Cornish Sea Salt Hake by Nathan Outlaw
In 2003, Nathan opened his first restaurant, The Black Pig in Rock and within a year was awarded his first Michelin star. Following other ventures, he finally settled at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall where his fine dining Restaurant Nathan Outlaw now holds 2 Michelin stars. Alongside this is The Seafood & Grill where his team of chefs cook under Nathan’s guidance. In both settings, Nathan is proud to champion local fish, meat and produce cooked simply to showcase the flavours.
Nathan is also passionate about educating young chefs and has formed a partnership with Cornwall College under the banner of Academy Nathan Outlaw. Here talented young chefs will be given extra guidance and opportunities as a result of Nathan’s direct involvement in their programme of learning.
Nathan appeared on BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’, winning the South West heat in 2012 and is a regular guest chef on ‘Saturday Kitchen’. He also appears at food festivals around the south west, his easy manner and unassuming style making him popular with the general public.
Nathan has created a stunning Salt Hake dish using the finest Cornish Sea Salt.
Salting fish draws out some of the water and improves the flavour and texture, giving you a much meatier mouth-feel. It works particularly well with hake. Try blending a little spice or the grated zest of any citrus fruit with the salt to bring your own touch to this dish.
4 hake portions, about 200g each, filleted and pin-boned 2 medium squid, prepared and cut into rings 100g Cornish sea salt 2 garlic cloves, peeled 2 tsp chopped parsley olive oil for cooking 100g peeled, deseeded butternut squash, cut into 1cm dice 1 leek, trimmed (white part only), washed and cut into 1cm pieces 1 Dutch red chilli, deseeded and chopped 4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Tomato and garlic sauce 500ml roasted fish stock 4 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 3 tsp squid ink, or more to taste 50g unsalted butter
Lay the fish on a tray large enough to hold the portions side by side, without overlapping. Sprinkle evenly with the sea salt, turning to coat both sides, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Wash the salt off the fish, then pat dry on kitchen paper and wrap each portion tightly in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm up, preferably overnight.
To make the tomato and garlic sauce, put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let bubble until the liquid has reduced to a quarter of its original volume. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Blitz for 4 minutes to emulsify the sauce and thicken it slightly. Set aside until ready to serve.
Heat your oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Chop the 2 garlic cloves, then add the chopped parsley and chop together, reserve until serving.
Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. When hot, add the squash and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the leek, chilli and spring onions and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring and adding a little more oil if it looks dry. Season with salt and pepper. Once the squash is cooked, transfer the vegetables to a warmed dish; keep warm.
Heat a large ovenproof non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. When hot, place the fish in the pan, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook for a further 3 minutes.
While the fish is cooking, place another frying pan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. When hot, add the squid and cook for 1 minute; don’t move it about much – let it take on some colour. Add 1 tsp of the chopped garlic and parsley and take off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Reheat the sauce gently on the hob; if it isn’t dark enough for you, whisk in a little more squid ink. Take the fish out of the oven as soon as it is ready. Flip it over and allow it to finish cooking in the residual heat of the pan.
Divide the vegetables among 4 warmed plates and top with the squid. Place the hake alongside and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and garlic. Spoon the sauce around and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.