Hake Steamed in Swiss Chard with Braised Chard Stalks and Hollandaise Sauce
Moist, delicious Hake balanced with a rich Hollandaise Sauce. This recipe is filled with goodness.
- Serves: 4 |
- Difficulty: moderate
- Prep Time : 20 mins |
- Cook Time : 15 mins
Hake and chard
2 bunches Swiss chard, stalks intact
50 g butter
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
4 x 150 g fresh hake fillets, pin boned (choose good thick cuts rather than tail pieces)
5 Tbsp (75 ml) cold water
1 Tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) crushed white peppercorns
4 egg yolks
250 g tepid clarified butter (see tip at end of method)
juice of ½ lemon
pinch of salt
Start by washing the chard thoroughly. Carefully remove the leafy part from the stalk by running a paring knife down the edge of the ‘rib’. Reserve the stalks and place the leaves into a steamer basket – I prefer to use a bamboo steamer to prepare this dish. Gently steam the chard leaves for 2 minutes and then refresh in ice-cold water. Remove from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid and pat dry with a paper towel. Keep to one side.
Remove the very bottom part of the stalks with a knife and chop the rest into ½-cm pieces along the length of the stalks. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat and gently sweat off the chard stalks in the butter, stirring every 1–2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) water to the pan and keep braising the stalks for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep to one side and reheat when you are ready to serve.
Meanwhile, season the hake with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Carefully wrap each piece of hake in the blanched chard leaves, making sure that the fish is completely covered. Wrap the fish in a single layer of plastic wrap.
Everything up to this point can be done in advance if you are hosting a dinner party. Just get your steamer ready and make the hollandaise sauce and you’ll be ready to go!
Place the water, vinegar and pepper into a small pan and reduce by one-third over low heat. Decant into a bowl that will fit over a small saucepan and whisk in the egg yolks. Bring a little bit of water to a boil in the small saucepan and place the bowl on top to create a double boiler. Constantly whisk the mixture, keeping the whisk in contact with the base of the bowl. It should take about 8 minutes for the mixture to become smooth and creamy. Remove the bowl from the heat and gently trickle in the tepid butter, constantly whisking. Season with the salt and stir the lemon juice in at the end. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Place the fish into a steamer and steam for 10–12 minutes. Test if the fish is done by inserting the tip of a paring knife into the centre of the fish for 10 seconds – the knife should penetrate easily and feel hot when removing it and placing it on the inside of your forearm. Gently remove the fish from the plastic wrap.
Serve the fish on the braised chard stalks with the Hollandaise sauce. This is pretty good on its own but eats very well with any potato gratin if you’d like to add something extra.
Tip: To make clarified butter, melt the butter very gently and ladle the clear liquid through a tea strainer, leaving the milky deposits (milk solids) in the bottom of the pan.