2020 KEEN YOUNG COOK FINALIST: KATIE PRIGG

Pan-Fried Sea Bream with Fennel Croquettes, Cornish Cabbage & a Pernod Veloute

"My dish gave me the chance to learn how to skilfully fillet and prepare a local Sea Bream. I’ve teamed it with fennel croquettes for a crunchy texture and classic flavours. The velout sauce continues the aniseed theme and brings the dish together. I’ve used seasonal and local produce wherever possible."

Ingredients

  • Brixham caught Black Sea Bream (gutted and descaled but left whole)

  • Half head of Cornish Cabbage

  • Leek

  • 2 medium Maris Piper potatoes

  • Fennel Bulb

  • 2 shallots

  • 8 slices of baby Beetroot

  • Tsp white wine vinegar

  • Tsp lemon juice

  • Tsp local honey

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • Olive oil for pan frying

  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda

  • Butter/oil for sauté

  • Pinch of Fennel seeds

  • 200ml white wine

  • Dash of Pernod (we can bring)

  • 2 tablespoons plain flour

  • 1 egg

  • 50g panko breadcrumbs

  • 600ml Fish stock

  • 300ml double cream

  • Coarse salt

  • Garnishes: Fennel fronds or dill; sweet cicely or flat leaf parsley; edible flowers for garnish (blue and yellow)

Method

1. Put 2 large pans of water on to boil. Switch on deep fat fryer to 160 degrees.

2. Chiffonade (finely shred) the cabbage ready to blanch. Thinly slice the greenest parts of the leeks and wash.

3. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks, add to pan.

4. Cut fronds off the fennel bulb and keep for garnish. Cut fennel bulb in half, quarter and core.

a. Thinly slice ¼ of the fennel (for the cabbage/leek base).

b. Thinly slice ¼ (for the velouted sauce).

c. Finely chop another ¼ of the fennel (for the croquettes).

5. Finely dice two shallots (divide in half).

6. Finely slice the baby beetroot with the mandolin

7. Make the beetroot marinade whisk the white wine vinegar, lemon juice and honey until smooth, add 2 tsp olive oil and whisk again. Add the beetroot slices.

8. When the water is boiling, add the cabbage, leeks and fennel slices and a pinch of bicarb. Strain and blanch (run under cold water)

9. Check potatoes drain and mash when ready.

10. Fillet and pin bone the fish.  Put in fridge (unwrapped if possible) to dry the skin.

 11. Saute the finely chopped fennel, half the shallots and fennel seeds for the croquettes. Add to the mash. Season.

12. Saute the sliced fennel and other half of the shallots for the sauce.

13. Add 150ml white wine and a dash (10ml) of Pernod. Bring to the boil and reduce by half.

14. Prep 3 plates for the croquettes: flour, beaten egg, breadcrumbs.

15. Add 400ml fish stock to the sauce, boil, simmer and reduce by half.

16. Start rolling the croquettes, 15g potato mix each, need 6 minimum – keep an eye on the sauce!

17. Add 200ml double cream to the sauce, boil to thicken.

18. Strain the sauce, taste, season. Put back in small pan to keep warm or switch off and reheat when ready to serve.

19. Warm the serving plates.

20. Deep fry croquettes, drain on kitchen paper.

21. Saute the cabbage/leek/fennel mix.

22. Pan fry the fish:

a. Get the saute pan really hot with tsp olive oil. (check it bubbles when a wooden spoon is put in it).

b. Sprinkle skin with coarse salt at the last minute, then put in the pan skin side down.

c. Use the fish slice to flatten until it relaxes.

d. Fry for 2 minutes (use timer) until the filet is cooked 2/3rds of the way up.

e. Flip for 30 seconds and remove from heat.

 

Plating:

1. 2 rings of cabbage as a base for the fish

2. 4 small pinches of cabbage to support the beetroot slices.

3. Beetroot slices angled up on the cabbage.

4. Slice of leek in a curl on each beetroot slice

5. Small yellow flower on each beetroot slice

6. 3 croquettes in a diagonal line.

7. Sweet cicely on top of each

8. Purple cornflower on plate

9. Cut fillet in half and place at an angle against the cabbage. (Be careful not to damage the crispy skin)

10. Fennel frond on top of each.

11. Odd fennel fronds in gaps if needed.

12. Veloute sauce in jug with fennel frond.

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