INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
1 Fillet of Hake (We usually get around four large portions from one hake fillet)
70g Wild Garlic
180g Dried Breadcrumbs
80g Grated Parmesan
120g Soft Butter
1 Egg Yolk
Greek Style Mushrooms
140g Cornish Rapeseed Oil
1 Lemon, juiced
5 Coriander Seeds
1 Bay Leaf
1 Sprig Thyme
100g Chestnut Mushrooms
1 Punnet Shimeji Mushrooms (White or Brown)
2 Purple Beetroot
2 Yellow Beetroot
50g Cornish Rapeseed Oil
75g White Wine
1 Sprig Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
Hake has a very soft flake, so needs to be treated with love and respect…
Take the whole fillet and weigh it. Then using a coarse rock salt, weigh 10% of the fillet weight. So, if your fillet weighs 1kg, you would need 100g of rock salt. If you don’t have rock salt, then use 7% table salt.
Evenly rub this salt into the fish, and leave for 10 minutes, then wash off under a tap for 10 minutes.
Dry between clean kitchen cloths (this will help to firm up the flesh of the fish, making it easier to cook). Portion out into four pieces.
In a food processor, blend the Wild Garlic, Breadcrumbs, Salt and Parmesan together until all it has become a smooth green colour, without lumps remaining.
Take out the mix into a bowl and slowly work in the butter and egg yolk. This should bind your crust into a nice paste.
Roll out to ½ cm thick between greaseproof paper and set in the freezer. It can last for up to 1 month in the freezer, so can be made well in advance.
Once the crust has completely solidified, cutting through the paper, cut to the size of your hake portions.
Cut the mushrooms from the stalks, and quarter the chestnut mushrooms.
Fry the chestnuts until a nice golden colour, and then add the shimeji mushrooms.
Tie all the herbs and spices into a small muslin cloth, forming a bouquet garni.
Add the muslin bag, water, oil, salt and juice to the mushrooms.
Place a layer of paper down on the surface, with a small hole cut out of the middle. (This will help let any steam out as the mixture simmers).
Bring to the boil rapidly, and then remove from the heat immediately, and allow to cool in the fridge.
Place the oil, water, wine, honey, peppercorns, thyme and bay into a pan and bring to the boil. Set this aside to infuse.
Wash the beetroot, using a scrubbing brush. At The Idle Rocks we leave all the skins on our beets as they contain a lot of the nutritional content.
Slice the beetroots nice and thinly using a mandolin to keep them even. Keep the different coloured beetroot slices separately and place into two pans.
Pouring the infused cooking liquid through a sieve, divide evenly between the two pans.
Add a pinch of salt to each and over a low heat, cook until tender and a knife goes through easily. Set these aside.
Assembly of the dish
To assemble the dish, you will need to pan fry the fish, skin side down, until the skin in nice and crispy, and the edges have turned golden.
Remove the frying pan from the heat and turn over the fish. Place the wild garlic crust on top of the fish skin and place under the grill for 1 minute, then allow to rest for 2 minutes out of the pan.
Warm the beetroots through separately, then drain away the liquor.
Taking a few spoons of the mushrooms, warm in a pan, making sure you have a nice even amount of the juice. This will form the sauce for the dish.
When plating, fan the beetroot out over the base of the plate, then place the fish and crust on top, with the mushrooms presented around, saucing the fish with the mushroom liquor.