Paul Flynn: Salmon with an Asian twist and a seafood roast for a family feast

The arrival of better weather flicks a piscine switch in me. Try these three simple fish dinners

Seafood roast with orange and sriracha butter. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Seafood roast with orange and sriracha butter. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

I was in Cork, doing a furtive in-and-out recording for the Today Show. I made a trip to the English Market before I went home. It felt so good to be there, almost normal. I went to all my usual spots, as there were many requests from the hungry ones back home.

The fish, of course, was the highlight. The counters glistened and shimmered with hope, they made me happy, I couldn’t resist. Filleted brill was paired with tenderstem broccoli and a buttery onion champ that evening. The world became perfect for an hour.

It’s normal for me to shift my focus at this time of the year. The bright evenings call for it. The arrival of better weather flicks a piscine switch in me. I have great difficulty understanding people who don’t like fish.

Often its not about posh fish for me, indeed I like to champion the unappreciated and ugly. However, a pile of tangled langoustines is one of my many death row meals.

When thinking about creating a seafood roast, I imagined I had access to the most perfect fish counter. In reality I scrambled for my catch, but that’s okay as the best cooks have the confidence to adapt. Freshness is key, but so is the cutting of the fish. Being all the same size is crucial to the perfect result, no matter what the fish.

I wanted to show you a simple butter sauce, the sriracha being a bold but moveable addition. A sprig of rosemary would be a pleasing substitution.

This salmon dish is a perky delight. The Asian twist gives vigour and interest to its rich flesh. We usually eat it with steamed basmati rice and greens for a guilt-free midweek dinner.

I love hake as much as the Spanish do. It’s yielding creaminess marries perfectly with darker flavours; good black pudding stands up to it admirably.  

The garlic sauce is a little cheat and a pure luxury, a great addition to your repertoire. Try it with lamb, steak or chicken and you might never go to a restaurant again, although I should hardly be saying that, even in jest.

A SEAFOOD ROAST

Serves four

Seafood roast, orange and sriracha butter. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ingredients
4tbs olive oil
1 piece of monkfish (250g) trimmed and cut into 3cm chunks
4x 80g pieces of hake or cod fillets
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 small leek, washed and cut into 1 cm rounds
12 new potatoes, cooked and halved
200g mussels, washed and debearded
180g shelled prawn tails
8 cherry vine tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper

For the sriracha butter sauce:
Juice of 1 orange
100g cold butter, diced
1tbsp sriracha sauce
Some chopped chives, optional

Seafood roast, orange and sriracha butter. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Seafood roast, orange and sriracha butter. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Method
1
Set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.

2 Drizzle your olive oil on to a large shallow roasting tray.

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3 Place the monkfish , hake or cod, asparagus, leek and potato on the tray.

4 Season and turn carefully so everything is coated in the olive oil.

5 Even everything out on the tray and put into the oven for 10 minutes.

6 Meanwhile bring the orange juice to a gentle simmer.

7 Whisk in the butter until fully emulsified, add the sriracha then remove from the heat.

8 Once the fish has been in the over for 10 minutes, evenly add the mussels, prawns and tomatoes to the roasting tray making sure they are all covered in a little bit of oil and cook everything for another 10 minutes.

9 Add the chives to the sauce.

10 Once the roast is cooked drizzle the sauce over the top and pop the tray on to the middle of the table. Everyone serves themselves.

SKINNY ASIAN SALMON WITH CABBAGE

Serves four

Skinny Asian salmon with cabbage

Ingredients
4 skinless salmon fillets, approx 140g each
2 large cloves of garlic grated
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
75ml dark soy sauce
75ml water
1tsp honey
1 small head of cabbage, trimmed and washed
1tbs toasted sesame oil

Method
1
Set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.

2 Mix the grated garlic, ginger, soy and water together.

3 Put the salmon into a baking dish then add the liquid to the dish.

4 Turn the salmon in the mixture then tightly cover with foil.

5 Bake for approximately 15 minutes, then check. If the salmon isn’t ready pop it back in for another couple of minutes.

6 Meanwhile cook the cabbage for two minutes in boiling salted water, drain and turn in the sesame oil and keep warm.

7 Serve the salmon with the cabbage and rice, then pour over the delicious garlicky, ginger juices.

HAKE WITH ROASTED GARLIC CREAM AND BLACK PUDDING

Serves four

Hake with roasted garlic cream and black pudding

Ingredients
1tbs olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
250 ml cream
One third cube of chicken stock cube
A sprig of rosemary
A generous squeeze of lemon
Salt
4 skinless Hake fillets approx 140g each, bones removed
8 thickish slices of good black pudding
A drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper
A few apple batons for crisp freshness

Method
1
In a small pot, very gently cook the sliced garlic in your olive oil. The object is to achieve an even golden colour without overcooking the garlic, which will make the sauce bitter.

2 When the garlic is golden, add the cream, rosemary and stock cube, then bring back to a very gentle simmer.

3 After five minutes or so when your sauce is coating consistency, remove the rosemary, add a little lemon juice to season and set aside.

4 Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.

5 Place the hake and black pudding on a shallow roasting tray. Drizzle over the olive oil , season and turn everything in the oil to make sure it doesn’t stick.

6 Bake for 12 minutes before checking. The fish may need a little longer depending on its thickness.

7 Divide on to warmed plates with the sauce spooned over generously. Artfully add some apple batons and serve with new potatoes.

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