Flavour of the Month - Skrei

By Nicola Copping 12 April 2012



PORTUGUESE-STYLE SKREI

Serves 4

For the fish

900g thick Skrei fillet, skin on, cut into 4 pieces
4 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce

450g King Edward potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 plum tomatoes, quartered and roughly chopped
8 semi-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
12 olives, pitted
200ml fish stock
120ml white wine
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

To serve
Crusty bread and a green salad

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Rub the Skrei with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Heat a large frying pan and when hot, add the Skrei skin-side down and cook for 1-2 minutes, until crisp and golden. Turn the fish over and transfer to a baking dish, then place in the oven to finish cooking for 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the Skrei.

2 While the fish is baking, put the remaining oil in the pan and add the potato slices. Fry for five minutes on each side over a medium heat, then remove from the pan and set aside.

3 In the same pan, cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes, tomato purée, olives, stock, white wine and half of the parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4 Return the potato slices to the pan for a further 5 minutes until they are fully cooked. If the mixture gets too dry, add a little water or extra stock.

5 Divide the tomato mixture onto 4 plates, then top each plate with a piece of Skrei and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

CROSTINI OF LIGHTLY SALTED SKREI BRANDADE WITH BABY ROCKET LEAVES

Serves 4 Note: This recipe requires two days' advance preparation

For the brandade

700g Skrei, skin removed and cut into large pieces
250g sea salt flakes
1 litre of milk
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
450g King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped

To serve
1 ciabatta or any rustic loaf, sliced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
50g coriander

1 Lay the Skrei in a deep non-metallic dish and sprinkle with the sea salt. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, remove the fillets and rinse under water. Put the fillets into a clean non-metallic dish, cover with water and refrigerate again overnight.

2 In a saucepan, bring the milk, bay leaf and thyme to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and leave
for 30 minutes. Place it back on the heat, add the Skrei and poach for 5-6 minutes, depending on the thickness. Do not let it boil. Remove the fish and reserve the cooking liquid.

3 Simmer the potatoes in a pan of water until tender. Drain and keep warm in the pan. Heat a large frying pan, add the olive oil and cook the garlic and chilli over a low heat for 3-5 minutes until brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Flake the poached Skrei and put in the pan with the potato. Mash together with the fried garlic andn chilli. Add the olive oil and a little of the Skrei's poaching liquid and beat until it reaches a soft consistency. Add a little ground black pepper but no salt.

4 To serve, rub the slices of bread with the olive oil and cook on a griddle pan. Spoon the salted Skrei on top, then drizzle with olive oil. Top with the coriander and season before serving.

MOROCCAN-STYLE FISHCAKES WITH RED PEPPER AND ROSE HARISSA SAUCE

Makes approx. 12 fishcakes

For the harissa sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
2 red peppers, cut into small chunks
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp rose harissa paste

For the fishcakes

700g skinned Skrei
3 tsp ground ras el hanout spice mixture
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ preserved lemon, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp mint
Plain flour, to dust
750ml groundnut oil
A squeeze of lemon juice

For the salad

20g flat leaf parsley
½ preserved lemon,
finely chopped
1 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
A squeeze of lemon juice

1 To make the harissa sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and red peppers. Cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. Add the rose harissa paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then purée in a food blender until smooth and set aside.

2 To make the fishcakes, use a food blender to mix together all of the ingredients except for the flour and oil. The mixture should be coarse, not puréed. Season well and pan fry a little of the mixture so you can taste it for seasoning. Dust your hands with flour, then take 1 tbsp of the mixture
and roll it into a ball. Repeat for the other fishcakes.

3 Pour approximately 5cm of the groundnut oil into a deep-sided frying pan. Heat the oil then fry the fishcakes, five at a time, for about 2 minutes, then turn over and fry for a further 2 minutes until golden.

4 Place the cooked fishcakes onto absorbent paper and sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

5 Mix together the parsley, preserved lemon and nigella seeds and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with the fishcakes and red pepper and rose harissa sauce.

SKREI WITH CLAMS AND CANNELLINI BEANS

Serves 4

For the lemon aioli

4 tbsp mayonnaise
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

For the clam and bean sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 fennel, thinly sliced lengthways
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained
Zest of one lemon
4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
125g white wine
125g fish stock
500g fresh clams, cleaned

For the skrei

4 Skrei steaks, approx 120g each
2 tbsp olive oil
50g wild rocket

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

2 To make the aioli, whisk together all of the ingredients, cover and set aside.

3 To make the sauce, gently heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, then add the garlic, onion and fennel and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, lemon zest and half the parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4 Put the wine and stock into a separate pan and bring to the boil. Add the clams, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the clams open. Drain the clams and discard any that have not opened. Reserve the cooking liquid and add this to the bean mixture. Continue to cook the bean mixture for 15 minutes, then add the clams and cook over a low heat for 1 minute.

5 Meanwhile, cook the Skrei. Rub the fish with the olive oil and heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add the Skrei skinside down and cook for 2 minutes. Gently turn the Skrei over and place into the pre-heated oven for a further 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. It is cooked when the fish is firm and white.

6 Divide the bean and clam mixture between 4 plates, top with a piece of Skrei and then scatter with the remaining parsley and the rocket. Serve with the aioli on the side.