It is recommended that we eat at least two servings of fish each week but often it is difficult to think of new and exciting ways to introduce these servings.
The beauty of cooking with fish is that it is quick and simple to prepare while the taste and satisfaction of the outcome far outweighs the simple preparation.
This week, I share my recipe for Pan Roasted Hake with Mussel Broth.
2014 has seen hake named as the UK’s most sustainable fish. Yet we eat only 1.5 per cent of the hake caught here, the rest is exported. This really is a shame as we are missing out on what is a versatile and delicious fish. It is simple to prepare and cook. Just remember that it is part of the cod family and therefore can be treated in exactly the same way. As with all fish, you should try and buy the freshest that you can. Hake deteriorates quickly and the flesh becomes soft and unappetising, so fresh really is best. If you are buying fresh hake, you should ensure that there is no sign of dryness, greyness or browning and of course, it should still have that fresh seawater smell.
Having a good relationship with your local fishmonger really is invaluable if you are planning to introduce more seafood into your diet. They can assist you when it comes to choosing the freshest fish and they will fillet and debone as you wish which makes cooking fish even easier!
4 x 180g portions of hake, pin boned
24 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 carrot, finely diced
1 leek, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
1 stick of celery, cut into matchsticks
1 bag spinach
100ml white wine
300ml fish stock
Drizzle of rapeseed oil
To finish the fish:
1/2 lemon, juiced
Heat up a non-stick pan until almost smoking hot.
Add a drizzle of rapeseed oil.
Place hake, skin-side down in the pan and turn down the heat.
Cook the hake slowly on its skin side until it is cooked halfway up the fish.
Add a sprinkle of salt, the butter and lemon juice.
Take the pan off the heat, turn the fish over and allow it to finish cooking in the residual heat.
Heat up a heavy based pot.
Add the mussels and white wine and cook until all of the mussels have opened.
Drain the liquid off the mussels and pass this liquid through a fine muslin cloth.
Pick all of the meat out of the mussels reserving eight in half shells for garnish.
Set the mussels aside.
In the heavy based pot, add the fish stock, mussel stock and all of the vegetables except the spinach and cook until the vegetables are tender.
Add the spinach and all of the mussels.
Wilt the spinach and heat through the mussels.
Pour the mussel and vegetable broth mixture between four bowls and top with the hake.