If I was young again this would be my life
A food shack in Connemara
Red mullet with saffron potatoes and anchovy dressing
10 fillets of red mullet or wild dorade, scaled – approx weight per person 80 to 100 grams
1dl olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 to 6 raw beetroots, according to size
Rosemary or thyme
6 anchovy fillets – if very salty, soak in a little milk before use
1- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp white wine vinegar
2dl olive oil
1 tsp chopped tarragon
750g firm potatoes (Roseval, Oppenheimers, Nicola), peeled
5 stamens of saffron soaked in a little boiling water
Fillet the red mullet and remove the pin bones. Score the skin lightly and place in the fridge until needed.
Lay a piece of strong aluminum foil out on a baking sheet, sprinkle over a little sea salt and fresh herbs, lay on the beetroot and drizzle with olive oil. Fold into a parcel and place in the oven.
Bake for one hour (if the beetroot is very big, cut into pieces before baking).
Test the beetroot with a skewer to see if it is cooked, allow to cool before peeling. Cut into brunoise (small squares).
Boil the potatoes in salted water with the saffron until cooked (about 20mins), drain well, toss in a little melted butter or olive oil and keep warm.
Put the anchovies, garlic and white wine vinegar into a food processor and whiz to a rough puree. With the motor running, slowly trickle in the olive oil until amalgamated. Transfer the dressing to a bowl and stir in the chopped tarragon.
Heat a frying pan well and add a little olive oil. Season the fish fillets and place them in the hot pan, skin side down. Press down lightly.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp. Transfer to a greased and seasoned baking sheet with the flesh side down and finish in the oven; a few minutes at 180°C to heat through or under a hot grill for about 4 minutes.
To serve, spoon the beetroot on the plate in a line, place the fish on the beetroot at an angle, spoon the sauce over the fish and finish the plate by adding the potatoes.