Posts Tagged ‘Rick Stein’

Hake and scallion mash with a soy butter sauce

The soy butter sauce here is absolutely delicious and we were perhaps a bit over-generous with it when plating up. You can do some sort of drizzly thing if you want it look a bit fancier. Either way your guests will be impressed!

Wine Suggestion: We went off-piste and served a light bodied, Loire Valley red from Saumur-Champigny, the Chateau Hureau “Tuffe” 2010. As it was a warm evening we’d chilled the bottle for 30 minutes in the fridge and it was charming and a delightful match proving that red wine can go with fish. We think the depth of flavour in the soy butter sauce helped too.

Hake on Scallion Mash with a Soy Butter Sauce – serves 4

  • 4 x 200g pieces of thick hake fillet, with skin on
  • melted butter for brushing
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • sea salt flakes and coarsely crushed black pepper


  • 1.25kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • a little milk
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper


  • 600ml chicken stock (preferably home-made)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 tomato, skinned, seeded and diced (plunge into hot water for 1 minute to make peeling easier)
  • 1 heaped tsp chopped coriander

Lay the fish in a shallow dish with the skin-side down and sprinkle with the sea salt flakes, then set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse the salt off and dry the fish with kitchen paper. Brush the fish pieces with the melted butter and put skin-side up on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle the skin with a few sea salt flakes and some black pepper.

Cook the potatoes in boiling unsalted water for 20 minutes or until tender.

Start the sauce by putting the stock and soy sauce into another pan and boiling rapidly until reduced by half.

Preheat the grill to high and grill the hake for 8 minutes on one side only.

When the fish is almost done, add the butter to the sauce and whisk it in. Take off the heat and add the tomato and coriander.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan, then mash until smooth. Heat the butter in another pan and toss the scallions in the hot butter briefly. Beat scallions and butter into the potato with a little bit of milk and some salt and white pepper. Spoon the scallions mash into the centre of warm plates. Rest the hake on top and spoon the sauce around the outside.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein Fish & Shellfish, Random House, 2014.)

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Gambas al ajillo

This is the same dish as Prawns Pil-Pil which you get in restaurants all over Spain. Ordinary food but absolutely delicious. Don’t forget some crusty bread to mop up the oil.

Wine Suggestion: This is great with a Manzanilla sherry, like the La Gitana by Hidalgo we had with it. The dry and savoury character of the wine makes every component sing and has a great ability to both entice hunger and also sate the palate.

Gambas al ajillo – to serve 4 as a starter 

  • 750g unpeeled prawns
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 5g flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 300ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed dried chilli flakes

Peel the prawns but leave the last tail segment in place.

Sprinkle the garlic and parsley with ½ tsp of salt and chop together to form a course mixture.

Pour the oil into a large, deep frying pan over a low heat. When hot, at the chilli flakes and garlic and parsley mixture and cook gently for a few minute or until sizzling and smelling delicious.

Turn the heat up a touch before adding prawns and cooking for a few minutes or until just cooked through. Season with a bit more salt to taste.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011.)

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We have loved every recipe we have tried from Rick Stein’s Spain. This is a really nice rice dish from Valencia which we’ll definitely be doing again. It tastes similar to paella but requires fewer ingredients. Delicious and easy!

Arroz de rape, azafrán y pimientos – to serve 6

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g finely chopped shallot
  • 1 small head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pimentón dulce (smoked sweet Spanish paprika), plus a bit extra for seasoning the fish
  • a pinch of crushed dried chillies
  • 200g vine ripened beef tomatoes, halved
  • 1 litre Fish stock
  • 1/2 tsp loosely packed saffron strands
  • 400g short-grained paella rice such as Calasperra
  • 1 large roasted red pepper or 3 jarred pimientos
  • 500g monkfish fillet, trimmed of membrane then cut across into 1 cm thick slices
  • Aioli to serve

Grate the tomatoes using a coarse grater. You will be left with the skin which you can discard. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a 28-30cm cazuela or shallow flameproof casserole, add the shallot and fry gently for 10 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the garlic, pimentón and chillies and fry for another 2 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and cook until they have broken down into a sauce.

Stir in the fish stock, saffron and 1 1/2 tsp of salt and bring to the boil, stirring. Sprinkle in the rice, stir once, then leave to simmer vigorously over a medium-high heat for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the roasted red pepper or jarred pimientos into 1cm-wide strips, removing any skin and seeds. Sprinkle over the top of the rice and shake briefly so they sink in a bit. Lower the heat and leave to simmer gently for another 12 minutes. At the end the liquid should all have absorbed and the rice should have small holes on the surface.

