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Nut & Seed Crusted Hake with Gnocchi

Nut & Seed Crusted Hake with Gnocchi

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Lose the heavy batter in favour of a healthier, crunchier seed crust thats full of good fats.

  • Makes : 4 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 10 mins |
  • Cook Time : 35 mins
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600 g floury potatoes, left whole and unpeeled (cooked weight)

½ tsp salt

5 Tbsp (75 ml) Parmesan cheese, grated

pinch white pepper 

fresh nutmeg

1 egg

175 g flour (do not add all at once but add as needed)

Hake

2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil 

4 x 150 g hake portions, cleaned and trimmed

50 g mixed nuts and seeds toasted and crushed (sesame, flax seed, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, cashew) 

salt and pepper to season

handful of baby spinach per person

2 Tbsp (30 ml) Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tsp (5 ml) parsley, chopped

½ tsp (5 ml) mint, chopped

Gnocchi

Place the potatoes in a steamer and steam until soft and cooked through. If you don’t have a steamer, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, then drain the water and leave the potatoes in the saucepan, or in an oven at a low temperature, to dry a little. Remove the skins and mash the potatoes. Alternatively use a potato ricer or a drum sieve. Weigh out the required quantity and place onto a well-floured surface.

Add the salt, Parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg and egg and then add the flour a little at a time, as needed. Gently knead in enough flour to obtain a soft but firm, smooth dough, do not over work. If the potatoes are moist more flour will be required – this is why it should be added slowly and not all at once. Try and work the dough as little as possible as this keeps the gnocchi light and pillowy.

Using your hands, gently roll the dough on a floured surface into a thin log shape, the thickness should be roughly the size of your forefinger. Cut into 2-2.5 cm pieces. The gnocchi can be left like this or shaped.

To shape, hold a fork in one hand and a piece of gnocchi in your other hand. Place the fork on top of the gnocchi. With a light but assertive touch, use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl when pressed against the fork, and the backs will capture the impression of the fork as tiny ridges. These ridges help to hold the sauce and look pretty, but are not imperative.

Heat salted water in a deep-sided saucepan until it is boiling and then add the gnocchi. As soon as the gnocchi rise to the surface, they are cooked. This should take about a minute, but sometimes can be a little longer. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Hake

Score the hake flesh delicately.

  Place a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the hake to the pan skin down and sprinkle with the crushed nut and seed mix.

Continue to cook for about 4 minutes until golden and crispy.

Turn the fish over to finish and while cooking keep basting with nuts and seeds. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the pan. Add the baby spinach and allow to wilt, once wilted remove.

Serve the hake on a bed of gnocchi with wilted spinach, sprinkled with Parmesan, parsley and mint.