pan-fried mullet with potato and fava bean pancakes
triglie e frittelline di fave
- 1 1/2 pounds red mullet fillets
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 leafy sprigs thyme
- 2 leafy sprigs marjoram
- 2 leafy sprigs rosemary
- Fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups shelled fresh fava beans (about 1 1/4 pounds in pods)
- 1 pound medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 large shallot, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon packed mint leaves
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces baby lettuces (3 cups loosely packed)
Place fish in a baking dish. Cover with milk, and thyme, marjoram and rosemary sprigs; let stand, covered, at room temperature, for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot of boiling salted water, blanch fava beans 1 minute, then drain. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain beans, then gently peel and discard skins. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse beans until just finely chopped.
Place potatoes in a pot, fill with cold water and bring to a boil; cook until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 15 to 25 minutes (depending on size). Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine wine, shallot and 2 tablespoons oil; cook over low heat until wine is evaporated and shallot is softened, about 15 minutes; remove from heat. Drain cooked potatoes; let cool, then peel. Heat oven to 250º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Over bowl with beans, grate potatoes on large holes of a box grater. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, generous pinch pepper and 2 tablespoons oil; mix together to combine. Shape mixture into 12 balls.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, put potato balls into pan and flatten with a spatula into 3-inch pancakes. Cook until golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to prepared baking sheet and put in oven to keep warm.
Using a hand blender, blender or food processor, purée shallots, remaining 1/4 cup oil, parsley, mint, and generous pinch salt and pepper until smooth.
Put flour in a large shallow bowl. In a second large shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs.
Remove fish from milk; discard milk and herbs. Season fish with salt. One at a time, dip fillets into beaten eggs, letting excess egg drip off, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to a large plate.
Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and, once melted and bubbling, add 1/2 of the fish and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Carefully wipe skillet clean with paper towels; repeat with remaining butter and fish.
On serving plates, stack pancakes, lettuces and fish. Drizzle sauce over stacks. Season with salt and pepper.
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