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A cheeky sandwich: crispy battered cod cheeks, fennel and kohlrabi slaw, aubergine chips, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

01 June 2011
A cheeky sandwich: crispy battered cod cheeks, fennel and kohlrabi slaw, aubergine chips, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

(Serves four)

For the Crispy Battered Cod Cheeks
12 fresh cod cheeks
40g cornflour
150g self-raising flour
250ml local real ale (use a real ale that best represents your area)
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Sunflower oil for deep-frying

Method
Mix the flour, cornflour, salt, egg yolk and ale into a smooth paste. Whip the egg whites until fluffy and stop just before the soft peak stage. Fold the egg whites into the batter and leave to settle for five minutes.

Remove the skin from the cod cheeks, wash and pat them dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil to 160°C. Once it reaches the correct temperature, dip the cod cheeks in the batter and fry them for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown all over. Cooking time will be dependent on the size of the cheeks. Drain the cheeks on kitchen paper, season immediately and serve.

For the Fennel and Kolhrabi Slaw
1 kohlrabi, peeled
1 bulb of fennel, preferably with the leaves on
Juice and zest of one lemon
Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Olive oil

Method
Cut the tops from the fennel, finely chop. Use a Japanese mandoline to finely slice the fennel and kohlrabi, mix with the fennel tops. Season well and add olive oil and lemon juice to taste.

For the Aubergine Chips
2 large aubergines
3tbs olive oil
1 sprig of thyme
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1tsp ras el hanout
Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Halve the aubergine, scoop out the inside flesh, leaving about 1 ½ cm thick white flesh attached to the skin. Cut it into long fingers about ½ cm wide. In a large bowl mix the crushed garlic, aubergine fingers, ras el hanout and seasoning with the olive oil.

Spread the aubergine fingers on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

To Serve
Cut a floury bap in half, toast the bottom and spoon the fennel and kohlrabi slaw on top. Arrange the crispy battered cod cheeks on top and serve with the aubergine chips on the side.

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