Let me tell you, I'm waiting for spring. I do not like winter, and so we try to survive it by cooking, experimenting with different flavours and adding colours to our dishes. It seems as well like January was all about work and no fun, ok I know I am being grumpy today, so I better focus on today’s dish ;) As I said earlier we are not big fans of fish dishes, but there were a few we prepared for the magazine we actually liked. 

One of them was this super simple - hake with vegetables and bacon cassoulet. I remember that I had quite similar appetizer at our Christmas party in December, a white fish with chorizo. Which for some people can be a shocking combination but trust me it really works great togather. And it is the same for the bacon it tastes really nice with hake fillet – you have to try it to find out for yourselves. By the way cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked stew originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork) and white beans.

And now we have few bank holidays on the way. First is Fat Thursday in Poland, I'll ask my mom about the best donuts recipe with plum jam, than on 12th February is Pancake Day here in Ireland and on 14th Valentines day – so I better start planning some sweet and delicious recipes for us and you guys! Have a great weekend!

Hake with Butternut Squash, Spinach &Streaky Bacon Cassoulet

Serves 2

  • 2 Hake fillets
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 50g flour (seasoned with salt & pepper)
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tin cannellini beans
  • 2 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 100g butternut squash
  • 50ml fish or vegetable stock
  • 50ml white wine
  • 50ml low fat cream
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • parsley for garnish

Peel the butternut, dice into small cubes. Peel and dice onion & garlic. Dice the smoked streaky bacon. Open the cannellini beans, drain and rinse with cold water.

Use 2 frying pans – one for the fish and one for the cassoulet. Pop the butternut squash in a small bowl, add 4 tbsp of cold water, cover with cling film and steam in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften (if you do not own a microwave, just fry it for 3-4 minutes). Now in one frying pan heat half of oil and butter. On a low heat sauté the onion, garlic and bacon. Add in the (microwaved, fried) butternut, stock and wine. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. Saute/wilt down the spinach, season. Add the cream into the cassoulet. Simmer for 2/3 mins. Stir in some fresh chopped parsley.

Dip the fish in the seasoned flour. Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in a frying pan. Gently place the fish in the pan and fry for about 4 minutes each side.

To serve, spoon the cassoulet on the base of the plate, sit the spinach on top and then place the fish on top. Garnish with pepper, lemon zest, lemon halves and fresh parsley.

Source of recipe Aisling Larkin for Easyfood magazine