We hope you enjoyed your fish masterclass – if you have any questions for chef please do ask and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible [email protected]
- Don ceviche, herb mayo
- Scallops en pappilotte
- Hazelnut crusted hake, tabbouleh, tandoori squash puree
Fish is the truly inspirational taste of Britain. We, as an island nation, frequently forget that we are surrounded by the sea. Waters that are so full of fish much of it is sustainable and great value. Pollack and Mackerel are great examples of this and taste beautiful.
Tips for buying fish
Find a Fishmonger where the fish can be seen whole. This enables clear identification of freshness. Try to shop local and build trust with your fishmonger.
Fish should not smell. The aroma should be of a slight saltiness. Gills bright and pink or deep purple not dull and dark. It is fine to have a slight slime on the skin.
Eyes should be clear and easily seen not deep and sunken. This can show the fish is old or has been frozen. Frozen is fine if sold as frozen. We cannot refreeze fish!
Look at the fishmonger’s shop… is it clean? Are the fish on ice? How much stock is left at the end of the day …These are easy indicators of freshness and quality. It should never be problem for the fishmonger to prepare and fillet your fish and even explain how to cook it store etc.
Mackerel and sardines should be firm and not bendy.
Types of fish
Fish are grouped into families
Flat fish – Sole Plaice Turbot and so on
Oily fish – Mackerel Sardines Salmon
Round – fish Cod Bass Bream
When preparing fish have a bowl for scraps – board with paper underneath so it does not slip. Sharp knife most important, ideally with a flexible blade. Knives can be bought specifically for filleting fish. Most of all have yourself set ready to prep, cook and share!
Brown butter or lemon butter
Great with all pan-fried fish – Simple! After frying fish, wipe out the pan and add a knob of butter – when it foams, squeeze a fresh lemon into the butter and spoon over the fish.
Plates and fish should be hot when you pour the butter over.
Salt pastry baking
This is an impressive and ancient way of cooking of baking whole fish. The key for this to work is that the fish should be gutted that’s the tummy cavity cleaned. Scales must be left on the fish as the salt dough takes off the skin of the fish leaving a wonderful tasting succulent fish.
How to make fish stock
Fish stock (or fumet as it’s known when concentrated) is one of the quickest, freshest, most fragrant stocks out there, and it is of course very resourceful, sustainable and satisfying to get use out of every part of the animal you’re eating.
As with all stocks, it’s a good idea to make a big batch and freeze down portions, so you always have some to hand. The recipe below is for a big batch but you can of course scale down the amounts if you want to make a small batch to use straight away.
If you are not using surplus bones from fish you have filleted yourself, ask your fishmonger for a kilo of bones – they’ll be very cheap (or maybe even free). You must only use the bones of white fish; bass, cod and flat fish are good to use. Bones of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or tuna are too fatty and will make your stock greasy and unpleasant. The fish bones must be cleaned of any blood and gills as these will impart a nasty, bitter taste and cloud up your stock. Fish heads add a lot of flavour and contain a lot of gelatine which will give body to your stock, but make sure they are thoroughly cleaned (and always remove the gills). A good way of cleaning the bones is to run them under a cold tap and leave them to soak in the water to allow impurities to float the surface (which you can then skim and discard).
Vegetables and aromatics
Traditionally the vegetables used to make fish stock are fennel and celery, along with aniseed herbs like tarragon and dill. Carrots tend to be avoided, as they discolour the stock. To get the most out of your vegetables chop them nice and finely, as this gives them a larger surface area when frying them off, releasing more of their flavour. For extra umami and a natural taste of the sea, throw in a sheet of kombu seaweed.
Be careful when seasoning fish stock – if you intend on reducing it down for a sauce do not add any salt until right at the end, as the saltiness will intensify and may become overpowering. If you’re using the stock straight away without reducing, however, season as normal.
The recipe below makes around 1lt of stock.
