Whole sea bass is a real treat, with plenty of flavour from being cooked on the bone, but you can also use fillets which may be easier to cook with first time around.
Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: Approx. 1 hour. Serves: 4
- In a small saucepan, add the lemon juice, honey and the quartered lemons (do not remove the pips). Leave to simmer on a low heat for approximately 40 minutes. Once the juice has reduced by half, pass through a sieve. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil and lemon paste. To complete the dressing incorporate the lemon zest, sliced spring onion, chopped coriander, and chilli powder. Season to taste.
- Peel and stone the ripe avocados. Place the avocados in a blender with the lemon juice, Tabasco, olive oil, coriander and a pinch of salt. Blend until the purée is smooth (you might need to add a little water if the avocados are not ripe enough).
- Make sure the fillets of fish are clean and properly descaled before using. Season the fillets with salt. Sear the fish skin side down in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil on a medium heat. Once the skin is crispy and lightly coloured (roughly 3 minutes) turn the fish over and cook for a further 1 minute.
- In the same pan, sear the courgette for a couple of minutes and deglaze with water. Once the water has completely evaporated, the courgette should be tender and cooked throughout.
- Peel, stone and segment the avocado. Pan sear each segment carefully in a lightly oiled pan until coloured on each side.
- Delicately plate all the ingredients.
For the lemon dressing:
- 120ml lemon juice 1 tbsp honey
- 1 whole lemon, peeled and quartered
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ lemon, zested
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- A bunch of coriander, chopped
- Pinch of chilli powder Salt and pepper
For the avocado purée:
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 drops of Tabasco 2 tbsp olive oil
- Few sprigs of coriander
For the sea bass and courgette:
- 1.8kg whole sea bass (or 1kg of filets)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 courgette, halved
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 avocado
Food for thought
Review: Best of Jewish Cooking, Cookery School at Little Portland Street
My husband is in charge of making the chicken soup in our house – and we all look forward to it. But there might be a new kid in town, as I’ve just been on the Best of Jewish Cooking class run by Cookery School at Little Portland Street.
South African-born Rosalind Rathouse, who has worked as a professional cook, set up the school in 2003. Based just behind Oxford Circus, it runs around 40 classes in everything from vegetarian, Middle Eastern and Mexican to breads and baking.
The nine dishes we made – challah, traditional chicken soup with kneidlach, aubergine in tomato sauce, green beans in tomato sauce, beef tsimmes, potato latkes with apple sauce and blintzes – are Rosalind’s own recipes, and reflect her mixed Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions.
We plaited the challah, chopped veg, avoided overcrowding the pans, grated potatoes, shaped kneidlach and latkes and kept an eye on all the dishes.
While most Jewish cooks might think their recipes are best, we learnt many new touches and tricks. Rosalind includes saffron in her challah – and milk, to make it even fluffier. She uses onion oil and adds cinnamon to her kneidlach and cloves to the chicken soup.
Overall, the three hours (which include eating what we’d prepared) were full on and flew by, while the recipes are all keepers and fairly straightforward.
The school is not kosher, but it is concerned with sustainability and the environment.
Cookery School at Little Portland Street: Best of Jewish Cooking is priced £125, www.cookeryschool.co.uk
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