Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc. Click here to purchase book.
Whilst Cod stocks are replenishing, it is lovely to be able to use an alternative fish like Pollock. This fish is a little underrated, it is a member of the cod family, although not as sumptuous as Cod, it is still a wonderful fish with a great texture and big flavour. This dish is part of the classic French repertoire and cooked in many homes all over France.
Special equipment: Ovenproof frying pan.
|4||Pollock fillets (skin on), each 180g and 3cm thick|
|4 pinches||Sea salt|
|2||Pinches of freshly ground white pepper|
|For the pomme purée|
|1kg||Desirée, Belle de Fontenay or Estima potatoes (*1)|
|170–200ml||Whole milk, warmed|
|70g||Unsalted butter, melted|
|2 pinches||Sea salt|
|2 pinches||Freshly, finely ground white pepper|
|For the sauce|
|½||Lemon, peeled and segments cut free from the membrane, juice reserved|
|2 tbsp||Capers, washed and drained|
|30g||Shallot, peeled and finely chopped|
|10g||Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped|
|30g||Small croûtons (*2)|
The Croûtons can be prepared well in advance and reheated in the oven.
To cook the potatoes for the pomme purée
Peel and quarter the potatoes, cutting them into even-sized pieces. Place in a large saucepan, add enough cold water to cover and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat so that the water is gently simmering and cook for 25–30 minutes (*3) until the potatoes are soft.
To finish the purée
Tip the cooked potatoes into a colander to drain and leave for 2–3 minutes to allow excess steam to escape. Pass the potato through a mouli or fine potato masher and return to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in 170ml warm milk and then stir in the melted butter and seasoning. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. If the purée is too firm, thin it down with a little more milk. You know you have the perfect purée when it is fluffy, forms firm peaks and melts in your mouth. Keep warm over a pan of simmering water.
To cook the fish
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Pat the pollock fillets dry and season the flesh side with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, melt the butter and heat until foaming, then add the fish fillets flesh side down and colour for 5–6 minutes (*4). With the aid of a fish slice, carefully turn the fillets onto the skin side and cook for a further 1 minute. Now place the pan in the hot oven for 4–5 minutes. Take out the pan and place back on a high heat for 1 minute. Carefully transfer the fish fillets from the frying pan to a warm serving dish.
To make the sauce
Add the water to the hot pan and stir so that the caramelised juices dissolve and emulsify into the liquid as it boils (*5). Add the lemon segments and juice to the frying pan with the capers, shallot and parsley. Bring back to the boil, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.
Spoon the pomme purée onto warmed plates and place the fish on top. Pour the sauce on and around the fish (*6), scatter over the hot croûtons and serve.
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.
Photograph © Jean Cazals 2011.