Wednesday 8 April 2015

Turbot and Clams Topped with Oyster Mushrooms on Kale and Bacon with Asparagus, Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Purée

The mighty turbot is the king of fish and when I saw one at the fishmongers in Whitstable harbour I just had to get it! A turbot is really for special occasions or rare treats but as we were coming to the end of a great holiday I could justify it, just! Now you really should roast a turbot whole in the oven but this fella was simply too big for our caravan oven so pan fried fillets it's to be. It was a big help getting the fishmonger to fillet it for us and we got four large fillets, two for now and two for the freezer for another day. So here we have turbot topped with oyster mushrooms and a handful of clams, served on a bed of kale, bacon and shallots, with both white and green asparagus tips, black garlic, broccoli, cauliflower and a cauliflower cheese purée.


2x Turbot fillets
Clams, a handful
Oyster mushrooms, sliced
Kale, chopped
Bacon, diced
Shallots, diced
Green asparagus tips
White asparagus tips
Broccoli, florets
Cauliflower, florets
Cheese, grated, we used a big handful of Emmental
Flour, about a tablespoon
Dry white wine
Parsley, fresh and chopped
Black garlic, thinly sliced
Rapeseed oil, extra virgin


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add 4 big cauliflower florets. Cook for about 5 minutes.
2. In another saucepan add a knob of butter, a diced shallot, chopped parsley stalks and the handful of clams*. Pour over a big glass of white wine and cover. When all the clams have popped open they are done.
3. Strain the clams and reserve the cooking liquor. In the saucepan add a knob of butter and the flour. Cook for a few minutes to make a roux.
4. Slowly add the clam liquor to make a white sauce then scoop the cooked cauliflower florets out of the hot water and add with the cheese. Whiz up with a hand blender, season to taste, cover and set aside.
5. Keep the hot water saucepan going and add some more cauliflower florets and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and asparagus and simmer for 3 further minutes.
6. In another pan sweat off more diced shallots and the bacon then add the chopped kale. Cook to your liking but I like the kale to remain crunchy.
7. The turbot takes about 5 minutes to cook in a frying pan. Heat a knob of butter and place the turbot skin side down. Spoon the hot butter over the fleshy side whilst the skin crisps up. There is no need to cook the fleshy side as the hot butter will do it just enough. Whilst the turbot is cooking add the sliced oyster mushrooms too.
8. To serve place the turbot skin side up on a bed of the kale, top with some clams and the oyster mushrooms, make a couple of mounds of cauliflower cheese puree and present the vegetables on top, scatter a few more clams in their shells around the plate along with the sliced black garlic, drizzle some oil and scatter the parsley.

* Make sure the clams are clean and get rid of any with broken shells, or open ones that do not close when tapped. When cooked throw away any clams that have not opened.

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