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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Great British Chefs - eat hake!

Image courtesy of Great British Chefs
Wit the Ajax landing fish on Newlyn and Brixham fish markets this morning - here's a cahnce to indulge in a dish using the fish with a real hint of Spain in the ingredients - chorizo! Cannned chickpeas are OK to use too!

Celebrate great British food like hake along with all the other home-grown delights that are now in season by visiting the Great British Chefs web site for more recipes and ideas from great British Chefs and restaurants. There's even an app for your mobile phone too to help keep in touch with what our top chefs and other fish fanatics are up to around the UK.

The salt of the chorizo perfectly balances the earthy chickpeas and fresh coriander in this delicious fish dish from Geoffrey Smeddle. You'll need to soak your chickpeas overnight for this recipe so make sure you plan ahead - alternatively you can buy tinned, cooked chickpeas and save yourself some prep time.

Ingredients: (for four big British appetites!)

4 lemons, three cut into wedges and one for juicing 
1 carrot, peeled and halved lengthways 
1 slice of bacon 150g of chorizo sausage 
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges 
150ml of double cream salt pepper olive oil 
1 bunch of coriander, leaves chopped 
500g of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water 
2kg of fillet of hake, scaled and pin boned

Soak the chickpeas in cold water, ensuring there is twice the volume of water to chickpeas
Once soaked, strain off the water, place the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well under cold running water
Transfer them to a large pan and add the carrot, onion, bacon and a good glug of olive oil
Add enough water to rise at least a couple of inches above the chickpeas, then simmer until very tender, keeping an eye on the water in case it needs topping up
Once the chickpeas are cooked, let them cool in the liquor, removing the veg and bacon
Once cool, take about a fifth of the chickpeas out of the liquid, place in the jug of a blender with the cream and, if needed, a little cooking liquid, then process to a coarse purée . Store in a tub until needed
Place the chorizo in a pan of cold water, bring to a simmer and then strain immediately. Once cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, cut the meat into 1cm dice and place in a pan large enough to hold the chickpeas too
Cook on a moderate heat until the chorizo is gently sizzling, add the rest of the chickpeas and enough cooking liquid so the pan is moist
When hot, add the chickpea puree, taste for seasoning and keep warm while cooking the hake
Heat a large non-stick pan and add a generous amount of oil. Season the skin of the hake with salt and place in the pan skin side down, frying each piece for about 4 minutes until the skin crisps
Turn the fish over and remove the pan from the heat. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice to the pan, spooning the juices over the fish as it frys
Add the coriander to the chickpeas, taste for seasoning then arrange on a platter. Place the fillets of hake on top, spoon on the pan juices and serve