Red mullet with fennel

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Triglia (red mullet) with grilled fennel
Serves 4
4 red mullet about 225 grams per person
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
500 g fennel
100 g butter
Salt and pepper
1 piece of thyme
2 tbsp honey
1 dl vinegar from herbs
2 glasses of Noilly Pratt or white vermouth
Fennel seeds, optional
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Remove any damaged parts of the fennel, cut of the green tops and set aside, cut the fennel into pieces or rings.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the fennel, salt and pepper and allow to soften very slowly without colouring. To lower the chance of the fennel colouring or burning, you can use an old trick of mine: Place the wrapper from the butter, fat side downwards on the fennel in the pan and press lightly on the fennel or use a piece of greaseproof paper, this stops the moisture from evaporating and thus the pan becoming dry. Remove the fennel from the pan with a slotted spoon.
Add the thyme, honey, vinegar and Noilly Pratt or white Vermouth to the pan with the cooking juices from the fennel. Bring to the boil and reduce to a fairly thick syrupy consistency.
Return the fennel to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste, add the finely chopped green tops from the fennel and a little parsley, just before serving. If wished add a few fennel seeds for a stronger flavour
Heat the oven to 190°C.
Clean the inside of the fish and wipe with a damp kitchen paper, brush the fish with olive oil, dust with the flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in the pan with the garlic over a low heat, for a few minutes to aromatise the oil. Remove the garlic and really heat the oil.
Place the fish in the pan, fry for 2 minutes on each side. Use a non stick pan that you can put in the oven or a cast iron pan, this may stick so be careful.
Spoon over the fennel and place the fish in the oven for 10 minutes or continue cooking carefully on the burner for ±10 minutes.

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