27/09/2011

Roasted Haddock with a Mushroom Cream Sauce and Courgette Linguine

Linguine? Isn't that ... pasta? Yes, it is, but we're going to make our paleo linguine from courgette.

Read on ...

First, get the oven on and set to 220C.

Using a julienne slicer, take as many slices as you can from a courgette and drop into a dry non-stick frying pan.

Place some purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli stalks into a pan and cover with hot water.

Take an ovenproof tray and lay the pieces of haddock out with a few quartered small tomatoes. Place a small knob of butter on each piece of fish. Butter works well, but if you are a purist, lard or bacon grease will work equally well.

Slice up some flavoursome mushrooms such as chestnut variety and soften gently with a little butter in a frying pan. Pour over double cream, tap a little white pepper into the mix and set to reduce slowly - the aim is to have a thick sauce imbued with mushroom flavour, perhaps pepped up with a wee drop of whisky.

If you do not eat dairy, make up a sauce with coconut cream and water - the flavour will be noticeable, but coconut and fish is a combination that works well.

Once the sauce looks to be almost there put the haddock and tomatoes into the oven, fire up the pan of broccoli to a high heat and the frying pan with linguine onto a medium heat.

The haddock will take only a short time to cook through in the pre-heated oven, so 6-8 minutes will be fine.

In that time, the broccoli will boil to tender and the linguine will soften just nicely.

Remove the haddock from the oven, combining the tomatoes with the linguine while you plate up. Adding a wee slosh of single malt whisky to the cream sauce will give it a special edge - I like the smoke hinted whiskys from Islay and Skye: Laphroaig and Talisker. Again, if you're off alcohol, it's optional. Anyway ...

Plate up with the broccoli down first in the middle of the plate. Lay the haddock on top and spoon over the cream sauce. Mound up the linguine and tomatoes at the side and add any other little accompaniments - I used an artichoke palm cut into inch long pieces.

The heaviness of the cream sauce is well countered by the sharpness of the tomatoes, with soft fish, mushrooms and palate cleansing linguine to make a well balanced dish.

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