Baked red mullet with mushrooms and lemon

Ingredients to serve 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

4 x 400g red mullet, scaled, gutted and heads off
75g unsalted butter, softened
400ml strong fish stock, made up using half the water on the pack instructions
50g dried ceps (porcini)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 smoked garlic cloves
3 pinches of caster sugar
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
zest of 2 lemons
2 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper

I like whole fish on the bone – I think they hold their succulence and flavour better when cooked this way. Ask your fishmonger to do all the hard preparation work for you – that way, you can just concentrate on the cooking.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Place the mullet on two non-stick baking sheets. Smear over 50g of the unsalted butter and season well with salt and pepper.

Bring the fish stock to the boil in a small pan. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and carefully pour the boiling stock over them; leave to soak for 15 minutes, or until soft.

Heat 25g of the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic; cook gently for about five minutes.

When the mushrooms are soaked, strain them through a fine sieve twice, reserving the liquor. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit.

Pour the mushroom-and-fish stock onto the onions and garlic and bring to the boil. Add the sugar, vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then simmer until reduced by half, then add the mushrooms. Cook until you have a thick stew, then remove the pan from the heat. Finally, stir in the lemon zest and chopped sage.

Bake the fish for 18-20 minutes, occasionally spooning the cooking juices over.

Place the mullet onto four plates and spoon over the sauce to serve.

From 'Seriously Good Gluten-Free Cooking' by Phil Vickery

Sommelier's choice

Touraine Sauvigngnon Blanc 2008, France

This is a fresh, lively dry white with pithy citrus flavours and a light but creamy finish. A great partner to fish.

Marks & Spencer, £6.49, www.marksandspencer.com

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