This is a stunning yet incredibly simple starter, that you can play around with, depending on what you have to hand and what is in season.
It’s an impressive dinner party dish. You can prepare all the elements up to a couple of hours before your event for stress free entertaining. Fish is a fabulous source of protein, selenium and essential omega-3 fatty acids…perfect food to feed your skin!
- Seabass (between 70 – 100g per portion). See Peas Pointers below for our fishy tips
- Best quality extra virgin olive oil (we love I & P, single estate, family owned olive oil)
- Lemon zest & juice
- Very finely chopped chives (you could use any soft herbs that you have to hand. We like the allium kick of chives)
- Maldon Salt
- Espelette (a variety of dried red pepper with warm chilli heat. You could also use chilli flakes but more sparingly)
- Very sharp knife (A bendy fish filleting knife is best)
- Microplane or finest side of a box grater
- Baking parchment
- If you are plating individual portions for a party, draw around the inside bottom of the plate that you want to serve on, in pencil, on parchment paper.
- Repeat this according to the number of guests that you have.
- Flip your paper over (so that no pencil gets on your fish).
- You now have a template for your carpaccio.
- If you are using the whole fish, cut the fish along the backbone to open it out.
- Cut along the length of the fish flesh in one stroke. Try to glide the knife rather than saw, to get wafer thin pieces.
- Don’t worry if you can’t get lovely intact pieces.
- Simply fill in your template with your fish pieces like a jigsaw, until each guest has a pretty circle of fish.
- You can store the portions stacked on top of each other, covered in the fridge.
- At least thirty minutes before you are ready to serve, take the fish out, to come to room temperature.
- Put your serving plate over the fish.
- Turn upside down, so that your parchment is on top and the plate is on the bottom.
- Gently peel away the parchment, so that you have a beautiful circle of fish on the plate.
- Dress with plenty of olive oil, chives, cress, Espelette and lemon zest.
- Just before serving, add a good pinch of crumbled Maldon salt and a squeeze of lemon to each plate (don’t do this too far in advance or it will cook the fish).
You could use lots of different fish. Brill, Bream, Cod, Coley, Ling, Salmon, Trout would also work. Less olive oil would be needed for oily fish such as Salmon and Trout. Look out for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish which means that the fish is produced in a traceable sustainable way.
If you buy the whole fish its better value and you can use the bones for delicious fish stock. When buying fish look for bright eyes, red gills, slight slime and no fishy smell. Fillets should be plump.
To make stock add the rinsed bones (not too many heads or bloody bits as this can make the stock bitter), onions, leek, celery (or whatever vegetables you have to hand, just not starchy ones), bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain through a sieve. You then have a great stock to which you could add roughly chopped seasonal green vegetables, parsley, chives, and or raw prawns, cooked until they turn pink. Season to taste.
We have taste tested lots of olive oils and found that Sainsbury’s Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a lovely, peppery, reasonable alternative.
ABOUT THE PEAS
The Peas are chefs, Sophie Martin and Sophie Archer. They have been like two peas in a pod since meeting at chef school. With both Peas having Michelin starred restaurant experience, their dishes highlight the deliciousness and beauty of two seasonal ingredients, like two peas in a pod. Their pop ups are set in magical, Peas created environments.
Peas are passionate about food that makes you feel good in all respects, body and soul. Peas serve gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options. Peas try to be the best recyclers possible, only working with re-useable materials in the kitchen. Rather than being rigid with menus, Peas listen to suppliers so that their ingredients are as seasonal and sustainable as possible. Peas hate waste. They aim to use ingredients tip to root and nose to tail, to minimise waste, and extract the best flavour. With this in mind, Peas also create menus from ingredients that traditionally may have been discarded (whether it’s turning celeriac peel into crispy bites, or fish off cuts into tarama). Peas call these menus, and their commitment to positive social impact, Peas & Love.
PEAS & LOVE
We love the fact that The Peas are partnering with charities to provide their Peas & Love Menu to those who need it, starting with weekend lunch clubs. Here, £5 from their set menu will go directly to small local charities, where the contribution will make a significant difference.
For more information get in touch with Sophie & Sophie via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check them out on Instagram @peaspopup.