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Seasonal Fish Masterclass

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]

You Cooked:

  • – Don Ceviche with Pomegranates and Red Onion
  • – Tuna Tataki with Avocado Avoli
  • – Pan-Fried Salmon (Brined), Beetroot Risotto and Spinach & Herb Velouté

How to Pan-Fry Fish Fillets

Pan-frying fish is one of the most delicious ways to cook any non-fatty fish. If you have skin on, the cook this side down, if you don’t have the skin – coat it, with either just some flour or a combination of flour, egg, bread crumb…in that order – The coating protects the flesh from direct heat and helps keep the fish moist, while also providing a browned and crispy or crunchy crust. The method avoids a large amount of oil (not to mention the mess) required for deep frying.

Assuming Skin on

Pat fillets dry using a piece of paper towel. Using a sharp knife, make 2 shallow cuts lengthways into skin of each fillet. Sprinkle skin with salt.

Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When pan is hot, add oil. Add fillets, skin-side down, in a single layer. Cook for 4 minutes or until skin is crisp and fish is cooked to halfway up fillets. Turn fillets over using a fish slice utensil and cook for a further 30 seconds.

Add butter and cook for a further 30 seconds or until fish is almost cooked through.

Remove from heat and set aside in pan to rest for 2 minutes. (Fish flesh is delicate and will continue to cook from the residual heat in the hot pan.)

Serve fillets drizzled with pan juices and your favourite accompaniment.

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

Preparing Fish

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.

Bones

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.

Seasoning

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. Drizzle some olive oil into a large stockpot over a medium heat and add the fennel seeds and peppercorns
  2.  
  3. 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
  4.  
  5. Add the wine, turn up the heat and reduce by half
  6.  
  7. 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
  8.  
  9. 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

  10. 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 stock
     
    The 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.

Don Ceviche

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

Method:

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 5. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Tuna Tataki

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 300g Sashimi grade Tuna loin
  • – 4 Sheets Seaweed Nori
  • – 1 tbs Cornflour
  • – 1tsp Water

Method:

  1. 1. Cut the tuna loin into quarters, lengthways
  2. 2. Roll each in seaweed, cut off the excess seaweed.
  3. 3. Tip the ends in the cornflour and water paste.
  4. 4. Deep fry for 30 seconds, you can use a pan with 2 inches of oil.
  5. 5. Thinly slice, allow to cool and serve.

Avocado Avoli

Ingredients:

  • – 30g mayo
  • – ¼ lemon juice
  • – ¼ lemon zest
  • – 1/6 avocado
  • – 1 Garlic Clove

Method:

  1. 1. We simply place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Correct seasoning and chill in the fridge until needed.

Brined and Pan-Fried Salmon Fillet

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 4x 180g Salmon Fillet, skin on
  • – 2l Cold Water
  • – 5 tbsp Sugar
  • – 5 tbsp Salt
  • – 1 tbsp Oil for frying
  • – 1 Lemon
  • – Knob of Butter

Method:

  1. 1. Mix water, sugar and salt until all dissolved.
  2. 2. Add salmon fillets to the brine, place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Remove, discard the brine, dry gently with kitchen roll.
  4. 4. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  5. 5. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, oil skin side of the salmon, sprinkle a little bit of salt in the pan, fry the fish skin side down for 5 minutes, until quite crispy.
  6. 6. Place the pan in the oven for 6 minutes.
  7. 7. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the fish, add butter, and melt it, squeeze the lemon juice in your pan, make sure you don’t hit the skin.
  8. 8. Serve immediately.

Beetroot Risotto

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 50g Butter
  • – 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • – 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • – 250g Risotto Rice
  • – 150ml White Wine
  • – 1l Vegetable Stock, hot
  • – 300g Ready-Cooked Beetroot
  • – 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • – Flat-Leaf Parsley a small bunch, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. 1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic with some seasoning for 5 minutes until soft. Tip in the rice and stir until every grain is coated, then pour in the wine and bubble for 5 minutes. Add the stock a ladle at a time, while stirring, only adding more once the previous batch has been absorbed.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, take 1/2 the beetroot and whizz in a small blender until smooth, and chop the remainder.
  3. 3. Once the rice is cooked, stir through the whizzed and chopped beetroots, lemon zest and juice, and most the parsley.

Spinach & Herb Velouté

Ingredients –  Serves 4:

  • – 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • – 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • – 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • – Salt
  • – 100ml Dry White Wine
  • – 6 cups Baby Spinach (washed)
  • – ½ Bunch of Chives
  • – ½ Bunch of Parsley
  • – ¼ Bunch of Basil
  • – 3 cups Vegetable stock (hot)
  • – ⅓ cup Double Cream 
  • – Freshly Ground Peppers

Method:

  1. 1. Heat the oil in a large pan set over a medium heat until hot.
  2. 2. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. 3. Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
  4. 4. Add the spinach, stir well, and cover with the stock. Cook until simmering, then continue to cook steadily for a further 5 minutes. 
  5. 5. Add the cream, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes Do not boil. Add all the herbs at this point. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. You can pass the sauce through a fine strainer for extra smooth results.
  6. 6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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