Mullet over

Team Casa Rosada have been hard at work in the kitchen today. Andrew has filleted the salmonetes ( red mullet) and I have prepped the vegetables and mixed the marinade. I have also made a dressing of sundried tomato, olives and basil for the tricolore salad that we are offering our guests as a starter. 6.59. and the guests aren´t home, from the beach, so I guess dinner will be scheduled for about 9.00. 7.01. The telephone rings - Portuguese want room for tonight, "Desculpe tudos quartos completo". Back to the worktop, tomatoes to be chopped, salad leaves to be prepped.

Filetes de salmonetes com alhos frances pequenos, batatas acafrao folhetes de salata mista
Fillets of red mullet with baby leeks saffron potatoes and mixed leaves
serves 4-6

This dish is very labour intensive both in its prep and in its cooking, but the flavour is phenomenal and its a stunner on the plate. little doubt in my mind why it has become a bit of a signature dish.Try and get your fishmonger to fillet the fish for you. Asking a Portuguese to fillet a red mullet is like trying to ............
We always end up filleting the b-----s ourselves.

1 red onion peeled and finely diced
1 clove of garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
Finely grated zest plus the juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
12-18 fillets of red mullet, skin on
12-18 baby leeks, trimmed and blanched
12-18 charlotte or salad potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Good pinch of saffron threads, ground
Baby spinach, pousse, or rocket leaves washed and dried well

Mix the onion, garlic mustard seeds, lemon zest and juice in abowl with the olive oil.
Mix well to combine.Place the mullet in a porcelain dish and pour over the marinade, making sure it is well covered and adding more olive oil if it isn´t. set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. In a saucepan, boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water until tender.Drain well and set aside in a large bowl. Blanch the leeks and add them to the potatoes. Meanwhile steep the saffron in three tablespoons of hot water and set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan and cook the fish in batches for about 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 2 minutes until just cooked through. Set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.
Working Quickly, heat a little olive oil in the pan, then add the poataoes and leeks, tossing them to heat through. Add the saffron and toss to coat well. Return to the bowl and the leaves of your choice. Add the remaining marinade to the pan heat through and add the salad leeks and potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper. Pile the salad leaves potatoes and leeks and top with two or three of the red mullet fillets.

guests return

9.00 Guests served Gin and tonics in the garden

9.15 Starter of Tricolore salad with sundried tomato basil and olives served

9.40 Mullet served

Our guests chose Planalto Vinho Branco seco Reserva 2007
a perfect choice to accompany this dish.

The day is done and all parties are happy


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