food, Recipes

Salt Cod Pintxos

William Meppem

Ingredients

for the fish 20g sea-salt flakes 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2t thyme, finely chopped finely grated rind of 1 lemon 200g blue-eye trevalla, cut into 5cm chunks 300g potatoes, coarsely chopped cold water 1½T olive oil, plus extra for shallow flying 1 small onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 350ml milk 2T flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve 2T oregano, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve 1t smoked paprika finely grated rind and juice of 1½ lemons 1 egg white, whisked to firm peaks salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste vegetable oil, for frying 1 baguette, thinly sliced sherry vinegar, for drizzling extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling for the romesco 1 vine-ripened tomato, quartered 1 red pepper, quartered 1 garlic head, halved 2T olive oil 25g crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn 20g roasted hazelnuts 1½T sherry vinegar, or to taste 1T lemon juice, or to taste ½t sweet paprika salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

To prepare the fish, combine the salt, garlic, thyme and lemon rind in a non-reactive container, add the fish, and stir to coat well. Refrigerate the fish for 12 hours to cure it. To prepare the romesco, preheat the oven to 200˚C. Place the tomato, red pepper and garlic on an oven tray, drizzle one tablespoon of the olive oil on top, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. When they are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves from the skins (discard the skins), then transfer the garlic, tomato, red pepper and pan juice to a food processor. Add the bread, hazelnuts, vinegar, lemon juice and paprika, and process for one to two minutes until the mixture is smooth. With the motor still running, slowly add the remaining oil and process until it has emulsified. Season to taste, then refrigerate the sauce for one to two hours to allow the flavours to develop. To continue preparing the fish, bring the potato and enough cold water to cover it generously to the boil in a saucepan and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the potato is tender. Drain the saucepan and mash the potato with a fork. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, then add this to the mashed potato. Rinse the fish under cold, running water, then bring it to a simmer in a small saucepan with the milk and poach it for two to three minutes until it had just cooked through. Remove the fish, coarsely flake it, and add it to the potato mixture with the herbs, paprika, and lemon juice and rind. Fold the whisked egg white through the potato, season it to taste and set it aside. Heat three centimetres of oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add tablespoons of the potato mixture to the oil in batches and shallow-fry them, turning them occasionally, until they are golden. It should take two to three minutes per batch and be careful as you fry them because the hot oil will spit. Drain the fritters on absorbent paper and keep them warm. To serve, drizzle a couple of drops each of sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil on to the baguette slices, spread romesco on top and top with a fritter. Skewer the pintxos with a toothpick and serve them warm with extra herbs sprinkled on top. SERVES 6–8 AS A SNACK Recipes and food styling Emma Knowles and Alice Storey, Lynsey Fryers-Hedrick   READ MORE: Tempura pepper salad Spinach with Fresh Paneer Green Curry Pork Meatballs