Fish 3 Ways Masterclass with Jan Cron
Many of us love fish, but rarely cook it at home. In this class, Chef Jan Cron guided us through the preparation of three different fish dishes and treated us to some of his mouth-watering sauces and an exceptional pudding. We had varying standards of experience in the group but that didn’t matter as Jan gently guided us through different methods of preparing fish, with plenty of top tips to keep us thinking.
3 Fish – Sea Trout En Papillote, Sardines filleted and pan fried, Corvina pan fried and oven baked
Sea Trout En Papillote
2 large carrots, cut into batons
2 red chillies
3 celery sticks, cut into batons
1 tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 tsp sugar
6 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 x 175g trout fillets
lemon thyme sprig
juice 1 lemon
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
Cut four large sheets of baking parchment, about 35cm square. Divide the vegetables between them and top each with a trout fillet. Scatter a few basil leaves and a little lemon juice over each, then season the fish with a little salt and pepper. Fold the paper in half and double fold all round to seal in the fish, a bit like a pasty.
Put the parcels on two baking sheets and bake for 15-20 mins (depending on the thickness of the fish). Serve in their paper with some steamed new potatoes.
splash of oil
wedge of lemon
knob of butter
How to Fillet:
Select the freshest sardines. The skin should be glossy and have a sheen; the eyes should be bright; and the fish should feel firm. Your nose can help you judge as well – no fresh fish should have a strong fishy smell.
Keep in mind that approximately half the purchased weight will be discarded. So, if a recipe calls for one pound of sardine fillets, you’ll want to buy two pounds of whole sardines.
To prepare fillets out of whole fish :
Start by removing the head; it will easily pull off or you can use a sharp knife. Use your fingers to gently pry open the sardine’s cavity to fan or “butterfly” the fish until completely open and flat. The fish bones should now be exposed.
Run your fingers or your knife along the fish’s backbone to loosen it from the meat. Starting from the head and working towards the tail, gently lift out the backbone and ribs. The tail should pull off with the bones. If it doesn’t, cut it off or pull it off separately. Finally score the skin.
To cook sardines :
Place the seasoned, oiled (oil the fish not the pan) fish skin side down on a red hot pan. Cook long enough until you see that fillets are cooking through. Flip the fish, add lemon juice and butter and serve.
You can cook same way : any fish with quite flat fillets like : sea bass, kipper, mackerel, grey mullet.
The fish corvina has a sweet, mild taste with large, firm flaked flesh. The flesh is a pinkish colour when raw and turns white when cooked
Corvina pan fried and oven baked
The flesh of the corvina fish resembles the snapper, and in South America it is regarded as a prime table fish that is popular for ceviche.
Preparation : Score the skin then season your fillet well, dust the skin side in flour and pan-fry for two minutes on a medium heat. transfer to the oven without turning – use the same pan where possible.
Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Finish with a knob of butter and squeeze of lemon juice.
Brussel sprouts are much maligned but cooked the right way they are delicious!
Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds
500g brussel sprouts, shredded
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
splash of Oil
seeds of one pomegranate
1 carrot peeled to ribbons
Tip – to removed pomegranate seeds, cut in half sideways holding fingers in an arch hold the pomegranate on it’s side and slice firmly. hold over a bowl and knock the top of the fruit with a wooden spoon.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, saute garlic for a minute, making sure it’s not burning.
Add the carrots and sprouts, season well and cook for 2 minutes, just until it’s warm and has some colour.
Mix through the pomegranate seeds and serve.
Complimentary Sauce – Curried Jerusalem Artichoke Sauce
Jan suggested a curried masala sauce to compliment the fish, served on the side.
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 onions, roughly chopped
6 tbsp chicken tikka masala paste (use shop-bought or make your own)
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato purée
2-3 tbsp mango chutney
150ml double cream
150ml natural yogurt
250g of Jerusalem artichokes peeled, boiled and blended through.
chopped coriander leaves, to serve
Heat the oil and butter in a large, lidded casserole on a low heat, then add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15-20 mins until soft and golden. Add the paste and peppers, then cook for 5 mins more to cook out the rawness of the spices.
Boil the Jerusalem artichokes, blend then add to the masala sauce
Tip in the tomatoes, purée and 200ml water. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 15 mins
Remove the lid, stir through the mango chutney, cream and yogurt, then gently warm through.
Blend the mixture to get a smooth consistency.
Season, then set aside whatever you want to freeze. Scatter the rest with coriander leaves and serve.
Following the fish we enjoyed a light pudding – White Chocolate, Creme Fraiche and Raspberry Mousse
Simple, delicious and can be prepared ahead of time, ready to impress
600ml creme fraiche
150g white chocolate, melted in a bain marie
handful of raspberries
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times.
Transfer to ramekins and chill for 30 mins in the fridge.