I adore fish. Having been able to go to an excellent fishmongers regularly in London, I have missed my weekly fishy suppers now that we are surrounded by farmland in Hampshire and a few miles from the sea. Imagine my delight when one of the villagers introduced me to ‘Simon the fish’ – a man with a van who comes to the village every week with the catch of the day (so to speak) from Brixham. Fresh fish delivered to the door. A rare treat. I love the unpredictability of what might be in the van and always come away with something unexpected. Simon even saves Monty, our pup, a few fishy scraps too – he’s quite partial to a bit of salmon if given half the chance!
Roasted Pollock with Chorizo & Tomatoes (serves 2)
2 pollock fillets, skinless
100g chorizo, cut into thin discs
2 large vine tomatoes, diced
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper
Begin by frying the chorizo in a large saucepan which can be placed in the oven. Fry until the oil starts to release then add the diced tomatoes and cook together until the tomatoes begin to distintegrate a little in the pan. Move the tomatoes and chorizo to one side of the pan. Don’t take them out – you’ll see why in a moment.
Add a knob of butter to the empty side of the pan and allow to melt and foam a little. Lay the pollock fillets in gently into the butter which should have some of the chorizo oil residue left in the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes. Do not move the fish or attempt to turn it over as it will crumble. With a spoon gently spoon over a little of the butter and oil left before placing the pan into a preheated oven at 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6/400F. Roast for 7 minutes.
Now for the aioli. Add the egg yolks to a bowl with a pinch of salt and the garlic. Take a whisk and begin to mix the yolks, salt and garlic together. Add the lemon juice and whisk into a paste. Little by little add the olive oil, whisking continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. When it begins to hold, stop whisking.
The fish should be ready now. Remove and serve, drizzling a little aioli over the fish. Crushed potatoes mixed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper make a wonderful bed for this dish.