Hake is a great fish, firm meaty and pairs well with strong flavours such as smoked paprika. You can whip this up in under an hour, as long as you have done a bit of prep first and make use of handy ingredients such as frozen ready chopped shallots.For a special meal, I use Spanish haricot cooked beans in this – Alubias Blancas by El Navarrico, but you could cook you own or use a supermarket own brand but not in tomato sauce !. Serve it with a low calorie “courgette linguine” – easy to make using a julienne peeler – you don’t need a fancy spiralizer.
For a vegetarian version just leave out the hake, add more beans and sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs on top of the bean sauce.
25g frozen chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 large plum tomatoes, skinned, seedy inside removed and the flesh diced
100 ml tomato juice
210g of haricot beans, drained and rinsed in cold water
Chopped dill, parsley and chives
3 hake fillets
25g fresh bread crumbs
half tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt and pepper
Prepare the courgette, by using the julienne peeler to shave long thin strips off the courgette, turning regularly. Discard the soft centre. Put the courgette into a sieve, season with salt and a little lemon juice. Let is sit and draw out the moisture while you prepare the sauce.
In a small saucepan heat a lug of oil and sweat the shallots till soft but not coloured. A the garlic and tomatoes and fry gently for 5 minutes, add the smoked paprika and tomato juice. Bring to the boil and let the sauce thicken, it is ready when you have a sauce that cots the back of a spoon. Turn the heat down very low and add the rinsed beans, the herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Heat up your grill to high.Heat an oven proof frying pan and add the butter, when it has melted add the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and fry until they are crispy. Set aside. Rinse out the pan, and heat another slug of oil, when it is hot add the fish, season well and cook until nearly done, turning fairly often. Squeeze over a little lemon juice.Top the fish with the breadcrumbs. Put into the pre heated grill and cook for around 3-4 minutes until browned on top.
At the same time as you are cooking the fish, heat a slug of oil a small knob o butter in a frying pan. When it is hot, add the courgette and fry on a high heat for around 2 – 3 minutes , until warmed through and cooked a little – it will go translucent.
When everything is cooked, plate up by putting a puddle of sauce on a hot plate, top with the hake, and put a swirl of courgette along side. Scatter with any remaining herbs. Serve with crusty bread.