This is a dish for retirees. It’s all beige. There is some greenery out of the picture – about the same colour green as a bowling green – but what’s on the plate here is beige on beige on beige. To stay with the beige theme, why not pour yourself a glass of something beige from Scotland.
1 large fennel bulb
2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Smashed Dutch Cream Potatoes
Dutch cream potatoes (allow 1 or 2 per person, depending on size)
Sea salt and white pepper
Jewfish fillets (about 150-200 gms each)
Ghee or grapeseed oil
To make the pickled fennel, slice the bulb finely. Heat the oil and vinegar in a wide pan (with lid) over medium heat. Add the fennel, cover, turn the heat down to low and cook until soft – approximately 45 minutes – stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Salt to taste and keep warm until needed.
For the potatoes, clean but don’t peel the potatoes and cut into halves or quarters, depending on size. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, add a teaspoon of salt, cover and cook gently until soft – about 30 minutes. Drain. Add butter (about 100gms for 6 medium or 8 small potatoes. Start to mash. Gradually add milk and keep mashing until you have the consistency you like. (I like it soft and creamy.) Season to taste and keep warm.
Dry the fillets thoroughly. Salt both sides. Heat the ghee (clarified butter) or oil over medium/high heat until rippling. Add fish. Cook until golden on one side (about 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillets. Turn and cook the other side about 5-7 minutes. Arrange a fillet on top of some potato and spoon on the fennel.
It’s a beige meal – but it isn’t bland.
Serves 4 people
Also works with snapper, most reef fish, large flathead and large whiting.