HAKE WITH CLAMS IN SALSA VERDE

Le­gatza Txir­lekin Saltsa Berdean

National Post (Latest Edition) - - THE FEAST -

❚ 20 clams

❚ Bones, head, and tail from 1 fish, prefer­ably hake

❚ 4 skin-on hake fil­lets, about 7 oz (200 g) each

❚ Kosher salt

❚ 1/2 cup (120 mL) ex­travir­gin olive oil

❚ 2 gar­lic cloves, minced

❚ 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-pur­pose flour (see note)

❚ 1/2 cup (120 mL) tx­akoli or other acidic white wine

❚ 4 tsp (20 mL) finely chopped fresh pars­ley

1. Place the clams in a bowl, add cold wa­ter to cover and set aside.

2. Rinse the bones, head or what­ever scraps you have from the hake with cold wa­ter. Place in a medium pot and add wa­ter to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, re­duce the heat to low and sim­mer for about 20 min­utes. Strain the liq­uid (called fumet) through a fine-mesh sieve and dis­card the solids. Set the fumet aside.

3. Scrub and drain the clams; set aside.

4. Rinse the hake fil­lets and pat them dry. Sea­son the skin-free side of each fil­let with salt.

5. In an earth­en­ware casse­role or a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and gar­lic over medium-high heat. When the add gar­lic the for flour about starts and 30 to cook, sec­onds. “dance,” stir­ring, Pour in the wine and sim­mer for about 30 sec­onds to cook off the al­co­hol. Add 1 cup (240 mL) of the fumet and sim­mer for about 1 minute. 6. Add the hake fil­lets to the pan, skin-side up. Sim­mer for about 3 min­utes. Gen­tly turn the hake fil­lets over. Add the clams, plac­ing them around the pot and cook for about 5 min­utes. Should the pan be­gin to look dry, add more fumet. 7. Sprin­kle the pars­ley over the pan. Re­move from the heat and move the pan in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion un­til the sauce be­gins to come to­gether and emul­sify, 1 to 2 min­utes. Taste and ad­just the sea­son­ing.

8. Serve in in­di­vid­ual bowls or fam­ily-style. You can re­serve the re­main­ing fumet for an­other use.

Note: The in­clu­sion of flour in the salsa verde is a mat­ter of de­bate. It helps to thicken the sauce, but purists say “less flour, more wrist,” in­sis­tent that the cor­rect stir­ring tech­nique will re­sult in per­fectly emul­si­fied sauce. Ex­per­i­ment to see which ver­sion you like best.

Serves: 4

SI­MON BA­JADA

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