First of all, I just want you to know, that you too can get perfectly crisp fish skin EVERYTIME!
180g fish, skin on, per person
Salt and pepper to season
Half lemon or lime per serving
4-6 strips Pancetta placed on a roasting tray and then baked until crispy in a hot oven of 200c!
This is my favourite recipe for when I am entertaining because it is practically stress free! A beautiful piece of fish or salmon needs little masking and if cooked perfectly, will simply shine!
The trick is to cook the fish properly and get the skin sexy and crispy. You need to get your pan or BBQ SWEAR WORD HOT and greased with about 5 ml vegetable or rice bran oil in the pan just so that the fish doesn’t stick.
When the pan is hot, place the fish (not skin side) presentation side down, and use your tongs to make sure it doesn’t stick…I just give the piece a little wiggle to make sure it hasn’t stuck but will create a sexy crust of flavour and colour.
When the first side is brown (simply look underneath and lift with your tongs) turn it over to do the skin side too. After about a minute or two you should be able to remove the skin using the tongs. Don’t stress if it breaks or you have to strip-peel it off, it is all part of the rustic glamour of this dish! Place the skin aside and then turn the now skin-free side down to brown it off. When the fish is cooked (check by placing a fork or knife in the centre of the thickest part and if it flakes when you twist it is done!)
Remove from the pan and now lower the heat and fry the skin nice and hot but not so hot that it burns in a flash…this will dry and crisp up the skin and the best way is to remove the skin so you don’t over cook the fish!
NEVER serve soggy fish skin…it is just not glamourous and can be easily crisped up by just allowing it some alone time in the pan.
Serve with this amazingly versatile pea puree! Don’t like peas? Use butterbeans (drained out of a tin) instead!
2 cups frozen peas
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
150-250ml chicken or vegetable stock (depending on thickness required…please adjust)
Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and boil over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and blend to a smooth puree with a stick blender or manual masher.
Adjust the seasoning and thickness and then serve
Place the sexy seared salmon or fish and the pancetta on the pea puree, drizzle with olive oil, petals and microherbs and fried carrot strips!