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Recipe: Pan-roasted Pollock with Crushed Potatoes and Watercress Mayonnaise

September 25th 2013


Try a taster of Carole Bamford's new recipe book, A Love for Food: Recipes And Notes For Cooking And Eating Well with one of her delicious new dishes

Cooking with pollock is easier on fish stocks than buying cod (unless this comes from a sustainable fishery), and it is very similar in texture and appearance, though it has a slightly less pronounced taste – however, the zingy flavours in the crushed potatoes and the pepperiness of the watercress mayonnaise combine to make this a really vibrant dish. Ask your fishmonger to pin-bone the fish for you.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

4 x 150g pieces of pollock, skin on and pin-boned

1 tablespoon butter

juice of ½ a lemon, plus 4 lemon wedges

For the crushed potatoes:

400g salad potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

125g podded fresh peas (or frozen peas, defrosted)

4 spring onions, finely sliced

2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil

2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh mint

zest of 1 lemon

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

For the watercress mayonnaise:

1 bunch of watercress, large stalks removed

100g mayonnaise

zest of 1 lemon and the juice of ½ a lemon


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

For the crushed potatoes, put the potatoes into a pan of cold, lightly salted water and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until tender.

Drain in a colander and return them to the pan, crush slightly with a back of a spoon, then mix in the olive oil, peas, spring onions, herbs and lemon zest. Season to taste.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the watercress mayonnaise. Have ready a bowl of iced water. Bring a pan of water to the boil, then dip in the watercress to blanch it for 5 seconds only, lift out with a slotted spoon or sieve, and put into the iced water to cool. Squeeze out the water, then chop and mix with the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice. Season to taste.

To cook the pollock, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan that will transfer to the oven. Season the fish and put into the pan, skin side down. Cook over a medium heat until the skin is crisp and golden, then turn over and put into the oven for about 6 minutes, until just cooked (it should be opaque all the way through).

Remove the pan from the oven, add the butter and lemon juice, let the butter melt, then spoon over the fish. Divide the slices of fish, with the buttery juices, between four plates, and add a lemon wedge to each, together with some of the crushed potatoes and a good dollop of watercress mayonnaise.

This recipe was taken from A Love For Food: Recipes And Notes For Cooking And Eating by Daylesford, published by 4th Estate. Priced £30 and available now from Amazon.

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