Claudia Roden’s Pan-Grilled Fish with Garlic, Vinegar and Chilli

Serves: 2

This Spanish dish is fabulous.

Read through the ingredients and you’ll immediately get a sense of the simplicity coming.

The lightly golden garlic with sherry vinegar. A beautifully pan-fried piece of fish. And the side of the cannellini beans.

Together with this salad of roasted carrots, it is ironically yet unironically a 1-hat meal.

An absolute joy.

I doubled the recipe and so baked the fish. The sauce doubled perfectly.

Ingredients

2 hake, bream or sea bas fillets, skin on
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, sliced
Good pinch of chilli pepper
2 – 3 tsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt

White Cannellini Beans

1 onion, chopped
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
400gm tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
A few fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. For the cannellini beans, fry the onion in 1 tbs of oil over a low heat, stirring until softened and beginning to colour. Add the cannellini beans. Season, add the thyme, add 100ml water and cook covered for 5 minutes. Set aside and serve with a drizzle of 1 – 2 tbs oil.
  2. Season the fish with salt. Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a heavy non-stick frying pan. Put the fillets in, skin-side down and press them down with a spatula to flatten them as the skin curls. Cook over a medium-heat until the skin is crisp and lightly browned. They will gradually cook through almost to the top. When ready, turn and cook the flesh side for a few seconds more.
  3. For the dressing, in a small pan, gently heat the remaining 3 tbs of oil with the garlic and chilli until the garlic is only just lightly golden and crunchy (do no let it get brown). Take off the heat and add the vinegar, to taste.
  4. Serve the fish very hot, with the dressing poured over, sprinkled with parsley.

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