15th December 2016
Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Mónica R Goya
This recipe was written for a restaurant kitchen but can be relaxed a little for home cooking. If you don’t have a steam oven, use a normal steamer, or an oven preheated to the relevant temperatures with a bain-marie (as in our Trotter Gear recipe). What really matters is the freshness of the hake. Do bear in mind that the head and spine need to be soaked overnight. A bit of a project, with beautiful results.
Serves 8 as a starter
800g hake loin (the central part)
12g mild olive oil
Heart of 4 tomatoes
40-45g lambs lettuce
40g cider balsamic vinegar
100 ml Arbequina olive oil
40g egg yolk
20g balsamic vinegar of cava
800g hake roe
1kg thick salt
Fresh lettuce leaves to serve
Cut the head and spine of the hake into pieces, removing the black vein lines with a cloth. Place in the sea water and soak overnight in the fridge.
To make the dried roe, cover the hake roe with salt for 20 minutes. Remove the salt, clean the roe in water and cook in the steam oven for 5 minutes at 100°C. Remove and dry the roe. Cook on an iron skillet over a low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. This should separate the roe. Cook until reduced in liquid. Remove from the pan, stirring to break up the roe, before passing it through a sieve.
To make the hake essence, put the garlic, the olive oil and the cayenne pepper in a frying pan and gently heat until the garlic and cayenne are toasty. Meanwhile, place the cockles in a pan of boiling water with the lid on and cook until the shells open. Package the head and spine of the hake in a freezer bag with a little bit of sea water and cook in a steam oven at 63°C for 35 minutes. Remove from the bag, straining the liquor through a sieve. Mix the cockle water, the hake juice and the xanthan gum in a bowl. Blend with a whisk, adding the garlic & cayenne oil little by little until an emulsion is formed. It should have the texture of fine mayonnaise.
To make the liquefied lettuce, place all the ingredients in a food processor and process it at mid speed of four minutes. Then let it cool while covered.
Divide the hake loin into eight pieces. Season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Place in a steam oven and cook at 63°C for 5 minutes.
To make the hollandaise sauce, place the butter in a pan, heating it gently to 50°C. Meanwhile, combine the other ingredients in a bowl, before placing over a pan of simmering water (as if melting chocolate). Slowly incorporate the butter, whisking all the while. The temperature of the mix should sit at around 40°C.
To serve, add two small pools of liquefied lettuce to each plate and (at right angles) two smaller dots of hollandaise. Place a piece of hake in the centre. Cover this with fresh lettuce leaves and pour a spoonful of the hake essence over the top. Finally add dried fish roe near the edge of the plate so that it doesn’t get wet. Serve.