I’ve had a great week with my family who were up for an extended stay, with the additional bonus of giving me the opportunity to cater for more than just Helen and I (I’m aware that outside of the realms of likeminded bloggers people will think I’m weird).
Being a bit of a holiday, I’ve been through a repertoire of Full English breakfasts, BBQ, handmade pizza (a big hit with the kids) and easy to create ‘al forno’ pasta.
And so as the waist line inches toward what can only be described as ‘maximum’ it’s time to ditch the dairy and retire the red meat for a little while I think. Or cut down at least.
After dropping everyone off at the train station for the trip back down to the Midlands, I headed over to my local fishmongers. I’d received a tweet that they had just landed crab, langoustines, monkfish and hake. Now THIS is how social media should be used.
I did my usual trick of ordering far too much for the two of us and then gulping at the price when it’s read out from the assistant at the scales. Of course, most people would say “sorry that’s too much, can you put some back” but not me. Like someone who does that little jog after tripping on the pavement, I act casual. “That’s great” I replied.
I’m probably embellishing this a bit, but I gave half to my in-laws so all’s well…
I actually got some really good hake fillets. These are thick and cod-like but, for me, with a subtle, sea bass like flavour. I served it with some brown shrimps – lovely salty little suckers that add an (albeit far subtler) anchovy style kick, made into a sort of egg salad with wild garlic and capers and home made salad cream.
Jersey royals are bang in season too at the moment, so I’m filling my boots whilst I can….
- 2 hake fillets
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 100g brown shrimps (they’re normally sold cooked)
- 1 egg, boiled and chopped
- 2 tbsp whole capers then chopped
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 or 5 wild garlic leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp chives + a little extra for presentation.
- 2 – 3 heaped tbsp homemade salad cream – I used this recipe from the BBC, but substituted single cream.
- 4 or 5 Jersey Royals (or other new potato) each
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400°F.
Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the egg. Once done (4 minutes), remove and add the potatoes for around 15 minutes.
In an ovenproof frying pan, heat the oil until smoking hot. Rinse and thoroughly dry the fish on kitchen paper, season and carefully lay into the pan, and rub it around so it doesn’t ‘catch’. Hold it down for a few seconds to stop it curling up if necessary.
Turn the heat down a bit and allow to cook on the skin side, until the sides start to turn opaque. Transfer to an oven for about 10 minutes to cook through
In a small pan, fry the shallots and brown shrimps in the olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add the wild garlic leaves, capers and egg to warm through. Leave to cool slightly and stir through the salad cream. It should be warm but not hot.
Plate up the fish, crispy skin side up, with the shrimp/egg salad and the Jersey Royals. Sprinkle over some more chives and black pepper. They would have benefitted from butter, but not this week for me!
Thank you! Strange, I just found your comment in the spam folder (and had to ‘approve’ it) – strange things afoot at WordPress 😕
Delicious dish! Now I know how to call those tiny little shrimp in English. In France we call them “grey” shrimp, and they are so tasty! I love them!
Thank you Darya and I’m glad I could help. They’re a great addition to seafood dishes.
Hake really is a great fish, and one I can get here too, alas not the shrimps and their salty deliciousness, looks great. Know what you mean about fish prices, I know we can’t expect them to be cheap, but I press my nose up against fishmongers windows on the mainland and almost faint at the price of langoustines, although I completely used to do the ‘Yeah, great, only £40, I’ll have 2’, toes curling at the price of my slab of monkfish…. 🙂
I think it’s becoming a bit of a favourite of mine actually, as far as white fish goes anyway. Like you, I do wonder about the pricing in some fishmongers – especially langoustines as you said, but I guess that’s the price of good provenance! But, if you can catch you own fish…. 😉
Such a beautifully crispy skin and no doubt, a lovely golden crunch to those potatoes too. Perfect food for rain, hail or shine and I love how simply cooked fish like this is such a treat (when done so well!)
Thanks very much, this really is the best way to eat fish for me. Thanks for pointing out the crispy skin too, I think I’ve finally cracked getting it right a little more consistently!
This looks delicious! Love the color it has. Great post!
Thank you Anne, much appreciated.
A fantastic & beautiful hake dinner! I love hake too! I have wild garlic growing in my garden,…A lovely dinner! Yummo!
Cheers Sophie. I’m using a fair bit of the wild garlic it whilst I can – I like the delicate flavour and, of course, the fact that it’s free 😉
I love spending time with families too…we love to feast together as well. Good to see you have recipes to cut down on the red meat. This is a lovely, light, yet satisfying meal. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂
Thank you Amy. Thats so true. I’ll be posting few more meatless posts for a while I think!
Hake is delicious and oddly underrated here – I bet it was fantastic with the wild garlic and shrimps!
It was really good, cheers MD. Think I’ll be doing this again….