Tom Brown’s retro fish suppers – recipes

Hake kiev with wild mushroom butter and truffle hollandaise

Prep 10 min
Chill 1 hr+
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

4 x 120g hake fillets, skinned
100g plain flour
1 egg
, beaten
100g panko breadcrumbs
Neutral oil
, for deep frying

For the mushroom butter
1 handful small fresh wild mushrooms (chanterelles, girolles, shimeji, etc)
125g unsalted butter
15g toasted pinenuts
20g grated parmesan
1 garlic clove
, peeled and finely crushed
½ tbsp dried porcini
, ground to a powder
½ tsp table salt

For the hollandaise (optional)
3 egg yolks
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp white-wine vinegar
300ml light olive oil
3-4 tbsp truffle oil
½ lemon
, juiced

First, make the mushroom butter. Fry the fresh mushrooms in a little of the butter until soft and lightly golden, then leave to cool. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, porcini powder, salt and the rest of the butter until smooth. Stir in the cooled mushrooms and set aside.

Now for the fish. Cut each hake fillet three-quarters of the way through horizontally, then open it out like a book. Spoon a quarter of the butter mix on to each butterflied piece of fish, then fold the fish back over it to seal in the butter. Wrap tightly, then put in the fridge to set for at least an hour (and up to overnight).

Put the flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs on three separate plates. Unwrap the fish portions one by one and dredge first through the flour, then through the beaten egg and finally through the panko. Repeat the egg and panko coatings, to “double crumb” the fish, to ensure the butter won’t leak out while its cooking.

Now make the hollandaise (this will make more than you need here, but that’s no great hardship – keep any excess in the fridge for another use). Mix the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, a tablespoon of cold water and a good pinch of sea salt in a metal bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk constantly until the mix is light, fluffy and full of air (you should be able to trace a figure of eight on it that holds its shape). Off the heat, and still whisking, slowly dribble in the olive and truffle oils until you have a glossy, emulsified sauce. Add the lemon juice, then set aside somewhere a little warmer than room temperature (if you want to be really flash, and can afford it, grate some fresh black truffle into the hollandaise, too, to up the truffle factor).

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C and the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Fry the kievs in the hot oil for two to three minutes, until golden brown and crisp all over, then transfer to an oven tray and bake for three to four minutes, until cooked through. Serve hot with a large spoonful of the hollandaise.

Fish sausage roll

Prep 10 min
Chill 30 min
Cook 35 min
Makes 4

1 x 320g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, cut in half to make 2 equal squares
Plain flour
, for dusting
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 pinch sea salt

For the filling
200g salmon belly
250g white fish fillets
 (cod, hake or bream)
½ white onion, grated
½ tbsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
2 tbsp (8g) chopped flat-leaf parsley

Chill a food processor bowl in the fridge or freezer, then separately blend both the salmon and the white fish to smooth pastes. Combine the fish in a bowl with all the other filling ingredients, then refrigerate.

Whisk the whole egg and extra yolk in a small bowl. Lay one puff pastry square on a lightly floured surface, then arrange a log of the fish mix along one edge of the pastry. Egg wash the exposed pastry, then roll up into a sausage, neatly enclosing the filling. Cut the roll in half, then fold in the pastry ends, to enclose the filling, or trim both ends to leave it exposed. Lay the rolls seam side down on a lined oven tray and lightly score the tops with a knife. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Brush the rolls all over with egg wash, then chill for 30 minutes, to set.

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Egg wash the rolls again, scatter over the sesame seeds and sea salt, and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and the exposed filling, if any, is hot to the touch. Serve with brown sauce, which in my book is not optional.

Prawn cocktail crumpet

Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

For the cocktail sauce
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 tbsp tomato ketchup
Tabasco, to taste
2 pinches smoked paprika
½ tsp paprika
1 tbsp double cream
4 tbsp mayonnaise
, homemade or bought in
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper

For the prawns
1 squeeze lemon juice
1 glug vinegar
16 raw, fresh tiger prawns
2 tbsp chopped chives

For the fried shrimps (optional)
50g brown shrimps
Plain flour
, for dusting
Neutral oil, for frying
1 pinch cayenne pepper, to finish
1 pinch grated lemon zest, to finish

To finish
4 crumpets (bought in or homemade)
Butter, for spreading
A few frisee leaves, washed and separated
A few endive leaves, washed, trimmed, separated and shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 squeeze lemon juice
Put all the cocktail sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine – you may not need all the cream, just enough to loosen the mix into a thickish sauce. Season to taste and refrigerate until needed.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil, adding a squeeze of lemon and a glug of vinegar, and have ready a bowl of iced water. Drop the prawns into the boiling acidulated water, cook until they rise to the surface, then remove with a slotted spoon and chill in the iced water.

Peel the cooled prawns, remove and discard the “vein” running along their backs, then dry on a clean tea towel. Dice up 12 of the prawns, put these in a bowl with the four remaining whole prawns, then add the cocktail sauce and toss to coat. Season to taste, then stir in the chives.

Toast and butter the crumpets. Top each crumpet with the chopped dressed prawnsand level out the top; you may find it easier to use food rings to keep things really neat.

Toss the brown shrimps, if using, in flour. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and shallow fry the shrimps for 45 seconds to a minute, until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel, to drain off the excess oil, then season with lemon zest, cayenne and salt.

In a small bowl, dress the lettuce with olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon. Place a layer of crisp shrimps on top of the prawn mix on the crumpets, then lift off the rings, if using. Top each crumpet with a whole prawn, arranging it on one side of the crumpet, so it follows the crumpet’s curve, pile a small mound of the salad on the other side, and serve at once.