Pan-fried hake on a seasonal vegetable salad with extra virgin olive oil dressing
Chef: Andrew Brown
Cooking time: 45
Cooking method: Pan-fry
600gms hake fillets – 4 x 150gm portions
30gms cooking oil
Flaky salt and freshly ground white pepper
Any fresh vegetables could work with hake. However, be careful with too many strong flavoured vegetables as hake is very delicate in flavour.
12 each cherry tomatoes (blanched and peeled, skins can be deep fried)
12 cloves shallot cloves, pan fried until soft and lightly coloured
12 each asparagus spears (blanched)
1 each waxy potato (ball with a melon scoop and blanched till just tender)
Basil leaves & chive flowers to garnish
100ml extra virgin olive oil (fruity rather savoury flavour profile)
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground white pepper
• Pre-heat a frying pan (preferablely a iron skillet or a teflon coated fry-pan), set on a high heat.
• Ensure the hake portions are patted dry on all sides with a cloth or paper towel before pan frying, season the fish just prior to frying.
• Place the oil in the pan, allow 30 seconds before carefully placing the hake in the fry pan, the fish should be sizzling (if not the pan is not hot enough).
• Allow the fish to go a light brown/caramelised colour, then add the butter & turn the heat down slightly. Cook for approximately another 20-30 sec then turn the portions over.
Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets but a good indication that the fish is cooked, is if a white protein liquid leaches out of the side of the fillet, this indicates that it is cooked completely through.
• Hake has a firm texture, however overcooking will make it dry.
• When you feel the hake is cooked, spoon some of the oil/butter over the portions and remove from the heat and serve as soon as possible to maintain the flavour and texture.
• There is no right or wrong to the mixing of the salad rather ensure the ingredients are fresh and appropriately prepared.
• Arrange all salad ingredients evenly on four serving plates.
• Combine ingredients together with a whisk or in a dressing shaker. It will improve the flavour if it is warmed slightly.
Completing the dish to serve
• Portion the salad evenly between 4 plates.
• Place the hot hake portions on top of the salads and evenly pour the dressing over each portion, the dressing will filter to the bottom of the plate which will then dress the salad as it is eaten.
• Serve immediately.
Recipe and image courtesy: Deepwater Group