Baked hoki with Spanish salsa romesco
Photo by Tamara West
Kathy Paterson spent a morning in the kitchen with chef Tom Kime to gather a few fresh ideas on how to cook New Zealand’s sustainable hoki. Tom’s romesco sauce covers all the bases of flavour and texture. Leaving some of the hazelnuts and almonds in large pieces provides a great visual and textural contrast. There is a sweetness and smoked peppery heat from the paprika and chilli. The fresh squeeze of lemon juice at the end awakens all the flavours and cuts the richness of the sauce and baked hoki.
|1||Red pepper, cut in half and deseeded|
|2||Tomatoes, plum or roma, cut in half|
|1 tsp||Brown sugar|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1 slice||Bread, thick, crusts removed and bread torn into pieces|
|2 Tbsp||Hazelnuts, shelled|
|2 Tbsp||Blanched almonds|
|1||Red chilli, small, deseeded and finely chopped|
|½ tsp||Spanish smoked sweet paprika|
|100 ml||Olive oil|
|1 Tbsp||Sherry vinegar|
|4 pieces||Hoki, about 180g per portion|
- Heat the oven on grill.
- Cover the dried chilli with hot water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Reserve soaking liquid.
- Place the red pepper and tomatoes on a grill rack with tray underneath and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place under the grill and grill until the pepper skin is blistered and blackened and the tomato is caramelised. When the red pepper is cool, peel the skin away. Cut the softened chilli in half and remove the seeds and finely chop the flesh.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the garlic cloves. Pan-fry until golden, then remove and reserve. Pan-fry the bread until golden and crisp.
- Wipe out the frying pan and toast the hazelnuts and almonds until golden. Roughly chop.
- Place the chopped dried chilli flesh in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic and about 2 tsp of the soaking liquid. Add the red pepper, tomatoes, toasted bread and half of the toasted nuts. Puree, leaving the sauce slightly chunky. Add the fresh red chilli, paprika and vinegar. With the motor running, drizzle the oil in through the feed tube.
- Taste the sauce and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the sauce in a bowl and add the remaining nuts.
- Place the hoki in a shallow terracotta or similar oven-proof dish. Spoon over enough of the romesco sauce to cover the hoki and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C. Spoon the remaining romesco sauce around the hoki and more on top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the hoki.
- Remove from the oven and squeeze over the lemon juice, serve immediately with crusty bread and rocket salad.