Main Meals

Smoked hake with fennel and potato salad served with saffron mayonnaise

20 minutes
20 minutes

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  • For the brine
  • 4 cups water
  • 125 g salt
  • 125 g brown sugar
  • 1 t juniper berries
  • 1 t black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • For the saffron mayonnaise
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 4 T white wine
  • 3 T egg yolks
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups sunflower oil
  • For the fish
  • 1 kg hake fillets (or any sustainable, white fish)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the salad
  • 1 kg Charlotte potatoes
  • 5 bulbs fennel
  • 3 T capers
  • 10 g flat-leaf parsley, chopped roughly chopped
  • 4 T olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the brine: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.

To make the saffron mayonnaise: In a small saucepan, combine the saffron and white wine and heat for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, allowing the saff ron to infuse.
Combine the saffron solution with the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice, and whisk to form a paste. Slowly add the sunflower oil, whisking continuously, until all of the oil is incorporated – the mayonnaise should be of pouring consistency. If it’s a little on the thick side, thin with a few drops of water.

To smoke the fish: Place the fish fillets in 4 cups of brine and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from the brine and arrange in a smoker.
Season then smoke over a gentle heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the smoker.

To make the salad: Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then peel.
Cut each fennel bulb into eighths and grill over hot coals, until soft and caramelised.
In a large bowl, combine the fennel, cooked potatoes, capers and chopped parsley. Dress with the olive oil and season.

To serve: Place the smoked fillets on a platter and arrange the potato-and-fennel salad on top. Serve the saffron mayonnaise on the side.

Abigail Donnelly

Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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