Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A (not so) Lonely Dinner for One - Hake Bilbaina

I suppose I should be sad when my better half goes away....and I am, honestly. He makes me cups of tea and usually makes me happy, so I do miss him when he is off galavanting at 'conferences'. But, you have to make the best of a bad lot and the way I do it is by eating the thing I love the most but can't really justify cooking when I have three 'fishyphobes' in the house - fish. Any fish. I am not fussy; just grateful.

So, on this auspicious occasion I give the kids what they really want (chicken nuggets and chips - yes, I am sorry, I am a poor mother...) and I prepare the recipe that I have picked out as soon as I know that Phill is going away. This time it was Cod Bilbaina from the lovely, love 'Modern Spanish Cooking' by Eddie and Sam Hart. As hake was on offer, and in my mind a little more Spanish, I went for that over cod and whilst I am sure it tastes equally as good with cod, the piquant sauce went really well with the more robust tasting hake. What's more, it was a cinch to make. If my brood ate more fish, then my life would be so much easier...
Cod (or Hake) Bilbiana, adapted from 'Modern Spanish Cooking' by Sam and Eddie Hart
The quantities below serve four - I halved it and had the leftovers the next day.

4 hake fillets – evenly sized and about 4 cm thick
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

For the tomato sauce

12 small plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp sherry (Fino or Manzanilla)
2 tbsp sherry vinegar


Pre heat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas mark 4.
First make the sauce. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in half (lengthways), peel and thinly slice the garlic and place in the pan with the bay leaves. Cook for 3-4 minutes until just soft.
Add the sherry and sherry vinegar, season and allow to bubble for 2 minutes until reduced. Set aside but keep warm.
Heat a large, ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Put the hake in the pan, skin side down, and fry for 4 minutes to crisp the skin.

Remove from the heat and place the pan in the oven for a further 4 minutes until the hake is just cooked through.
Serve the fish immediately with the warm tomato sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Hake is one of my favourites but it can be hard to find sometimes. I was told that it all goes to Spain. Lucky Spaniards. This sounds like a very fine way of serving that excellent fish to me. I would like to defend conference attendees, though. Back in the days when I was pretending to do something useful I attended a number of conferences but I very rarely galavanted. Although, my memory is a little hazy on some of those conferences.


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