☆Fish Friday☆ Hake with tomatoes and beans. Something warming for a winter’s da…

☆Fish Friday☆

Hake with tomatoes and beans. Something warming for a winter’s day. The crux of this dish lies in the tomato sauce, a basic element of cookery that really should be in every cook’s armoury. A myriad of ways to make such sauce but good canned tomatoes give the best results at this time of year. This particular version started with the hard frying of bacon lardons, onion, garlic and rosemary were introduced, cooked until soft, the pan later deglazed with vermouth. A can of chopped tomatoes simmers away, seasoned with salt and pinch of sugar, until thick and broken down. (25-30 minutes) A can of cannellini beans tipped in, whirled around and warmed through. If it looks somewhat thick, loosen with some stock or water. I do however think this should be quite chunky and unctuous looking, no place for a thin, watery sauce here. Highly adaptable too, replace the beans with chickpeas, use chorizo or anchovies instead of bacon, spice it up by adding chilli or smoked paprika, use your imagination, it’s really up to you.
On the fish, a firm white one is best, hake is my preference, cod or monkfish will be delicious too. I always season my fish with salt, 20-30 minutes before cooking, primarily to firm it up slightly, it will of course be seasoned too. There’s nothing wrong with adding it straight into the sauce, but dusting with flour and gently frying gives a finer finish and flavour to the dish. Transfer the fish to the sauce, cover and cook through, for a few minutes. A scattering of parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, are essential final flourishes. Servedwith a plain green vegetable and bread it’s all you need for a comforting cosy fish supper.
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