Easy Ottolenghi: fish recipes

Curried sea bass with ginger and chilli; jacket potatoes with egg and tonnato sauce; salmon and fennel en papillote; prawns and smoked oysters in tomato sauce with rice

Curried sea bass with ginger and chilli

This would be perfect with steamed rice. The curry leaves are optional  theyre sold fresh or frozen in south-east Asian food stores but they really take this simple dish to another level of deliciousness. Serves two.

4 sea bass fillets, pinboned, skin on
Salt and black pepper
50g ghee (or unsalted butter)
1 banana shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
4cm piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin julienne strips
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin julienne strips
12 curry leaves (optional)
2 tsp mild curry powder
90g cooked, peeled brown shrimps
1 tbsp lime juice, plus 2 tsp extra, to serve
5g coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Sprinkle the fillets with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Heat the ghee in a large frying pan on a medium-high flame. Once melted and hot, lay in the fish skin-side down and fry for two minutes, basting all the time with the hot fat. Carefully turn over the fillets and fry for a few seconds more, until just cooked through, then lift out of the pan and place skin side up on a plate and keep warm.

Fry the chopped shallot in the same pan for a minute or two, until light golden-brown and soft, then add the ginger, chilli and curry leaves, if using, and fry for two minutes more. Stir in the curry powder, shrimps and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, fry for a minute, then take the pan off the heat and stir in the lime juice and coriander.

Lay one bass fillet skin side up on each of four plates, spoon over the shrimp sauce, drizzle half a teaspoon of lime juice on top and serve.

Jacket potatoes with egg and tonnato sauce

Jacket
Jacket potatoes with egg and tonnato sauce: Fold in extra tuna to make it even more hearty. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

This combines two of the simplest and most comforting of all meals: baked potato and soft-boiled egg. To make it even more hearty, fold extra tuna into the sauce before spooning it over the spuds. Serves six.

6 large baking potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra to serve
Flaked sea salt
6 large eggs, soft-boiled for six minutes, refreshed and peeled

For the tonnato sauce
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp white-wine vinegar
20g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
120g tinned tuna in oil, drained
20g baby capers, drained (or regular capers, chopped)
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
90ml olive oil
90ml sunflower oil

Heat the oven to 210C/410F/gas mark 6. Put the potatoes on an oven tray, drizzle with a tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the centre soft, then remove from the oven.

Ten minutes before the potatoes are cooked, start on the sauce. Put the garlic and both oils in a small saucepan on a medium heat, warm through for two to three minutes, until the garlic releases its aroma, then take off the heat.

Put the egg yolks in a food processor with the lemon, vinegar, parsley, tuna, half the capers and all the anchovies, and work to a rough paste. With the motor running, add the warm oil and garlic in a thin stream, and blend to the consistency of thin mayo.

To serve, cut the hot potatoes in half, leaving the skin intact at the base. Squeeze the sides a little, to loosen the flesh, then sprinkle an eighth of a teaspoon of salt on each one. Spoon sauce on top, tear each boiled egg in half and arrange on the sauce, so the yolk runs into it. Sprinkle on the remaining capers and last tablespoon of oil, and serve.

Salmon and fennel en papillote

Salmon
Salmon and fennel en papillote: Inspired by Nigel Slater.

The team in the Ottolenghi test kitchen took some persuading about the benefits of cooking en papillote they thought it was way too old school to include here but this easy dish, inspired by Nigel Slater, won them over. My partner Karl often makes something similar for me at home, usually with a few new potatoes and a green salad. The parcels can be prepared a few hours ahead of time and kept in the fridge, ready to go in the oven when you need them. If you do that, give them an extra minute or two cooking time, because theyll be very cold when they go in. Serves four.

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1mm-thick slices (use a mandoline, if you have one)
4 salmon fillets, skin on and boned
90ml dry white wine
10g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
4 strips of thinly shaved lemon zest
40g unsalted butter
40g enoki mushrooms (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Cut out four 30cm square pieces of aluminium foil or greaseproof paper. Pile 30g of sliced fennel in the centre of each square and spread it out into a rectangle roughly the same shape as a fish fillet.

Lay a salmon fillet on top and roll up the edges of the foil or paper a little (this will help keep in the liquids while the fish cooks). Sprinkle a tablespoon and a half of wine on each portion, and top each piece of fish with some tarragon, lemon skin, butter and mushrooms, if using. Sprinkle a third of a teaspoon of salt in total over the four portions, add a good grind of pepper, then seal the parcels so the fish is securely enclosed.

Transfer the fish parcels to an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes, until the fish is just cooked and the fennel is soft; give it another minute or two if you prefer your fish cooked all the way through, rather than slightly pink inside. Place a parcel on each of four plates, and open up at the table.

Prawns and smoked oysters in tomato sauce with rice

Prawns
Prawns and smoked oysters in tomato sauce with rice: This also works well with spaghetti. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

This sauce also works well with spaghetti, or with spiralised courgette, if youve caught that particular bug. If youre feeling mega-organised, make double the amount of sauce (up to the point before you add the seafood and herbs) and keep half in the freezer, ready for a future meal. Serves four.

250g basmati rice
Salt and black pepper
60ml olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 strips lemon skin (with no bitter white pith)
2 tsp tomato paste
800g plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
200ml vegetable stock
200g peeled raw king prawns
1 85g tin smoked oysters in oil
15g coriander leaves, chopped

Put the rice in a medium saucepan for which you have a lid, add a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, then pour over 500ml cold water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium, cover and cook for eight minutes, shaking the pan every once in a while. Turn off the heat and leave the rice, still covered, to finish cooking for 10 minutes. It should be soft and fluffy.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high flame. Fry the onion for five to six minutes, until golden-brown, then add the garlic, cumin, lemon skin and tomato paste, and fry, stirring, for another minute. Add the tomatoes, stock, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and leave to cook for 20 minutes, stirring a few times, until the sauce is thick and the tomatoes have broken down.

Add the prawns to the sauce, stir through for a minute, until almost cooked, then stir in the oysters and their oil, and cook for a final minute. Take off the heat, stir in the coriander and serve with the rice.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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