Tuesday, January 11, 2011


serves two

For the parsley bacon crumbs
3 rashers treacle-cured bacon
small handful parsley, leaves and tender stems only
handful stale breadcrumbs

For the cavolo nero
5oz cavolo nero (Italian kale), thickly shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
knob of butter
1 garlic clove, finely diced

For the sole
about 10 live mussels, cleaned and debearded
10fl oz good quality dry cider
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 banana shallot, finely diced
1 fresh bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fillets sole
3½fl oz fish stock
about 5 tablespoons double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the parsley bacon crumbs, fry or grill the bacon until really crisp then drain on kitchen paper. Place in a food processor along with the parsley and breadcrumbs and pulse until you have a crumbly consistency. Set aside.

For the cavolo nero, blanch the cavolo nero in a pan of salted water for 3-4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the garlic for one minute until fragrant then add the cavolo nero and fry for 3-4 minutes. Keep warm.

For the mussels, if any of the mussels are open, tap them lightly on a hard surface. If they don't close, discard them.

Place the mussels in a pan with a splash of the cider, cover the pan and steam over a high heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that haven't opened. Remove the meat from the shells and set aside. Discard the shells.

Heat the olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots with the bay leaf and thyme for a minute or two. Lay the fish on top of the shallots and pour in enough of the cider and fish stock to just cover the fish (you may not need all of it). Simmer for about three minutes until the fish is opaque and cooked. Carefully remove the fish from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.

Increase the heat to high and boil the liquid for 3-4 minutes until reduce in volume by half. Remove the bay leaf and thyme then stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir the mussels into the sauce then place the fish on top again and cook for a minute or two until heated through.

To serve, place the cavolo nero onto serving plates and top with the sole. Spoon over the sauce and sprinkle with the bacon parsley crumbs.

bacon recipe courtesy of: The Hairy Bikers, The Hairy Bikers' Cook Off, BBC-Food

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