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Recipe for :

Hake Rissoles on Smashed Garden Peas with Lime Äioli and a Crab and Shellfish Bisque

This recipe comes from Chef Jim Fisher who now runs cooking holidays in the Dordogne.

If you would like to know more about Jim and how he gained his love of cooking why not have a look at his biography page <click here>

To find out more about the cooking holidays in France at Jim's cooking school in the Dordogne you will need to visit his web site <click here>

As a boy in the 60s and 70s I well remember being forced to eat Birdseye salmon rissoles. Remember them? Thin garish orange disks possessing all the taste and texture of a chipboard ice hockey puck (and looking at the rissoles to be found in many contemporary supermarket freezer cabinets things don't seem to have changed much).

Are you, like me, fed up with this parlous state? Nothing for it then but to make your own: always the best way to find out how something should be done. My recipe uses hake, but I know that it is difficult to find in the UK as most of the hake from British waters goes directly to Spain. Instead use cod, haddock, salmon, trout, red mullet - anything bar the truly oily fish such as mackerel and herring.

The other addition that sets these apart is the use of a really exceptional quality home-made crab and shellfish reduction, but you could certainly use a tin of good quality crab bisque, simmered to reduce and concentrate by a third. It won't taste the same, but will still work. Start collecting the crab and prawn shells days, weeks - months - in advance and freeze them. Make the reduction as soon as you have enough. Once you have all the bits, the reduction will take half a day to prepare.

The lime Äioli? Hmm, make your own from scratch - there's really no alternative!

Ingredients

The Crab and Prawn Reduction:
4 crab carcasses (basically, all the trimmings and leftovers from various meals) including legs and claws)
2 litres prawn shells and heads
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 peeled and roughly chopped onion
the juice and thinly pared zest of an orange
4 anchovy fillets
1 litre quality home-made fish stock
1 tsp paprika

The Lime Äioli:
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
the finely grated zest and juice of a lime
good pinch of salt
150ml (5fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
150ml (5fl oz) vegetable oil, such as ground nut

The Rissoles:
500g (1 lb.) floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm (2in) chunks
250g (½ lb.) raw skinless hake (no bones!)
2 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
2 to 3 tbsp well-reduced fish stock
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
fresh or dried breadcrumbs

The Peas:
½ lb. fresh (or frozen) garden peas
1 oz unsalted butter
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. roughly chopped mint leaves

Method

The Crab and Prawn Reduction:

  • Place the shellfish, along with all the other ingredients, into a large saucepan, add the fish stock and top up with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half.
  • Strain through a sieve, then return to a strong simmer until reduced to about 500ml.
  • Cool and freeze, or clingfilm and place in the fridge until ready to use.

The Lime Äioli:

  • Combine the two oils in a jug with a good pouring spout.
  • Put the egg yolks, vinegar (or lemon juice, if using) and salt in a roomy stable bowl. Using an electric hand whisk - or a balloon whisk, if you need to loose some weight - combine the ingredients, then, literally drop by drop, add the oil while the whisk is operating at high speed. Carry on like this until about half the oil has been used up and the mixture has taken on a thick, slightly wobbly emulsified texture.
  • At this point, you can start adding the oil a little faster, initially dribble by dribble, then, as long as the emulsion hasn't started to split, pour the rest of the oil in a thin steady stream untill the mayonnaise has become stiff and glossy, and quivers when you shake the bowl.

The Rissoles:

  • Cut the hake into 1cm (1/2in) cubes.
  • Combine with the shallot, fish stock, parsley, half a teaspoon of sea salt and a pinch of ground black pepper.
  • With lightly oiled hands, form the mixture into four burger-size shapes, then roll each first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs until well coated.
  • Place them in the fridge to firm up.

The Peas:

  • Boil the peas for a minute or so only, drain, return to the pan and melt in the butter.
  • Sprinkle in the mint, then slightly crush the peas with a fork, but don't go too mad.
  • Season with salt and ground black pepper.

Completion:

  • Heat 1cm (½ in) olive oil and 75g (3oz) unsalted butter in a large frying pan until beginning to sizzle.
  • Add the rissoles and fry over a medium high heat for about five minutes, or until golden.
  • Turn, then continue to fry for another five minutes, again until golden.
  • Remove to a plate lined with lots of kitchen paper.
  • Warm the shellfish reduction and the peas.
  • Place a mound of peas in the centre of four warmed serving plates and pour some reduction around.
  • Sit a rissole on top of the peas, then add a dollop of lime Aioli on top of the rissole.

Serves 4

Chef Jim Fisher
CookInFrance

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