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Evelyn's pan fried hake with herby new potatoes, seasonal greens and a lemon beurre blanc sauce

Evelyn's recipe



  • 5 new potatoes
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Chives, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 200g butter
  • Pea sprouts
  • Cream
  • 2 fresh fillets of hake
  • Rapeseed oil

For the lemon beurre blanc:

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 glass of dry white from Burgundy region (non-oaked/dry)
  • Juice of 4 unwaxed lemons

Selection of fresh Irish greens (approximately 20 in total of the following):

  • Samphire
  • Large asparagus
  • Tiny-baby asparagus
  • Fresh peas in the pod
  • Green beans
  • Baby spinach
  • Agar agar



  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and steam in salted water until cooked. Reserve the water for steaming the greens.
  2. Place the potatoes in a hot serving dish and sprinkle with some of the chopped parsley and chives, salt and a cube of butter. Keep covered with a lid to stay warm.
  3. Blanch the samphire twice to reduce the salt, then soak in cold water.
  4. Trim the asparagus, shell the peas and slice the green beans. Blanch the asparagus, peas, beans and spinach and rinse with cold water.
  5. Cook the pea sprouts in a saucepan of salted water or stock until tender. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  6. Heat the butter in a small pan and add the pea sprouts, cream and chopped herbs. Simmer for a few minutes and season to taste.
  7. Heat the reserved liquid and whisk in the agar agar, simmering for a few minutes.
  8. Purée the two mixtures in a blender until smooth.
  9. Sieve the mixture to remove any lumps, season to taste and pour into a bowl. Refrigerate for one hour, then scoop out rounds using a melon baller and arrange with the greens.
  10. Cut the butter for the beurre blanc into cubes and place in the fridge.
  11. Place the shallots in a heavy saucepan with a small glass of dry, white wine and a half a glass of lemon juice.
  12. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and allow the liquid to reduce to two tablespoons. Reduce the heat to low.
  13. Remove the butter from the fridge and add one to the saucepan, whisking with a small metal whisk until it has been incorporated. Continue adding the butter, one cube at a time, until fully incorporated.
  14. Taste the beurre blanc and pour into a heated thermos flask to keep warm.
  15. Wash the hake and rub with sea salt (more on the thicker part). Keep in the refrigerator.
  16. Heat some oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a knob of butter. Fry the fish, skin-side down, until brown and crispy. Turn over and baste with fresh butter until the inside of the fish is shiny and cooked through.
  17. Place the hake in the centre of a serving plate, skin-side up. Arrange the greens circling the centre with the larger asparagus leaning on the fish. Finish with the beurre blanc in a ‘splish splash’ over the food, with extra in a small jug on the side. Serve the potatoes in a small side bowl.