The aim here is to get perfectly crispy skin on your beautiful piece of Hake. This is easier than you'd think; it takes a hot pan and minimal intervention. The skin will lift away from the pan as it crisps, so resist the urge to poke and prod. The combination of juicy flaky Hake with crispy skin, paired with silky herby beans is sublime. You'll want to make this recipe again and again.

Ingredients

Method

  • Set a large heavy based pan over a medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil. 

    When it’s hot add the chopped onion, sliced garlic, lemon zest, the thyme sprigs and the bay and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the onions and garlic, gently in the oil, stirring regularly. Don’t let them catch on the base of the pan. If they begin too, you need to adjust the heat. 

    When everything is soft and smelling sweet, add the drained beans and stir well. Add enough warm stock to cover the beans and bring them up to a simmer. As the stock begins to reduce you need to add some more, it’s a bit like making a risotto, but only a bit. Keep adding the stock as the beans take it up. By the time you’ve added it all they should be tender. If not, add a bit more stock until they are done to your liking. 

    Chop half the mint leaves and add them to the beans along with the chives, parsley and the fennel tops or dill. Stir in the olive oil and season everything really well with sea salt and black pepper. Keep warm.

    Set a large non-stick pan over a medium–high heat. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Add the butter and oil to the pan and when hot add the bay leaves and garlic followed by the fish, skin-side down. Cook for 3–5 minutes, depending on its thickness, then turn the fillets over and fry for 1–2 minutes, until the flakes separate when pressed lightly with a fork.

    Spoon the beans into bowls and place and piece of fish alongside. Serve at once.

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