GOOD FRIDAY

GOOD FRIDAY, STARTER, FISH

MACKEREL AND BEETROOT SALAD

This is a salad of opposites.The oily fish is a total contrast to the sweet beetroot, and the raspberry vinegar is just another disparate element. But put all those elements together and you have harmony.The sharp vinegar cuts through both the oiliness of the mackerel and the earthy sweetness of the beetroot. Dill is the ultimate counterpart to mackerel and beetroot and the hazelnuts offer something crunchy. 

Ingredients - serves 4-6 

  • 4 medium beetroot (a variety of colours works well)
  • 300g cooked or smoked mackerel fillets
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • Small handful dill
  • 50g blanched hazelnuts
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Coarse black pepper 

HELEN CATHCART

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Wrap the beetroots individually in foil and roast for 45 minutes, skins on. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, peel the beetroots and slice as thinly as possible – using a mandolin would make this much easier.

Arrange the beetroot slices onto a large platter and sprinkle over a pinch of salt and pepper. Flake the mackerel into mouthful-sized pieces and arrange over the beetroot. Drizzle over the vinegar and roughly chop the dill before sprinkling it over the salad.

Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat and, once hot, add the hazelnuts. Fry them, shaking the pan every few seconds, for just a minute or so – when you can smell the aroma of the toasting hazelnuts, they will be ready. Chop them roughly and scatter them over the salad. 

GOOD FRIDAY, MAIN COURSE

RED CURRY SEA BASS WITH POTATO ROSTI

It’s somehow reassuring that the coupling of fish and potato can take many different forms – each totally different – yet remain somehow familiar. This dish, unlike the deep-fried Friday-night version, is incredibly light, and that’s thanks to (apart from the lack of batter) those bold spices in the red curry paste, along with the fresh lime and coriander. 

HELEN CATHCART

Ingredients - serves 4

  • 2 large floury potatoes 
  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • Small handful coriander
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve

Essential Ingredients

  • Sea salt flakes
  • Olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • Coarse black pepper 

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Peel the potatoes before coarsely grating them into a clean tea towel or muslin cloth. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the potatoes, tossing it through, then squeeze the towel as tightly as possible to remove all of the excess moisture from the spuds. Divide the potatoes into four portions.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and the butter in a large frying pan over a high heat. Once the fat is hot, reduce the heat to medium. Form the potatoes into four very tightly compacted patties – pressing the rosti down into a chef’s ring with a spoon would make far more sense, but I appreciate that equipment may be limited. Fry the rosti for 2–3 minutes per side, then drain on a piece of kitchen paper and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Score the skin sides of the fish fillets with four or five slashes and put them into a mixing bowl. Coat the fish fillets in the red curry paste along with a splash of oil and a pinch of pepper. Once well coated, place the fish onto a baking tray, along with the potato rosti, though don’t overcrowd the tray, if you have to do this on two baking trays, then do so. Roast in the oven for 12–15 minutes, until the  fish is cooked through.

Serve the fish atop the rosti, scatter with some chopped coriander and a good squeeze of lime juice.