan Outlaw and my bro, who insisted that I couldn’t do this blog without this Nathan Outlaw book in my collection – good call, Martin!

How easy…

Really, really easy and a pleasure to make!

Roasted Fish with Lemon, Anchovies, Capers and Rosemary

A lovely family supper dish, this fish dish ticks all the boxes in terms of taste, ease of preparation, minimal washing up and being really quite healthy! The combination of the soft rosemary, zingy lemon, edgy anchovies and sharp capers works brilliantly to jazz up even the most mundane of fish – I use whatever fish is hanging about in the freezer, sometimes mixing up three different types – it doesn’t matter – it’s still great!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking dish, lightly buttered (mine is 26 x 17 x 7cms deep)

Handful rosemary, leaves picked

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 – 6 x fish fillets, both hake and cod work well (quantity depends on how hungry you are!)

Sea salt and black pepper, for seasoning

2 large unwaxed lemons, thinly sliced

Handful capers

8 anchovy fillets

What to do…

Preheat oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Bruise the rosemary in a pestle and mortar to bring out the flavour. Add the olive oil and squash the rosemary some more to flavour the oil.

Wodge your fish into the baking dish and then pour over half the rosemary/oil mixture, spreading it evenly over the fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the fish in the lemon slices, scatter over the capers and then drape over the anchovies.

Drizzle over the remaining rosemary/oil mixture and pop in the oven for 20 minutes. That’s it – done – a really quick, healthy and tasty family supper – we enjoy our roasted fish with lemon, anchovies, capers and rosemary with steamed mixed cabbage and either Parmentier or buttery new potatoes.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver, Happy Days with the Naked Chef

How easy…

Very easy, just an assembly job really!

Hake with Mushrooms and Soured Cream

I love hake and try to incorporate it into my fish recipes where possible – it seems to be an under-rated fish – not only is it really tasty and firm enough to hold its shape during cooking but it’s also inexpensive – what’s not to like? This recipe is delicious and also has a really distinctive flavour – it didn’t taste like I expected it to but was a very happy surprise. The whole lot got devoured very quickly anyway! Easy and with hardly any mess, it’s a perfect weekday supper dish for the family.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x large baking dish (mine is 20 x 30 x 7cms deep), lightly buttered

1kg hake fillets, skinned and cut into chunks (5cm x 5cm-ish)

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon paprika

Knob butter

Splash rapeseed or olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

300g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

250ml soured cream

5 teaspoons sherry

Large handful grated Parmesan cheese

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Mix the flour, salt and paprika in a bowl and dust the fish on both sides. Then place them in your baking dish so that they fit snugly together.

Heat butter and oil and soften the onion and mushrooms. When just beginning to shrink, remove from the heat, mix in the soy sauce and then spread over the fish. Using the same saucepan, mix together the soured cream and sherry and then dribble over the fish.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan and then pop the dish into the oven uncovered to bake for 40 minutes.

Serve your delicious hake with mushrooms and soured cream together with green vegetables (asparagus works well). Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine

How easy…

So relaxed, it’s practically horizontal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabulous Fish Thermidor

I have my wonderful friend, Helen, to thank for this dish. She produced it at a girls’ lunch and we all demanded copies of the recipe! It is really luscious and spectacularly easy to make. It can also be made in advance and re-heated. It tastes like a treat but is inexpensive to make – what’s not to like? Recreated at home, this is now on the list of ‘regular supper dishes’.

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x baking dish (mine is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)

800g hake, skinned, filleted and cut into 3cm-ish chunks

45g butter

45g flour, sieved

750ml milk/Oatly alternative (to reduce dairy content)

Sea salt and black pepper

Splash rapeseed/olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

300g white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

100ml tomato purée

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

125g Manchego/Cheddar cheese, grated

4 teaspoons brandy

225g raw jumbo king prawns (optional)

What to do…

Preheat oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3.

Tip the milk into a medium saucepan and, on a medium heat, gently poach the fish chunks for five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the milk and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Tip in the flour and quickly stir it in. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a ladle, slowly add your hot milk, stirring in each ladleful before adding the next.

Return the white sauce to the heat and cook until smooth and thickened. Season and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the onion and mushrooms, frying gently until soft. Then, increase the heat to remove any moisture. Add the white sauce together with the tomato purée, mustard, cheese, brandy and the fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the mixture into your baking dish, cover and pop in the oven to heat through for about 30 minutes. Wash up your three pans and relax. A delectably delicious dish awaits!

Fabulous fish thermidor is, as the name suggests, fabulous as it is, but if you wanted to add a little luxurious dimension, open the oven after 15 minutes and stir in your raw prawns. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the prawns are pink.

Serving suggestion…

Steamed cabbage and leek work really well with a baked potato or basmati and wild rice (a current favourite!)

A bit about Manchego…

Manchego cheese has recently been recommended to me by my lovely friend, Jean. It is a cheesemade in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of the Manchego sheep breed. Official Manchego cheese is to be aged for between 60 days and two years, hence it is a little expensive. However, it is soooooooo worth it – absolutely delicious. Having grated enough for the recipe, there was then quite a lot of cheese-snacking to be done whilst preparing the dish. The cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy. I would urge you to try it!

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, The Creative Cuisine (thank you again Helen for introducing me to this old but genuinely inspirational book).

How easy…

Wonderfully! I love these dishes that finish themselves off in the oven, while I quickly tidy up the pots and pans and treat myself to a glass of red!