On stage at Rioja Tapas Fantasticas this year, José Pizarro will be cooking up some delicious Spanish morsels, such as this pan-fried hake with cockles, asparagus, peas and mint. Why not try it at home alongside a delicious young barrel fermented white Rioja?
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 x thick pieces of unskinned hake fillet, 200g each
200g fine asparagus tips
150g baby peas, freshly shelled or frozen
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
90g shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g cockles, cleaned
120ml fish or chicken stock
½ tablespoon chopped parsley
½ tablespoon chopped mint
Sea salt flakes
Season the hake with salt and set aside. Cut the asparagus tips into 1 inch pieces, drop them into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 1 ½ minutes. Add the peas, cook for a further 30 seconds, then drain. Refresh under cold water and set aside.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan, add the shallots and garlic and cook gently for 4-5 minutes until soft but not browned. Remove from the heat.
Rub the outside of the hake generously with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the hake skin-side down and fry for 2 ½ minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden.
Turn the fish over, lower the heat slightly, and continue to fry for 4 minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile, return the pan of softened shallots and garlic to a high heat and add the cockles and stock, cover and cook, shaking the pan now and then, for 2-3 minutes until the cockles have opened. Uncover and stir in the asparagus, peas, parsley, mint and season to taste.
Serve each piece of hake on a large warmed soup plate and spoon some of the cockle mixture.