Pancetta-wrapped Haddock with Jersey Royals, Crispy Leeks and Pea Puree
I fancied something a little fancy, it’s Friday night after all! Meaty haddock fillet, seasoned and wrapped in Parma ham, pan seared then finished in the oven on a trivet of roasted rosemary baby new potatoes. By using the same skillet pan again, the leeks take on the salty flavour of the ham which is great against the sweet pea puree. All done on about £7 for two people in about 30-40 minutes! Can’t go wrong and perfect for a little date night if you’re feeling on the fancy side.
So, I watched a TV programme not so long ago and the chef was cooking with some of the most expensive ingredients I’ve ever heard of, which I often think is unnecessary, but something he said stuck with me. “Yes, these ingredients are expensive but this makes me respect them, my cooking is better”. I for one, am a student, and while not poor I like to eat out of the reduced section and bag a really good deal. In other words, I get a kick out of making something tasty from what might otherwise be thrown away. But, in this case I totally agree. I wouldn’t normally buy nice fish or expensive ham, but it was worth it, and still inexpensive for a special occasion. So give it a go!
Ingredients (for 2)
- Approximately 300g fillet of haddock/cod/other white fish
- 4 slices of Parma ham
- 1 medium leek, sliced into rounds
- 400g of new potatoes e.g. Jersey Royals
- 1 handful of peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
First off preheat your oven to 200C/190C fan/gas mark 5. While that’s getting ready, prep your tatties! Wash them off and cut the new potatoes into halves (or thirds if they’re larger) so they’re all the same size. Spread out on a small baking tray and toss in 1 tbsp of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Before popping them in the oven finely chop 90% of your fresh rosemary, leaving a few ‘leaves’ or needles aside for the fish. Sprinkle about 1 heaped teaspoon on the potatoes and roast for about 30 minutes in total (we will mess with them later!)
Halve your fish, cutting with the grain of the meat and season with a little salt and pepper, then set aside. Lay out 2 slices of parma ham so just overlapping, then place one of the fish pieces in the centre. Top the fish with 3 rosemary needles and a few drops of lemon juice before wrapping up in the parma to form a nice neat parcel. Repeat with the second piece of fish, then set aside.
You’ve now got time to whip up the pea puree. Cook the peas in a mug of water in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then whack in a small food processor with a tsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of water, a dash of lemon juice and seasoning. Blitz until smooth.
Once the potatoes have been in the oven for 20 minutes, turn them and turn the heat up another 20C. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a small skillet pan on a high heat until hot, then place in the fish. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the fillet so the ham starts to crisp up, then place on top of the new potatoes (like a trivet) in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
While the fish cooks, add another tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and add the leeks to saute with a little salt, pepper and a twist of dried chilli flakes. Let them crisp up over a medium heat while the fish cooks.
Plate up, layering the ingredients and finishing with the vibrant pea puree. Enjoy!