Cornwall LivingIssue #67
From pan to plate
Head chef at Retallack Resort’s restaurant The Lookout, Nick Osbourne knows a thing or two about working with amazing local produce.
A year on from when Nick took over and his vision to create a family friendly, reasonably priced, menu filled with great quality food is now being realised. Nick is a very ‘hands on’ head chef and loves to create new dishes from local sourced ingredients alongside his small, but perfectly formed, team at The Lookout. He’s a self-confessed proud, hardworking Cornishman with the utmost respect for the local farmers and growers who provide the quality produce he gets to work with. With over 23 year’s experience Nick is still as passionate about food as he was when he started and we’re delighted to be able to share one of Nick’s favourite recipes.
Pan Roasted Hake Fillet with Mussels, Clams & Smoked Bacon
- 100ml white wine
- 500g live cockles
- 500g live mussels, beards removed and shells cleaned
- 30g butter
- 2 x small shallots finely diced
- 2 x garlic cloves finely crushed
- 20g plain flour
- 800ml fish stock
- 2 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 4 tblsp double cream
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 x celeriac, peeled and diced
- 500g kale (pre cook in boiling salted water)
- Picked celery leaves
- 100g pancetta lardons
- 4 x hake portions
- To clean mussels/clams, leave them under cold running water for 12 to 15 minutes, agitating them with your hand every 2 to 3 minutes to release trapped sand.
- Place the mussels/clams in a pan with white wine and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook over a high heat for about 3 minutes until the shells have opened and clams and mussels are cooked.
- Remove the clams/mussels from the pan but keep the cooking liquor, straining through a fine mesh sieve or muslin cloth.
- Melt the butter in a clean saucepan, gently cook the pancetta, shallot and garlic. Add the flour and stir over a low heat.
- Gradually stir in the cooking liquor from the mussels/clams, turn the heat up, then add the fish stock in 2 to 3 stages, stirring between each. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the celeriac, continue to simmer until the celeriac is cooked (about 6 to 7 minutes). By now the stock should have reduced by about a third.
- Pan fry the hake portions in a clean frying pan.
- In the saucepan containing stock/celeriac, add the kale, parsley, spring onions and cream, then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Check seasoning; add clams and mussels back in.
- To serve, divide the sauce/veg/cockles/mussels into 4 bowls, place the hake on top, then garnish with celery leaves.
To pan fry the hake, pat it dry with a clean cloth/tea towel. Heat an ovenproof frying pan of adequate size, add 2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Gently put the hake into the pan skin side down. Leave it alone! Do not shake the pan or try to move the fish.
Let it fry for 2 minutes, till you see the edges of skin turning light brown.
Put the pan into a pre-heated 195°C oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the pan out from the oven; turn the fish over using a pallet knife.
Add a good heaped tablespoon of butter.
Return to the hob under low heat, basting with butter until the fish is cooked.