Steamed ling with turned vegetables & beurre blanc

Steamed ling with turned vegetables & beurre blanc

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Serves
2
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Beurre blanc was one of the first sauces I learnt to make when I started my training in France as a teenager. So when I had the idea for this TV series, this was among the first dishes I wanted to cook.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 175g portions ling or hake
25g butter, in small knobs
100g baby spinach leaves, washed
drizzle olive oil

For the turned vegetables

Quantity Ingredient
1 green courgette
1 yellow courgette
1 carrot

For the beurre blanc

Quantity Ingredient
50ml white wine vinegar
40ml white wine
1 banana shallot, roughly chopped
6 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
sprig thyme
200g chilled unsalted butter, diced
small bunch chives, finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. If you are using ling, season with salt and leave it to sit at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables and sauce.
  2. For the turned vegetables, cut the courgettes and carrot crossways into 4, giving you 12 pieces of vegetable. Now, for the tricky bit: hold each vegetable piece between your index finger and thumb, and take a small paring knife in your other hand. Place the knife at the top of the vegetable and pull it towards you to give the vegetable a smooth curved shape – be careful not to cut your thumb. Repeat this around all sides of the vegetable until it looks like a mini-barrel, then do the same for the other vegetables. Set aside.
  3. For the beurre blanc, place the white wine vinegar, white wine, shallots, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme in a saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook until reduced by two-thirds. Turn the heat down to very low and slowly whisk in the cold butter a little at a time, whisking well between each addition. Remove from the heat and pass the sauce through a fine sieve. Discard what is left in the sieve and keep the sauce in a warm (but not hot) place.
  4. Pour a 2cm depth of water into the bottom of a steamer pan or saucepan, top with the steamer basket and place over low to medium heat. When the water is simmering, add the vegetables to the steamer basket and cook for 3–4 minutes. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper large enough to hold the 2 pieces of fish. Lay the fish on the greaseproof paper and then place on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the steamer basket with the fish and vegetables in it and set aside. Drain the water from the pan, then add the knobs of butter, drop in the spinach and let it wilt for a minute. Divide the spinach between serving plates and top with the fish fillets. Add the other vegetables to the pan and gently toss in the butter. Arrange the buttery vegetables around the spinach in alternating colours. Stir the chopped chives into the beurre blanc, then spoon over the fish.
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