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Raymond Blanc's pollock fillet Grenobloise

Prep Time 60 mins
Cooking Time 40 mins
Serves 4
Headshot of Raymond Blanc

Recipe By

Raymond Blanc Raymond Blanc OBE is a restaurateur, celebrity chef, cookery school owner and best-selling author. 

Pollock

For the potatoes:
1kg potatoes, peeled, halved & quartered to even sizes
2L water, cold

To finish the puree:

170-200ml milk, full fat, boiled
70g butter, unsalted, melted
2g (2 pinches) sea salt
1g (2 pinches) white pepper, freshly ground

For cooking the fish:

40g butter, unsalted
4 pollock fillets (180g each- 3cm thick), skin on
4g (4 pinches) sea salt
1g (2 pinches) white pepper, freshly ground

For the sauce & garnish:
50ml water or brown chicken stock (see method)
½ lemon, peeled, segments removed & juice reserved
30g capers, washed and drained
30g shallots, peeled and finely chopped
10g parsley, flat leaf, finely chopped

To finish:
30g Croutons, white bread, 1cm x 1cm, toasted for 5-6 minutes at 200C

Cooking the potatoes:
In a large saucepan, on a high heat, add the quartered potato pieces, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the water is gently simmering (the bubbles just breaking the surface) and cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Taste to see if the potatoes are soft.

To finish the puree:
Strain the cooked potatoes into a colander letting the excess steam escape for 2 – 3 minutes. Pass the potato through a mouli or fine potato masher. Return the potato puree back into the same saucepan.

Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the warm milk. Then stir in the melted butter before seasoning with salt and pepper. Taste and alter the seasoning if necessary.  If the puree is too thick, add a little more milk. You will know when the puree is of the right consistency when it is fluffy, forms firm peaks and melts in your mouth. Put aside but keep warm over a pan of simmering water.

For cooking the fish:
Preheat the oven to 200C. Pat the pollock fillets dry to remove any excess moisture and season the fleshy side with salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof frying pan, on a medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam, then place the fish fillets in the frying pan flesh side down.

Cook flesh side down for 5-6 minutes, then carefully using a fish slice, turn the fillets skin side down. Cook for a further minute before transferring the pan to the hot oven for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it back onto a high heat for 1 minute. Remove the fish fillets from the frying pan and carefully place onto a warm serving dish.

For the sauce & garnish:
Add the water to the hot pan so that the caramelised juices are dissolved and emulsified into the liquid as it boils. Add the remaining ingredients to the frying pan and bring back to the boil. Taste, alter the seasoning if necessary.

On 4 large plates place the puree in the middle with a fillet of fish on top, then pour the sauce over and around the fish. Sprinkle the croutons over the top and serve.

Raymond's Chef’s notes

Which Potato?
Choosing the right potato is important, too waxy, too starchy and they won’t puree very well, but too watery and they will be tasteless and more liquid. Also, the storage of potatoes will change its characteristics, so be prepared to change to a different variety every few months. Get to know your potatoes. As a child, when my mum was asking me to collect some potatoes, she would always refer to them by their variety. If she was asking for Ratte- it was a salad day, if she was asking for Estima- is was a puree day, Maris piper or Yukon gold meant French fries or sauteed potatoes. For this recipe, use Desire, Belle de Fontenay or Estima.

Salt:  
Always use high- quality salt with the least amount of refinement. Never use salt with anti-caking additives.

Simmering: 

Do not rapidly boil the potatoes or they are at risk of being overcooked. This means that they will absorb excess water making a watery puree.  

Foaming butter: 
Butter will start to foam at about 130C, it will become a hazelnut colour at about 150 – 155C.

At this temperature, the colour and smell is due to the cooking of the solid particles (whey, milk casein) in the butter, now it is at the perfect stage to caramelise the fish or meat with out drying it. At 175C it will burn, which will be highly indigestible and carcinogenic.

    129°C Foam
    150°C Blonde colour
    152°C Beurre Noisette
    160°C Dark Beurre Noir
    170°C Bitter Dark
 
Pan-frying:
Once you know how to pan-fry any fish or meat or vegetable, you can pan fry your way through thousands of dishes.

The success of this dish is in the understanding of this simple technique of pan-frying; the ability to carefully regulate the temperature to achieve the right degree of heat. If the butter becomes too hot, it will burn, and the meat or fish will dry out. However, if the butter is not hot enough, the fish or meat will not brown and will stew in its own juices.

When it is right stage, the smells will invade your kitchen. It is also at this stage that the cook's interest peaks, you hear the song of the gentle sizzling of the pan and know it is absolutely right. While the fish proteins are browning, the juices will seep out and collect at the bottom of the pan (into heavenly sucs.) begging for a splash of water to create a heavenly jus.

Some of the best meat and fish I've eaten have simply been pan-fried in butter or olive oil. And the wondrous juices can be created by adding water to the pan, which dilutes the caramelised juices at the bottom of the pan, creating a most exciting jus. This method is simple, delicious and as good as any Michelin star meal.

Crispy skin: 
Often people discard the skin, but to me this is the very best part, and also the most nutritious as it contains the most essential omega fats. By taking your time to gently pan-fry it, you will have a tasty treat. 

Variations:

You can replace the water with brown chicken stock which would give more depth of flavour to the sauce. 