- 1kg fish bones, chopped down into 5cm pieces and cleaned
- 1 leek, white parts only, chopped
- 1/2 fennel, chopped
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 garlic bulb
- 500ml of white wine
- 6 white peppercorns, (you can also use pink peppercorns for a more floral flavour)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 sheet of kombu, (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- parsley stalks
- 1 handful of dill
- 1 handful of tarragon
- 2 slices of lemon
- Drizzle some olive oil into a large stockpot over a medium heat and add the fennel seeds and peppercorns
- Once the seeds are sizzling, add the sliced leek, fennel, celery, onion and garlic and gently cook, ensuring you only soften and don’t colour the veg
- Add the wine, turn up the heat and reduce by half
- Add the fish bones to the pan. Be careful not to stir the stock too much once the bones are in, as too much agitation of the bones will turn the liquid cloudy
- Top up with water until the bones are just covered, then add the kombu.Bring the stock to the boil, skim off the scum, then turn down and add the bay leaves. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat, add the parsley stalks, herbs and lemon slices then cover with cling film and leave to infuse for a further 30 minutes
- Using a ladle, scoop out the stock and pass through a sieve lined with muslin cloth into a container. Again, be gentle and try not to unsettle the bones or you’ll end up with cloudy stockThe stock will keep for 3–5 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to use fish stock in cooking
A top-quality fish stock is essential to many of the great seafood dishes out there – from the famous French king of soups bouillabaisse to creamy smoked haddock chowder, seafood paellas or a nicely spiced kedgeree. It is also used as a base for sauces; whisk stock into a bubbling roux of flour and butter to make a velvety fish velouté which will take your fish pie to the next level. As one of the five French ‘mother sauces’, fish velouté is a base for various ‘daughter sauces’ such as sauce Bercy which is flavoured with white wine, lemon and fresh parsley. Another is sauce Normande, which sees fish velouté enriched with egg yolks, butter and cream and is a popular accompaniment to mussels.
Ingredients – Serves 4:
- – 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
- – 500g Seabass Fillets, skinned
- – Handful of Chopped Coriander
- – 1 Red Chilli, sliced
- – 1 Sweet Potato, cooked, cubed
- – Pomegranate Seeds for garnish
For Tiger’s Milk:
- – 5 cm Ginger
- – 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- – 4x Lime Juice
- – 1 tbsp Orange Juice
- – 5 tsp Mirin
- – 0.5 tsp Sesame Oil
- – 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1. Start preparing the tiger’s milk dressing/curing liquid first. Place chopped ginger, crushed garlic and lime juice in a suitable bowl and leave to infuse for 15minutes. Pass the juice and whisk through all the other ingredients, set aside for now.
- 2. Soak super thinly sliced red onion in iced water for 10 minutes, pass and drain on a kitchen towel, place in the fridge. This will keep the onion really crispy while reducing its strength.
- 3.Cut the fish into little cubes 2x2cm or similar. Place into a mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt. Leave for 3 minutes. Salt will help to open the pores of the sliced fish and it will absorb the tiger’s milk better.
- 4. Add the dressing now, leave it for about 3 minutes to ‘cook’. Add coriander, chilli, sweet potatoes and sliced onions and mix gently.
- 5. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
Scallops en pappilotte
Ingredients – Serves 4:
- -12 scallops
- – 1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
- – 12x cherry tomatoes
- – 1 can of white beans, rinsed
- -2 teaspoons olive oil
- – ½ cup Italian flat-leafed parsley
- – seasoning
cut 4 large squares of parchment paper
Preheat oven to 200C.
Pat scallops dry.
In a bowl, gently toss the fennel, tomatoes, beans, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper to coat.
Form a mound of the vegetable mixture in the canter of each of sheets.
Place 3 scallops on top of each mound.
Fold parchment in half, over top of scallops and veg, and fold the edges over 2-3 times to seal.
Bake packets for 15 minutes.
Transfer parchment packets with a spatula onto plates and open with a knife – be careful of the steam.
Serve with some crusty bread
Hazelnut crusted hake, tabbouleh, tandoori squash puree
Ingredients – Serves 1
- Hake fillet 200g
For the crust:
- 30g of macadamia nuts, toasted and crushed
- 30g hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Chopped parsley
- Salt & pepper
Method for Crust
Combine all the ingredients and set aside
Method for fish
Pan-fry skin side down and finish in the oven, top with the crust for the last 5 minutes. Serve with rice salad and puree.
Wild Rice Salad Tabbouleh
Ingredients – Serves 1
- 75g wild rice cooked
- ½ Red onion diced=60g
- 1 clove of garlic sliced=15g
- 1/2 tomato diced=40g
- 1/4 cucumber diced=50g
- Handful chopped parsley=1/10th
- chopped mint=1/10th
- ½ lemon zest and juice
Method for Tabbouleh
Cook wild rice, cool down completely, add all the rest of the ingredients and chill in the fridge
Tandoori Sweet Potato Puree
- 1tbsp pomace oil
- Sweet Potato 100g, diced
- 1/2 onion diced=60g
- 1 clove garlic=15g
- 50ml white wine
- 100ml chicken stock
- 100ml coconut yoghurt
- 1tbsp tandoori paste=15g
- Sweat the onion and garlic on olive oil for two minutes. Add diced sweet potato and get some colour on it. Add tandoori paste, white wine and cook the alcohol off, that takes about a minute. Add chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes or until squash is really soft. Add coconut yoghurt and blend until smooth. Set aside.