Hake and potato bake with chicory

Gennaro Contaldo advises baking the potatoes first for extra crispiness to contrast with the tender fish in this comforting dish
By Gennaro Contaldo
Hake and potato bake with chicory
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the hake

  • 1 kg hake fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 500 ml milk
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds 5mm thick
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 lemons, juice only, strained through a sieve
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the foil baked chicory

  • 4 large green bullbs of chicory, sliced lengthways into quarters
  • 4 red bulbs of chicory, sliced lengthways into quarters
  • leaves basil
  • 12 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice

Tips and Suggestions

Baking the potatoes first for this recipe ensures added crispiness and is definitely worth the wait. When cooking the fish and adding the condiments, make sure the fish is dry, otherwise the crispy potatoes go soggy. If you prefer, you can substitute cod for the hake. By baking the vegetables in foil, all the flavour is retained so when you open the parcel you get a lovely aroma. If you are cooking for smaller numbers of people you can just make one large parcel. Smaller ones are a lot easier to handle.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2. For the hake: in a pan large enough to hold all of the fish, place the hake, garlic, milk, and bay leaves. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Remove from the heat and transfer the fish to a mixing bowl.

4. Place the potato slices on a large, lightly greased baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over the top. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden-brown. Remove and set aside, then turn the oven up to 200C/Gas 5.

5. In a small pan, melt the butter then tip over the fish in the bowl. Pour over the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well together, flaking the fish with a fork.

6. Line a large ovenproof dish with a layer of potatoes, then add a layer of fish, followed by another layer of potatoes, then fish, ending up with a layer of potatoes on the top. Set aside.

7. For the foil baked chicory wash the vegetables and pat dry with kitchen towel.

8. Lay out eight sheets of aluminium foil large enough to accommodate each serving of vegetables. In the centre of each piece of foil, place four pieces of chicory (green and red), a few basil leaves and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. Seal the foil packets tightly and place onto a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Place the dish with the fish and potatoes into the oven to warm through for the last 5-10 minutes.

10. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.

11. When the vegetables are ready, remove from oven, open up and drizzle the dressing over vegetables.

12. Serve the fish and potato bake with the vegetables on the side.


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