Star chef Simon Doyle of Harry’s Bistro on Anglesey blends several fine flavours for this culinary delight
Simon says: “Poaching’s a gentle method so it’s necessary to keep the temperature of the milk below boiling, otherwise it’ll result in dry, overcooked fish.”
POACHED SMOKED HADDOCK... with saffron risotto, chorizo caponata and watercress pesto
SERVES: 4 (as starter or light lunch)
PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour
COOKING TIME: 1 hour
• 1½ pints vegetable stock • 2 tbsp butter • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 250g Arborio risotto rice • 125ml dry white wine • ½ tsp saffron • 50g parmesan, grated
1. Heat the stock in a pan over a very low heat – have a ladle at the ready.
2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a high-sided, non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and a large pinch of salt, then cook, stirring, for 5 mins until softened and fragrant but not colouring.
3. Tip in the rice and coat in the oil and butter, cooking for a few mins until beginning to toast. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring until it’s absorbed. Add the saffron and begin to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring continually. Add more stock as it’s absorbed.
4. After 25-30 mins, all the stock should be absorbed and the rice should be creamy and al dente.
5. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Turn off heat and put a lid on until needed.
• 1 large aubergine (about 500g), cut into 2cm dice • 1 large courgette, cut into 2cm dice • Salt • Vegetable or sunflower oil, to deep fry • 3 tbsp olive oil • 50g chorizo, diced • 1 large red onion, sliced • 2 celery sticks, cut into 2cm dice • 150g ripe tomatoes, diced • 40g capers • 40g green or black olives, stoned and quartered • 1 tbsp sugar • 150ml passata • 100ml red wine vinegar
1. Lightly salt the aubergine and courgette and put them in a colander over a sink. Leave to sit for at least 30 mins, then pat dry.
2. Heat a wide, deep pan one-third-full of vegetable oil until it reaches 190°C (or until a breadcrumb browns immediately when dropped in). Deep fry the aubergine and courgette in batches (being careful not to overcrowd the pan) until golden, allowing the oil to come back up to temperature between frying. Drain on kitchen paper.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof casserole dish (for which you have a lid) over a medium-low heat; fry the onion, chorizo and celery with a pinch of salt until soft and beginning to colour. Fry for another minute, then add the diced tomatoes and fry for another couple of minutes.
4. Stir in the capers, olives, sugar, passata, vinegar and bring to the boil, then add the fried vegetables. Season, cover and cook in the oven at 200°C for an hour, checking towards the end of cooking and adding a splash of water if it seems to be too dry.
5. Take off the heat and check the seasoning.
POACHED SMOKED HADDOCK
• 2 fillets of smoked haddock cut in half • Milk
Pour the milk into a wide-bottomed saucepan and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over a low heat and add the haddock fillet, skin-side down, poach for 6–8 mins depending on the thickness of the fish (a skewer should go through the thickest part with no resistance). Remove from the milk to serve.
• 100g pack watercress • Small bunch basil • 1 garlic clove • 50g pine nuts • 25g parmesan, grated • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
Put the watercress, basil, garlic and nuts into a food processor. Blitz until very finely chopped. Add the remaining pesto ingredients and pulse again until mixed, then season to taste.
Place the risotto in the bottom of a deep bowl, spoon the caponata on top. Top with the haddock, watercress leaves and the pesto around the plate. Serve.
• To enjoy more of Simon’s food, visit Harry’s Bistro at Henllys Hall, Henllys, Beaumaris, Anglesey LL58 8HU. Tel: 01248 812976. www.harrysbistro.com
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