Steamed cod on prawn gnocchi with a pea and bacon foam – by Ross Pike

11 September 2006
Steamed cod on prawn gnocchi with a pea and bacon foam – by Ross Pike

(Serves four)

4 x 150g skinned cod middle fillet portions
75g shelled prawns
2 litres court bouillon
10g finely chopped chives
150g fresh peas
50g smoked streaky bacon cut in strips
150ml chicken stock
75ml double cream
1kg whole Bintje potatoes, skin on
375g 00 flour
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
90g melted butter
1 frozen part-baked demi-baguette
2g approx Spanish smoked paprika
Sea salt and black pepper

Cover the cod in sea salt for at least one hour to firm up flesh. Wash off excess salt. At service, place fish on a steamer tray over a pan of simmering court bouillon for seven to eight minutes.

For the prawn gnocchi, pan-fry the prawns in a little butter until the prawns are nicely caramelised. Season with salt. Add remaining butter and remove from heat. Blitz in food processor for a couple of seconds until consistency is coarse.

Bake the potatoes in their skins until soft. Remove skin and finely mash, cool. Add eggs, prawn butter mixture, chives, seasoning and the 00 flour. Mix until you get a smooth dough. Place mixture into piping bag with 5mm hole cut in the bag. Pipe on to floured surface, in 20cm lines. Cut 3cm long pieces and place into a large pan filled with salted boiling water. They are cooked when they float. Remove and coat in olive oil. At service, place back in boiling water for two minutes.

For the pea and bacon foam, place bacon into a very hot frying pan (no fat required). Cook until nicely caramelised. Add chicken stock. When it boils, add cream, then peas. Cook for at least 30 seconds, then remove from heat and place mixture in food processor. Blitz until smooth, remove and pass sauce through a chinois. Chill very quickly.

At service, place sauce into small pan and gently heat to 90° C. Do not boil, or the sauce will not foam. Foam using a stick blender.

For the garnish, cut frozen demi-baguette on to a meat slicer on the finest setting. You are looking for very fine slices like net curtains. Place the slices on to a silicone-lined baking tray. Dust with paprika and dry on a very low heat (with no colour) for about one hour.

To plate, place five pieces of gnocchi at the centre of a plate. Place cod on top of gnocchi with foamed sauce. You are looking to create a support for the cod with the gnocchi, so all you see is the cod floating on the foam. Place paprika bread on top of the cod for height and texture.

Ross Pike, executive development chef, Holroyd Howe

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