Couscous of vegetables with red mullet and parsley sauce

11 September 2006
Couscous of vegetables with red mullet and parsley sauce


(Serves four)

For the mullet 1tbs olive oil
2 x 200g red mullet
Pinch of star anise powder
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice

For the couscous 50ml water
Pinch of cumin
1tbs olive oil
Pinch of saffron
Salt and pepper
50g couscous
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
20 coriander leaves, chopped

For the vegetables 20ml olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 head of fennel, peeled if stringy, diced
1 courgette, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1tsp sakhen
Salt and pepper
1tsp tomato purée
Small bunch fresh coriander
(NB. Dicing should be about 5mm square)

For parsley sauce 20ml double cream
50ml water
Salt and pepper
50g flat-leaf parsley, picked and washed

For confit sultanas 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
200g sultanas
1 litre water
Salt and pepper
15g butter
1tsp icing sugar
1tsp cinnamon

Method Scale and fillet the red mullet. Remove interior bones. Wash and dry fillets. Place in the refrigerator.

For the couscous: Boil the 50ml water with cumin, olive oil, saffron, salt and pepper. Pour on to couscous - rub grains with your fingers to stop lumps forming. When the couscous is cool, add red pepper and coriander. Re-season with salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Put to one side, covered.

For the vegetables: Heat olive oil in a casserole and fry diced vegetables together. When there is a caramelisation of the vegetables, season with sakhen, salt, pepper and add tomato purée. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Most of the water should evaporate. Remove from heat and reserve.

For the parsley sauce: Boil cream with water, salt and pepper. Add parsley leaves. Continue boiling until leaves are soft (effectively overcooked). Blend mixture until smooth, pass through a strainer. Reserve.

For confit sultanas: Place onion in a casserole. Add sultanas and 1 litre of water, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer until water has evaporated. Add butter, icing sugar and cinnamon. Cook slowly to caramelise all ingredients. Reserve.

To assemble: Spoon a quarter of the parsley sauce on to each plate, place a stainless steel ring mould (about 5cm diameter) on top and add a quarter of the couscous. Press couscous down to make compact. On top of couscous, spoon a quarter of veg mixture. Press down to make compact. Remove mould.

To finish red mullet: Heat 1tbs olive oil in a frying pan, add mullet fillets. Season with star anise and salt and pepper. Fry both sides and when cooked, add a few drops of lemon juice.

Balance fillets on top of couscous and vegetable tower. Add a spoonful of cinnamon-flavoured onion and sultanas.

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