The variations for the potato puree are enormous – garlic, olive oil, any herbs you like, horseradish, mustard and nutmeg. Flavour as you wish!

Ingredients

Method

For the potatoes:
1kg potatoes, peeled, halved & quartered to even sizes
2L water, cold

To finish the puree:

170-200ml milk, full fat, boiled
70g butter, unsalted, melted
2g (2 pinches) sea salt
1g (2 pinches) white pepper, freshly ground

For cooking the fish:

40g butter, unsalted
4 pollock fillets (180g each- 3cm thick), skin on
4g (4 pinches) sea salt
1g (2 pinches) white pepper, freshly ground

For the sauce & garnish:
50ml water or brown chicken stock (see method)
½ lemon, peeled, segments removed & juice reserved
30g capers, washed and drained
30g shallots, peeled and finely chopped
10g parsley, flat leaf, finely chopped

To finish:
30g Croutons, white bread, 1cm x 1cm, toasted for 5-6 minutes at 200C

Cooking the potatoes:
In a large saucepan, on a high heat, add the quartered potato pieces, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the water is gently simmering (the bubbles just breaking the surface) and cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Taste to see if the potatoes are soft.

To finish the puree:
Strain the cooked potatoes into a colander letting the excess steam escape for 2 – 3 minutes. Pass the potato through a mouli or fine potato masher. Return the potato puree back into the same saucepan.

Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the warm milk. Then stir in the melted butter before seasoning with salt and pepper. Taste and alter the seasoning if necessary.  If the puree is too thick, add a little more milk. You will know when the puree is of the right consistency when it is fluffy, forms firm peaks and melts in your mouth. Put aside but keep warm over a pan of simmering water.

For cooking the fish:
Preheat the oven to 200C. Pat the pollock fillets dry to remove any excess moisture and season the fleshy side with salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof frying pan, on a medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam, then place the fish fillets in the frying pan flesh side down.

Cook flesh side down for 5-6 minutes, then carefully using a fish slice, turn the fillets skin side down. Cook for a further minute before transferring the pan to the hot oven for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it back onto a high heat for 1 minute. Remove the fish fillets from the frying pan and carefully place onto a warm serving dish.

For the sauce & garnish:
Add the water to the hot pan so that the caramelised juices are dissolved and emulsified into the liquid as it boils. Add the remaining ingredients to the frying pan and bring back to the boil. Taste, alter the seasoning if necessary.

On 4 large plates place the puree in the middle with a fillet of fish on top, then pour the sauce over and around the fish. Sprinkle the croutons over the top and serve.

Raymond's Chef’s notes

Which Potato?
Choosing the right potato is important, too waxy, too starchy and they won’t puree very well, but too watery and they will be tasteless and more liquid. Also, the storage of potatoes will change its characteristics, so be prepared to change to a different variety every few months. Get to know your potatoes. As a child, when my mum was asking me to collect some potatoes, she would always refer to them by their variety. If she was asking for Ratte- it was a salad day, if she was asking for Estima- is was a puree day, Maris piper or Yukon gold meant French fries or sauteed potatoes. For this recipe, use Desire, Belle de Fontenay or Estima.

Salt:  
Always use high- quality salt with the least amount of refinement. Never use salt with anti-caking additives.

Simmering: 

Do not rapidly boil the potatoes or they are at risk of being overcooked. This means that they will absorb excess water making a watery puree.  

Foaming butter: 
Butter will start to foam at about 130C, it will become a hazelnut colour at about 150 – 155C.

At this temperature, the colour and smell is due to the cooking of the solid particles (whey, milk casein) in the butter, now it is at the perfect stage to caramelise the fish or meat with out drying it. At 175C it will burn, which will be highly indigestible and carcinogenic.

    129°C Foam
    150°C Blonde colour
    152°C Beurre Noisette
    160°C Dark Beurre Noir
    170°C Bitter Dark
 
Pan-frying:
Once you know how to pan-fry any fish or meat or vegetable, you can pan fry your way through thousands of dishes.

The success of this dish is in the understanding of this simple technique of pan-frying; the ability to carefully regulate the temperature to achieve the right degree of heat. If the butter becomes too hot, it will burn, and the meat or fish will dry out. However, if the butter is not hot enough, the fish or meat will not brown and will stew in its own juices.

When it is right stage, the smells will invade your kitchen. It is also at this stage that the cook's interest peaks, you hear the song of the gentle sizzling of the pan and know it is absolutely right. While the fish proteins are browning, the juices will seep out and collect at the bottom of the pan (into heavenly sucs.) begging for a splash of water to create a heavenly jus.

Some of the best meat and fish I've eaten have simply been pan-fried in butter or olive oil. And the wondrous juices can be created by adding water to the pan, which dilutes the caramelised juices at the bottom of the pan, creating a most exciting jus. This method is simple, delicious and as good as any Michelin star meal.

Crispy skin: 
Often people discard the skin, but to me this is the very best part, and also the most nutritious as it contains the most essential omega fats. By taking your time to gently pan-fry it, you will have a tasty treat. 

Variations:

You can replace the water with brown chicken stock which would give more depth of flavour to the sauce. 

The variations for the potato puree are enormous – garlic, olive oil, any herbs you like, horseradish, mustard and nutmeg. Flavour as you wish!

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