Of course this recipe is great with just parsley but experiment with a combination of soft fragrant herbs sauce as parsley, chives, tarragon or chervil depending on what’s available.
- 4 x 175g hake fillets, skin on and boned
- 1 tablesp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 50g butter
- ½ lemon, pips removed
- 1 tablesp. chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon)
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the seasoned hake fillets, skin side down. Cook for a couple of minutes until the skin is just beginning to crisp, then add little knobs of butter to the pan around each hake fillet and cook for another couple of minutes until the skin is crisp.
Turn the hake fillets over and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to warmed plates while you make the sauce.
Add the rest of the butter to the frying pan and allow it to gently melt over a moderate heat. When it has melted, add a squeeze of lemon juice and the herbs, swirling to combine. Season to taste. Spoon this sauce over the hake fillets and serve with steamed broccoli and some sautéed new potatoes.
Above all be careful not to overcook the fish. To check, gently prod the thickest part of the fish with a small knife. If it is cooked, the flesh will look opaque and the flakes will separate easily. If it isn’t done yet, it will still have the translucent look for raw fish.
Other fish you could use: Whiting, haddock or trout fillets
Nutritional Analysis per Serving
These tarts are absolutely perfect for a relaxed Sunday lunch. They can be made in the morning and left covered with cling film in the fridge. Pop them into the oven before sitting down to the main course and they will be in about half an hour.
- 5 firm ripe pears
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 heaped tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Crème fraîche, to serve
- Honey, to serve
For the Pastry
- 225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- pinch of fine salt
- 150g (5oz) butter, chilled and diced
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
To make the pastry, place the flour in a large bowl with the salt and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then bring the pastry together with the egg (it may also need 1 tablespoon of cold water if it’s a little dry). Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight is fine).
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Peel, core and slice the pears and put them in a bowl. Toss them in the lemon juice, then toss with the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
On a lightly floured board, cut the pastry into 4 even-sized pieces. Roll each piece of pastry out to a rough circle about 15cm (6in) in diameter and no more than 5mm (¼in) thick. Carefully transfer to the lined baking sheets. Arrange the pears in the middle of each one and scatter the hazelnuts on top, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border. Using the sides of the baking paper to help lift the pastry, fold the sides up and over the pears. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30–40 minutes, until the tarts are cooked through and golden.
This is a very filling soup that is actually a recipe of my mum’s that we have been making on and off in the restaurant for years. Use the very best quality fish and shellfish for the best flavour
- 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tblsp butter, softened
- 2 large potatoes, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 small onion, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1/2 small leek, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 tblsp plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
- 300 ml (1/2 pint) fish stock (page 254)
- 100 g (4oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into cubes
- 100 g (4oz) smoked coley fillet, cut into cubes
- 100 g (4oz) cooked mussel meat
- 100 g (4oz) cooked peeled prawns
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
- 1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tblsp parsley oil (page 250), to garnish
- fresh micro salad, to garnish
- makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
- 250 g (9oz) white fish trimmings and/or bones (such as lemon sole, brill or plaice bones)
- 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 175 ml (6fl oz) dry white wine
- 100 g (4oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) rapeseed oil
- sea salt
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, tip in the potatoes, onion, carrot and leek and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
- Gradually pour the wine into the pan and allow it to bubble down, stirring continuously. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon and coley and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mussel meat, prawns and cream and simmer for another 2–3 minutes, until warmed through. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
- To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each one with the parsley oil and micro salad.
- Rinse the fish bones and trimmings of any blood, which would make the stock look cloudy and taste bitter. Place into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot with the leeks, carrots, fennel and parsley.
- Pour in the white wine, then add 2.4 litres (4 pints) cold water to cover the fish and vegetables. Place on a high heat and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, skimming as necessary.
- At the end of the cooking time, remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the fish trimmings and the vegetables. Cool and store in a plastic covered jug in the fridge and use as required.
- Pick the leaves from the parsley and place in a mini blender, discarding the stalks. Add the rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and blend for 5 minutes, until completely smooth.
- Pass the parsley mixture through a fine sieve into a jug and then transfer to a squeezy bottle. Use as required.
Neven’s tips: This soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Just be careful when reheating not to allow it to come to the boil or the fish will lose its texture. Splash out on a rosé Champagne, rosé Cava or a ripe Chardonnay from Macon in Burgundy.
This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.