Celebrity square meals #46: 'Simply brill' by Quentin Blake, illustrator

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

When I'm not in London I try to go somewhere near the sea where there are lots of fish, so I spend a lot of time on the Atlantic coast of France, surrounded by oysters and fish markets the like of which you don't see in England.

When I'm not in London I try to go somewhere near the sea where there are lots of fish, so I spend a lot of time on the Atlantic coast of France, surrounded by oysters and fish markets the like of which you don't see in England.

I try to find very simple things to do with fresh fish. Brill is sometimes regarded as a substitute for sole, but it's good in its own right - though you can do this recipe with sole, or John Dory.

Get the fishmonger to fillet it for you and give you the bones and head too. You'll need palourdes, clams or mussels as well.

4 brill fillets
4 handfuls of clams
One small pot of crème fraîche
A glass of white wine
A pinch of saffron
Oil for frying

Boil the head and bones with a small onion, peeled but whole, in enough water to cover, for 10-15 minutes. Drain it and reserve the stock.

Fry the fillets in a pan with a little oil until browned (4 or 5 minutes each side). Lift them out and place on a plate and keep warm. Bring to the boil a pan with half an inch of water. Throw in the clams, cover and cook until they all open - bin any that remain closed.

Deglaze the frying pan with stock and a slosh of white wine and stir. Add a couple of spoonfuls of crème fraîche and stir in. Reduce but leave it runny. Add saffron if you like - not too much or you can't taste everything else.

Put the fillets on the plate, pour on the sauce and add the clams, leaving them in their shells - it gives people something to do.

Quentin Blake supports Breast Cancer Campaign. To make a donation, call 020-7749 3700 or visit www.breastcancercampaign.org

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