Red mullet, café de Paris butter and cured roe

Red mullet, café de Paris butter and cured roe

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

The dish is garnished with a small grating of bottarga (dried mullet roe) to give an intense taste of the sea. This is optional but certainly adds that little extra something. You can pan-fry the fish in foaming butter instead of ‘wet baking’, particularly if you prefer to use small whole fish. However, I find that the wet baking helps keep thin fillets moist, especially when they have such delicate-textured flesh. This dish is delicious served with Cumin-scented carrots. The Café de Paris butter recipe included in this cookbook makes more than you’ll need here. Keep the excess in the freezer and use it for melting on seafood or steak.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
15g butter
15ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges to serve
3 teaspoons white wine
800g red mullet fillets
200g café de paris butter
20g bottarga (dried mullet roe), optional

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Line a baking dish with baking paper.
  2. For the fish, melt the butter with the olive oil in a saucepan then pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish along with the lemon juice and wine. Place the fish fillets in the dish, skin side down, to coat the skin. Then turn the fish skin side up and bake for 5 minutes without turning – or place under a grill (broiler) to give a blistered skin. Remove the fish from the oven and allow to rest while you make a sauce.
  3. Pour the juice from the dish into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk in half the café de Paris butter. When fully absorbed, add the remaining café de Paris butter, whisking again to combine and form a thick butter sauce.
  4. Transfer the fish to serving plates and spoon over the sauce. Finely grate over the bottarga, if using. Serve with lemon wedges.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Butter or margarine, you ask? For me, there’s no contest. Butter is completely natural and contains calcium, omega-3 fats (hearthealthy fats) and antioxidant vitamins, such as E. Margarine is a science experiment of preservatives and stabilisers.
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