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Seared Red Mullet with Sweet Red Pepper Dressing Main course for 4

  • Ingredients:

  • 4 x 100g (4oz) un-skinned fillets of red mullet
  • 4 little red peppers
  • olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Maldon sea salt flakes, coarsely ground black pepper and a handful of parsley sprigs
  • For the red pepper dressing:
  • 750g (1 lb) red peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 85ml (3 fl oz) sherry vinegar

  1.  For the dressing, liquidize the red peppers until smooth.  Tip the purée into a fine-meshed sieve placed over a bowl and gently shake out as much juice as possible.  You should be left with about 450ml (5 fl oz) of juice.  Put this into a pan and boil until it has reduced to 25ml (1 fl oz).  It needs to be deep red and exceedingly concentrated.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the sherry vinegar until reduced to 1 tablespoon and pre-heat the grill to high.  Grill the little peppers, turning them, until they are black all over.  Leave to cool, then peel off the skin.  Leave the stalk on but remove the seeds by making a small incision and scraping them out with a teaspoon.  Brush with a little olive oil and season with salt.
  3. Stir the reduced sherry vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper into the reduced pepper juice and keep warm.  Heat a ridged cast-iron griddle or a dry, heavy-based frying pan until smoking hot.  Brush the fish fillets on both sides with lots of olive oil and season with a little salt.  Put them in the pan, skin-side down, and cook for 1 ½ minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 1 ½ minutes.
  4. Place the fillets on 4 warmed plates.  Spoon the red pepper juice around the fish on the plate, then put your thumb over the top of a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and drizzle a lick or two of that over the top.  Finish with some flakes of sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, and garnish with the parsley sauce.