Wolf Fish. Yes, I know, I’d never heard of it either until the other week. As part of my Fish On Friday project, I was presented with Wolf Fish fillets by Ashtons and, on enquiring what one was supposed to do with Wolf Fish, was duly told, ‘You’ll work it out.’ So I did.
Much research led me to find out it is a cold water, sea-bed grazer that lives on shellfish and crustaceans, hence the enormous jaws and teeth. The flesh is firm but quite lean, a little like halibut, and it has a sweet, shell-fishy flavour. The skin is thick and tough and needs to be removed – ask your fishmonger to fillet and skin it for you.
Lecture over, this is what I decided to do with it, and it was absolutely delicious and well worth a go – see what you think. Note: I also cooked some tiny new roast potatoes which I mixed with the fennel for serving.
Ingredients (serves 2):
2 Wolf Fish fillets
3 tbsp olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 heaped teaspoon Sumac
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
Fennel & Apple Salad:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
juice of a whole lemon
1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored and sliced lengthwise (fronds chopped and reserved)
half a Granny Smiths apple, cut into matchsticks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix the lemon juice and honey together in a small bowl, reserving 1/2 a tspn of lemon juice and set aside.
Heat a small frying pan & dry fry the coriander seeds until fragrant. Cool slightly, then grind in a pestel & mortar and mix with the sumac, seasalt and paprika. Rub all over the fish, cover & refrigerate until required.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C and pop a lightly greased baking tray in to get really hot. NB: if you have a skillet, the whole lot can be cooked in this, both on the hob and in the oven.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and arrange the fish fillets in the pan, scattering the fennel around them. Sear for 2 minutes without moving then turn them over and slide the whole lot (fish & fennel) onto the hot tray. Drizzle over half the honey & lemon mixture and bake for 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the apple with the fennel fronds, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil. Season and toss well. Set aside.
Remove the fish from the oven and cover with foil, and pop the fennel back onto the hob with the remaining honey and lemon juice, scraping up all the bits from the oven tray and cook until the fennel is soft.
Serve the fish on top of the fennel, finished off with the apple salad and drizzle the honey glaze over the top.