Since the folk at The Fresh Fish Shop set up a stall every Thursday at Falmer’s Park Farm Shop, we’ve been eating a lot more fish. The quality of their fish is second to none – I’d go as far as to say, it’s the best and freshest fish I’ve managed to find in the Brighton area. I do rate and love Fish (Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales), but with Falmerl being just down the road, it’s a wonderful excuse for mum and I to take a little outing together each week. I’ve been trying as many different recipes as possible using as many different fish and shellfish – so far, that’s included bream, mussels, trout, plaice, skate, crab, halibut, haddock, bass, prawns, cod, huss and even octopus. More on those recipes to come.
But I think one of my biggest discoveries has been hake. Of course, I’ve had hake many times. But I’ve never really cooked with it. And, wow, I love it. It’s so versatile, holds up to strong, powerful flavours…and is a beautiful bright white that looks fabulous in any dish.
But wanting a little change from this…and to try out another hake recipe, I had a search for something a bit different. Something hearty, substantial…and without the need to create any sides to bulk up the dish. So I was delighted to find Rachel Walker’s Spanish Hake Stew on Fish on Friday.
As they say on the site, “Rachel Walker‘s paprika-spiced Spanish stew is a great showcase for hake, an Iberian favourite. Meaty but mild, it really sings when accompanied by these kind of strong flavours.” And with butter beans being a key part of the dish, in my view, there’s no need for making additional sides like potatoes or rice…although a nice piece of crusty bread is great for mopping up at the end.
It’s also a really simple, no fuss dish to follow. There’s minimal prep, clear timings and it’s one of those recipes where you can get on with other stuff in between each of the steps without risking ruining or overcooking.
As long as you’ve got access to good quality hake, ingredients are easy to get hold of – there’s nothing you won’t find already in your cupboards and fridge…or easily found in your local supermarket. Olive oil, onion, garlic, chorizo, paprika, white wine, tinned tomatoes, tinned butterbeans, flat leaf parsley.
There really isn’t much I’d change about this recipe. It’s a winner. As long as you don’t skimp on ingredients. Good quality fresh hake is a must, as is the chorizo…and avoid any kind of economy tinned tomatoes, otherwise you’ll end up with a stew that’s too watery and not having that lovely rich tomatoey flavour.
A very good ‘food’ white wine, and one that stands up to the strong and distinct flavours in this dish is Marqués de Murrieta Blanco Capellanía Rioja. It’s also recommend for paella, smoked fish, white meats and Asian style cooking. So definitely one to bear in mind.