The I am always on the hunt for easy dinner party recipes. Ones that can largely be prepared in advance, cooked in one pan (big bonus marks for reducing the washing up pile) and yet still look impressive are my prey. It’s just a shame they’re such elusive beasts.
So it’s safe to say that when I found this fish recipe I was pretty excited (and, yes, I clearly need to get out more). Easy and relatively quick to prepare, it tastes delicious, and looks pretty good too.
The only catch (if you’ll excuse the pun) is you have to cook the fish and spinach just before serving, which could theoretically be a little stressful. Especially if you are like me and incapable of doing two things at once and you have a guest in your kitchen. But actually, it’s really not that bad, especially since the whole thing only takes about 5 minutes.
The recipe calls for sautéing potatoes for 30 minutes. This is the most time-consuming bit of the whole event but you don’t have to stir the whole time – just give them a shake every 5 minutes or so. But, if you are after something quicker (this would be a great mid-week supper too), you could skip the potatoes and just serve it with bread instead to mop up the delicious juices. Enjoy!
Sea Bream with Chorizo, Sautéed Potatoes and Peppers
Adapted from a recipe in Waitrose Food Illustrated
4 fillets sea bream (about 120g each) – equally delicious with cod, haddock, or any other white fish
250g baby new potatoes (if larger than a ping-pong ball, half/quarter to get nice bite-size pieces)
150g baby spinach leaves
150g chorizo, chopped into smallish chunks
2 springs rosemary
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves
2 large roasted red peppers from a jar, sliced into thin ribbons
40g pine nuts, toasted
2 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan/sauté pan for which you have a lid over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the potatoes, 3 whole garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, and 1 rosemary sprig. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, shaking every now and then, until tender and nicely coloured.
- Whilst the potatoes are cooking, make the red pepper sauce. Chop the remaining garlic clove and finely chop the remaining rosemary.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan, add the garlic, 2 bay leaves, and rosemary and cook gently for a minute. Add the peppers, anchovies (if using) and pine nuts and either heat through or set aside until needed*.
- Discard any excess oil from the potato pan along with the herbs and garlic. Turn up the heat to medium and add the chorizo to fry and colour a little – about 3 minutes.
- Push the potatoes and chorizo to the edge of your pan to make room for the fish. Add the fish fillets skin side down, pressing them down to stop them curling. Cook for 3 minutes on the skin side.
- Meanwhile, if you prepared the pepper sauce earlier, reheat it.
- After 3 minutes, as you flip the fish over, scatter the the spinach into the pan – it will seem like a lot but will wilt down. Cover and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the lid and move the spinach around to ensure it’s all wilted down towards the end of the 2 minutes.
- Season with lemon juice and serve immediately, putting the fish on a bed of potatoes, spinach and chorizo and spooning over some of the pepper sauce.
The red pepper sauce can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.
You can prepare steps 1 and 2 an hour or so in advance of when you want to eat (just reheat prior to cooking the fish).