Eating fish on a Friday is a good time in the week to ensure your fish is fresh. Why not try this delicious hake recipe by city of London institution Sweetings, where fish and seafood are frequent visitors on their bill of fare..
1. Place the potatoes in a pan, cover with water, add the salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15–20 minutes. Drain in a colander, then place over the hot pan to remove excess water. Leave for 5 minutes. Pass through a potato ricer, or mash.
2. Bring the cream and butter to the boil in a pan. Add to the mash and mix well. Heat the lobster bisque and add the cooked lobster tail. Heat through then add to the mash. Season, add the parsley and mix well.
3. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, season the fish on both sides and place in the pan, skin-side down. Hold the fish in place for 30 seconds to colour the skin. Cook for about 6–7 minutes, until golden brown. During cooking add a knob of butter and baste. Turn the fish over and cook for about 2 minutes. When cooked the middle should be almost white. For well done, cook for 1 minute more.
4. To serve, place a quenelle of mash on the plate and lean the fish against it. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkled with fresh parsley. Accompany with tartar sauce and a little lobster bisque, if liked.
5. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Crush the lobster claws and shells thoroughly.Add the olive oil to a large roasting tray and place in the oven. When the oil is close to smoking point, add the claws and shells. Tip them away from you, stir and return to the oven. They need to be as brown as possible but not burnt – about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. In a large pan, add the butter, vegetables and parsley and sweat for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, mix well and simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the fish stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring.
6. When the claws and shells are browned, add to the pan and add water to cover, if necessary. Bring back to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Reduce by about one-third.
7. In a small pan, warm the brandy. Tilt the pan away from you, move back, carefully ignite the brandy and flambé. When the flame has disappeared, add the cream and bring back to the boil. Whisk in a little cornflour to thicken. Simmer for 5 minutes then add to the bisque and stir. Pass the bisque through a potato mouli.
London: The Cookbook by Cara Frost-Sharratt, Francis Lincoln, £20
39 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4SF