The first time I had red mullet was in El Puerto de Santa María, a town close to Cádiz where the inhabitants seem to drink Fino sherry and eat gorgeous fish all day, every day of the year.
Red mullet has such a beautiful sweet flavour that it doesn’t need anything complicated doing to it, just a simple pan-fry. I think this combination of potatoes and olives showcases the fish to perfection.
- 3 medium Potatoes – peeled
- 5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic – chopped
- 1 sprig Thyme – leaves stripped
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 30 units Aragón black olives – or alternatively Kalamata, pitted
- 10 stalks Chive – chopped
- 1600 gr Red mullet – 4x 400g fillets
- olive oil – for frying
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible (use a mandolin if you have one), then mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped garlic and thyme leaves.
- Season, then spread the mixture over a greased baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.
- Meanwhile, blitz the olives and half the chives with the remaining olive oil in a food processor to make a thick purée.
- Season the fillets. Heat some oil in a frying pan until it is medium hot – the oil should be shimmering but not smoking – and fry the mullet for 2 minutes skin-side down, then turnover and fry for another minute. You want a crispy skin.
- Divide the potatoes between four plates, pop two fillets on top of each mound and, using a teaspoon, drizzle the plate with the olive purée. Scatter the remaining chives over everything and eat immediately.