Gastronomixs

Citrus-cured brill with anchovy mayonnaise, basil and pistachios

This month's guest chef is Nathan Outlaw, a British chef and owner of Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, which was awarded two Michelin stars in 2011. Nathan opened his first restaurant, The Black Pig, in 2003 and received his first Michelin star at the young age of 25. From then on, his career really started to take off. He has appeared on television shows alongside famous TV chef Rick Stein, as well as other BBC cooking shows. Nathan currently runs three restaurants in Cornwall, one in London, and one in luxurious Dubai. With his roots in the seaside county of Cornwall, he's managed to turn fish preparation into an art form. Nathan still calls the fishermen every morning to ask what they've caught and then uses local ingredients to prepare his dishes. He published his first cookbook in 2012, followed by four more beautiful titles. Here, Nathan shares three fish recipes from his book Everyday Seafood, which includes a foreword by none other than Jamie Oliver.

Like turbot, brill has a lovely firm texture that makes it ideal for curing and easier to slice once cured than other flatfish varieties. It just takes the salt a bit longer to work its magic through the dense flesh. This is Nathan’s version of a dish that Pete Biggs, his longstanding head chef, developed at Outlaw’s at The Capital Hotel in London. The balance between all the components is lovely. Turbot works equally well here, or try very fresh plaice instead – reducing the curing time by an hour.

Creation by Nathan Outlaw, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw**, Cornwall, United Kingdom.

Serves 4.

Citrus-cured brill with anchovy mayonnaise, basil and pistachios

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Ingredients

500

g

very fresh brill fillets, skinned and trimmed

100

g

sea salt

80

g

caster sugar

1

 

lemon, grated zest

1

 

lime, grated zest

1

 

orange, grated zest

100

ml

white wine

2

 

egg yolks

1

tsp

English mustard

4

 

tinned anchovy fillets in oil, drained

3

tbsp

water

2

tbsp

lemon juice

300

ml

sunflower oil

 

 

sea salt

 

 

black pepper, freshly ground

4

tbsp

pistachio nuts roasted in the shell, shelled and roughly chopped

8

 

basil leaves, thinly sliced

 

 

basil oil or olive oil to drizzle

Preparation: citrus-cured brill
  • Put the sea salt, sugar, citrus zests, and white wine into a food processor and blitz for 1 minute.
  • Lay the brill fillets on a tray and sprinkle the mixture over them.
  • Turn the fillets over in the cure a few times to ensure they are coated all over.
  • Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to cure for 3 hours.
  • Wash the cure off the brill fillets with cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Wrap the fish tightly in cling film and place back in the fridge for an hour to firm up. (At this stage you can freeze the fish for up to 1 month.)
Preparation: anchovy mayonnaise
  • Put the egg yolks, mustard, anchovies, water, and lemon juice into a small food processor and blitz for 1 minute.
  • With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin, steady stream through the funnel until it is all incorporated.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
Finishing and presentation
  • Using a sharp knife and a clean board, slice the brill thinly and lay it equally on 4 plates.
  • Spoon on the mayonnaise, in small blobs, so you have some with each mouthful of fish.
  • Finish with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and sliced basil.
  • Drizzle on some basil or olive oil.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.

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