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The Caterer

Pollack, cockles and sea beet by Peter Weeden

22 March 2007
Pollack, cockles and sea beet by Peter Weeden

INGREDIENTS (Serves four)

100g butter
3 diced shallots
100ml dry white wine
600g cockles
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1tbs oil
Salt and pepper
4 x 180g skinned pollack fillets
250g sea beet (or 400g spinach)

METHOD

Melt 40g butter in a large sauté pan. Sweat the shallots until transparent. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Empty the cockles into the pan. Boil, cover and simmer for about five minutes until they all open. Remove the flesh from the shells and squeeze lemon juice over it. Keep hot in the cooking liquor.

Season the pollack fillets and sear them in half the remaining butter and oil. Fry them so they colour lightly on both sides.

Blanch the sea beet for about three minutes in salted water. Drain and add the rest of the butter. (Spinach leaves reduce much more during cooking, so use extra if you choose these.) Spoon cockles and their liquor over the fish and accompany with sea beet.

The sweetness of the pollack and the saltiness of the cockles and their cooking liquor work perfectly with the really intense iron punch of the sea beet. This is so much better when all done to order.

The bones of pollack also make a great base for a chowder, there is much meat to be had from the head and goodness from the bones.

Peter Weeden, chef, the Paternoster Chop House, London

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