Friday, March 16, 2012


serves four

For the braised peas, lettuce and bacon:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
50 grams rindless streaky bacon, to be finely diced or chopped
1/2 onion, to be peeled and very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, to be peeled and crushed
2 little gem lettuce hearts, finely shredded
6 tablespoons fish stock
350 grams shelled fresh peas or frozen petit pois
a pinch of caster sugar
50 grams unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh chives, to be chopped
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

For the turbot:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
50 grams unsalted butter
4x 175 grams skinless turbot fillets
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the butter mash:
1.25k grams floury potatoes
50-60 grams unsalted butter, cubed
150ml double cream, warmed
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash, peel the potatoes and, if very large, cut into even-sized pieces. Don't make the pieces too small or they may absorb too much water and start to break up.

Place in a pan of cold salted water and bring to a very gentle simmer so that the water is barely trembling. Cook gently until you can push in a knife point without resistance, about 20 minutes (but don't allow them to start disintegrating).

Once cooked, drain well, return to the pan and place the pan back on a low heat for a minute to dry them out. When they're dry, you'll see white spots of starch appearing on the surface.

Pass the potatoes though a mouli or potato ricer into a clean bowl. Immediately, return the potato to the pan, add the cream and butter, season to taste with salt and pepper and heat gently, beating well.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the bacon and fry until crisp and lightly golden. Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 - 6 minutes until the onion has softened and is very lightly browned.

Add the shredded lettuce, fish stock or water and some seasoning and bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 2 minutes.

Next, in go the peas and a pinch of sugar, simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the butter and chives to the peas and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. You may have to add a bit more liquid or stock if it looks a bit dry. Keep warm.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan then add the turbot fillets (presentation side first). Add the butter and cook over a medium/high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the fillets), basting with the butter to keep them moist until just cooked through. Lift them out of the pan and onto a tray/plate to prevent them from cooking any further, season with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice and keep them warm.

Spoon a quenelle of potato onto the warmed plate, top with a turbot fillet and spoon the pea and lettuce garnish around the outside.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Nick Nairn, for The Hour, STV Programmes, STV, Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1PQ Scotland, April 3, 2009

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