Before the rice is ready, pat the monkfish pieces dry and season well with salt and a little pimentón. Heat 2tbsp olil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the monkfish slices in batches and fry over a high heat for 1 minute on each side until very lightly coloured and almost cooked.

Lay the fish on top of the rice, turn off the heat and cover with a lid or clean cloth. Leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the monkfish to finish cooking through.

Serve with alioli.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011)

Wine Suggestion: The best match would be something with a the joy of youth and fruitiness like a joven (young) Tempranillo or a light Garnacha.

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Perfect as the nights close in and the seasons change. This is our second recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain and another success. It takes two days to make but is so straightforward that it’s not a chore at all. As we had torrential rain in Dublin on Saturday and Sunday we could not have picked a better weekend to try it!

P.S. you have to like sucking on bones!

Oxtail and Red Wine Stew from Pamplona – Rabo de torro de Pamplona – to serve 6

  • 2kg oxtail, cut across into 5cm thick pieces
  • 50g plain flour, seasoned
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 200g carrots, sliced
  • 175g leeks, thickly sliced
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 500ml red wine
  • 500ml dark beef stock
  • A bouquet garni of bay leaves, parsley stalks and thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Trim the excess fat off your oxtail pieces and season well with salt and pepper. Toss in the seasoned flour and knock off the excess, keep the remaining seasoned flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat, add the oxtail pieces in batches and fry until well browned. Lift them onto a plate as they are done.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan with the garlic, onions, carrots and leeks and fry for about 10 minutes or until browned.

Pour the brandy over and set alight. Once the flames have died stir in the remaining seasoned flour, then gradually stir in the red wine and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the oxtail, the beef stock, bouquet garni, 1/2 tsp of salt and lots of black pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until the oxtail is tender but not falling apart yet. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then cover and chilli overnight.

The next day, scrape the layer of fat off the top of the casserole. Gently reheat, then lift the oxtail into a bowl. Pass the sauce through a fine seive into a clean pan, pressing out as much sauce as you can with the back of a ladle. Discard what’s left in the sieve. Return to the heat and simmer vigorously for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and is well flavoured. Return the oxtail, season and simmer for 5 minutes to heat through. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Nice with steamed or mashed potatoes and broccoli.

Wine Suggestion: Pick a medium bodied red wine based on Tempranillo and maybe with a dollop of Garnacha to give it extra juiciness. We drank a Sierra Cantabria Cuvée which had some good age in the bottle and 18 months in oak which softens and rounds the tannins. Anything heavier or more tannic will feel a bit too much with this rich dish.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011)

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This is the  first recipe we’ve tried from Rick Stein’s Spain. Unusually made with white wine, this beef stew is a bit lighter but still rich and full-flavoured. Leftovers are particularly good the next day too. It takes a while to cook but is really easy and there are very few ingredients needed.

Rick says the Spanish serve this with patatas fritas but in an attempt to be not quite so unhealthy we did some roasted slices of potato instead.

Beef in White Wine, Oviedo-Style (Carne gobernada) – to serve 6

  • 1.5kg chuck or blade steak
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g onions, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 300g small carrots, cut into 5 cm lengths
  • salt and pepper
Trim the meat and cut it into bite-sized chunks. Season well with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole and fry the beef in batches until nicely browned. Set aside on a plate.

Add the rest of the olive oil and the onions, garlic, bay leaves and a half tsp of salt to the pan, then cook very gently for about 30 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden.

Add the beef back to the pan, add the wine, bring to the boil and season with another half tsp of salt and some pepper. Cover and leave to simmer gently for 2 hours, stir it now and again.

Add the carrots, cover again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the wine and meat juice have combined to make a rich sauce and meet is really tender. Adjust the seasoning and serve with some potatoes.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, published by

Wine Suggestion: Despite being a stew this dish is not heavy, so avoid big, full-fruited wines when trying to pick something to match this. We went around to O’Briens to find a medium bodied Spanish with not too much oak and really struggled as nothing really matched this brief. Our choice in the end was a Sierra Cantabria Crianza from Rioja which went well, but it would have been better with a Mencia from Bierzo or even a Doa from Portugal where the acidity is naturally a little higher and the use of oak normally much less dominant. You could also search for a joven or roble made from tempranillo and/or garnacha where the  wine is younger, fruitier and made for early drinking – just like the Spanish like it!

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