Gone fishing...

Topsham, Devon July 13, 2002 Just returned from a boat trip, playing on the estuary, then out to sea for a spot of fishing. Threw the bass line over and within literally seconds hooked a gorgeous red gurnard. Absolutely stunning looking fish, deep glistening red, with fins spread out as it came in like the wings of a flying fish. Bella wanted to throw it straight back in. No way, we said (cruel parents), for we know full well that red gurnard is one of the tastiest (if least valued) fish around, and we were definitely not going to let this one escape from the cooking pot. We fished for another couple of hours (well, actually dozed while the line was over the side) but nothing else. So on the way upriver, we stopped at the Exmouth Fisheries and purchased a line caught sea bass, a red bream and half a dozen diver's scallops. I'll make a vegetable and fish nage using the bones and carcases from the fish, then poach the fish fillets and scallops for a simple, elegant dîner à trois in the garden (eating outdoors for what, only about the second time all summer).

Nage des poissons Topsham style

For the nage

2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1 leek, finely shredded
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 star anise
Piece of lemongrass
6 Sechuan peppercorns
Half a bottle of dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
Fish bones, head, etc

2 sea bass fillets
1 red sea bream fillet
1 red gurnard
6 scallops
(of course you should use whatever fish is freshest, but avoid strong or oily types )

First make the nage. Add the fish head and bones to a pot, cover with water, bring to the simmer, skim and cook for 20 minutes. Strain to a clean saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for half an hour.

Prepare the fish and add the thickest fillets to the simmering nage. Continue with thinner fillets and finally the scallops, cooking the latter for just a couple of minutes at most. Serve in bowls together with a ladle or two of the nage.

Wine suggestion: Serve with the same wine used to make the nage, a good Italian Pinot Grigio or a zesty New Zealand Sauvignon.

Copyright © Marc Millon 2002

|Home| |QP New Media| |Kim's Gallery|

Copyright © Marc and Kim Millon 2002