Hake with Romesco Crust

Taking inspiration from the Mediterranean, this delectable hake recipe is baked with a romesco crust; flaky white fish encased in salty but spicy breadcrumbs.

Introduction

I tasted this combination of flavours in Spain when I was travelling around the Mediterranean for a few months exploring restaurants and recipes. I love the piquant peppers with the almonds and garlic, spicy and savoury at the same time. It works really well with most fish, including cod and halibut, but hake is the Spanish favourite.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 x 290g jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into quarters
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
50g skinned salted almonds
50g dry white breadcrumbs
2 medium courgettes
4 x 150g hake portions, skin on
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Essential kit

You will need a food processor.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 100°C/Gas Mark ¼.

Lay the peppers on a baking sheet. Sprinkle over the rosemary, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some seasoning. Place in the oven and bake for 2 hours to dry out the peppers. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 180°G/Gas Mark 4.

Once cool, place the peppers in a food processor with the almonds and breadcrumbs and blend until they have a sandy texture.

Slice the courgettes into discs 5 mm thick. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the courgettes and season. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan over a high heat. Add the hake portions, skin-side down, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet, skin-side up, and sprinkle the prepared topping over the fish. Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the flesh offers no resistance when you pierce it with the tip of a knife. Place the courgettes on individual plates and top with a piece of hake. Finish by spooning over some of the cooking juices.

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