19 August 2006
Indulgent Saturday - Rick Stein's brill
Went to Borough market this morning. Didn't have a list so just wandered around and bought interesting things. Fatal.
Spent £16 on a fish. Brill, it was! Also bought some very small courgettes from the most expensive vegetable stall in the world. And they gave us a penny off! Decided to cook ourselves a decent meal on the excuse that it's our anniversary next Tuesday.
Cooked Rick Stein's "grilled scored plaice with roasted red pepper, garlic and oregano" (from his Seafood book, P.178), using brill, of course. The oregano is going wild in the garden, but at least this recipe used a teaspoon of it... The fish looked like a work of art in the pan (see picture). Cooked it under our new grill, which was a bit frightening, as it caught fire quite convincingly at one stage. Then I remembered you could turn it down from setting 6. The cooker is made by Prochef and is an impressive furnace, but the grill pan always buckles, which is a little disconcerting. And turning a 1.1kg brill over is a job for two people (with 8 hands).
Served it with Claudia Roden's "Spinach with tomatoes and almonds" (but without the almonds because you can't eat them with a fork, and we didn't have any blanched ones).
The whole thing turned out really well. The brill took about 18 minutes to cook, turning over at 10 or thereabouts. Proper poncey flavours, could have done with a bit of rosti or similar starch in a tower shape for cheffy presentation. It would have fed 3 comfortably, but we ate it all anyway.
On discovering that nothing that tastes of anything goes with brill (allegedly), we chose a bottle of Luis Pato's Maria Gomes sparkling wine to accompany it. This is a pleasant light fizz, without too many strong flavours. We went to the winery a few years ago. He's an interesting chap, a former chemist, a bit of a maverick on the Portuguese wine scene, and produces some of the country's best wines.