We’re celebrating National Seafood this 4 - 11 October. Here at 144 On The Hill, fish is one of our absolute favourite ingredients to work with, and we’re passionate about sourcing it locally from nearby shores. In fact, did you know that whilst cod is one of the most popular pieces of fish to eat (thanks to Friday night fish and chips), it's actually mackerel that is most commonly sourced in the UK accounting for a whole third of fish landings!
With this in mind, our talented head chef Lee Evans has shared two of his favourite mackerel and cod recipes with us for you to replicate at home.
Lightly cured and charred Cornish mackerel, kalamata olive, basil, tomato emulsion
200g-300g mackerel, filleted and boned
700g Datterini tomatoes
400g sun dried tomatoes
500g pomace oil
2 red peppers
400g Kalamata olives – pitted
1 clove of raw garlic
20g chopped flat leaf parsley
2 bunch of basil
100g olive oil
Cure the fish in coarse sea salt mixed with lemon zest for 5 minutes. Then wash well under running cold water and leave to dry well on a kitchen towel.
Using a very sharp knife score the fillet all the way down.
Deseed and chop the peppers. Blitz together the tomatoes and peppers. Once the mixture is smoothed, slowly add the oil so it emulsifies, season and pass through a fine sieve.
Finely grate the garlic, place in a food processor with the pitted olives and blend for 30-40 seconds to bring the mixture together lightly. Add the chopped parsley after blitzing.
For your basil oil, blanch your basil leaves for 90 seconds before popping in a bath of ice cold water. Remove the basil and squeeze as much water out as possible. Blend with the olive oil on a high speed for 2-3 minutes. Let the oil hang through a cheesecloth overnight to keep the oil vivid green and clear.
Prepare your dish by pouring your tomato emulsion into a bowl and place a few drops of basil oil on top.
Grill the fish for no more than one minute to warm the flesh slightly rather than cook it all the way through. Then blow torch the skin to char it.
Dress the fish with lemon juice and olive oil and place in the bowl next to a quenelle of the olive tapenade. Et voila, you have your first fish dish!
Baked cod fillet, spiced aubergine, raw fennel, garlic and shallot crumb
4 x 180g Cod fillets, scaled and pin boned
5 large shallots
8 cloves of garlic
Teaspoon chilli flakes
Tea spoon mild curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato puree
Butter to do the crumb
A tablespoon of olive oil for the crumb
Lay the cod on a tray and season liberally with coarse sea salt, leave to cure for 4-6 minutes depending on the size of fillet. This helps to season the fish throughout and also give a meatier texture to the flesh. Wash very well with cold running water and put onto a cloth to dry.
Oil and season the aubergines and roast whole in the oven for 20-30 until fully cooked. Leave to cool and scoop out the flesh and roughly chop.
In a pan cook the sliced shallots and garlic until soft, add the spices and cook for another minute or two.
Add the tomato puree, cook for another minute, then add the aubergine and stew for roughly one hour. Finish with salt and lemon juice to taste.
For the garlic and shallot crumb, melt some butter and olive in a pan and add 3 crushed cloves of garlic, before leaving to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
Remove the garlic from the butter and add 100g of panko bread crumbs with a pinch of salt. Return to a gentle heat to slowly toast the bread crumb.
When the crumb is golden brown take out of the pan and let drain on a kitchen cloth. Add finely diced shallots and chives at the last moment to keep the crumb crispy.
Shave the fennel at the last minute before plating the dish. Dress with olive, salt, fennel seed and lemon juice
Brush the fish with olive oil and bake in the oven at 180°C for 6 minutes. Let rest for one minute and gently peel the skin away. Brush with olive oil again and place some of the crumbs on top of the fish. Place the fish on the plate next to the spiced aubergine and add the dressed raw fennel to finish the dish.
Too lazy to cook? Why not celebrate National Seafood Week with us at 144 On The Hill, book a table here.