Any white fish will work for this recipe. On a recent visit to my parents’ farm in Mpumalanga I had to do one evening of ‘smart food’ and used hake with fresh corn from the harvest. The extras on the plate can be varied with a fresh salad or, if you fancy a similar plate, use carrot purée, ginger gel and popcorn powder.
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 20 min
4–6 cod or hake fillets
Sea salt and ground black pepper
90 ml extra virgin olive oil
45 ml butter
4 corn on the cob, grilled quite dark and cut off the cobs
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets and blanched
15 ml sunflower or grape seed oil
180 g popcorn kernels
15 ml fine sea salt
15 ml sugar
5 ml cayenne pepper (optional)
Make the popcorn powder first. Heat the oil in a large saucepan until hot. Add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid. Keep shaking the saucepan until the popping has come to a stop. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large baking tray. Carefully pick out the kernels that didn’t pop and discard them. Season the popcorn with salt, sugar and cayenne pepper and place the mixture in a blender. Use both hands to shake the blender while it is in action so that it blends evenly. The popcorn should resemble a fine powder. Place in an airtight container until ready to use.
Season the fish fillets on both sides. In a large skillet, heat 60 ml of the olive oil and 30 ml of the butter. When the pan is hot, add the fish fillets and cook until golden brown and the fish flakes easily. Depending on the thickness it should take about 3 minutes on each side.
In a separate medium-sized pan, warm the remaining 30 ml oil and 15 ml butter over medium heat. Add the corn, cauliflower and seasoning. Sauté until the corn and cauliflowers are soft and warm.
Serve the fish with the corn and cauliflower, Carrot Purée and Ginger Gel. Dust each portion with 5 ml popcorn powder.