Whoever named these fish as pollocks did them no favours! Yet this white sea fish is a good sustainable alternative when our favourite cod and haddock stocks are less plentiful. We bought online a super selection of fish from Sound Seafood in Plymouthhttps://www.soundseafood.co.uk: fish pie mix, kippers, sole and much more. All arrived safely chilled in a polystyrene insulated box (makes a great filler at the bottom of heavy plant pots).
Amongst these treasures were a pair of smoked pollock fillets.
They made an excellent alternative to the usual smoked salmon or trout that I use in my basic tart. But these two fillets first needed gentle cooking so went into the microwave on Defrost for about five minutes until they felt hot.
I’d already lined a tart tin with pastry (confession: shop-bought puff), pricked the bottom and lined it with foil. Twelve minutes at Gas 5 and it was ready for the foil to be removed and the base painted with beaten egg. Another three minutes in the oven for a waterproofed bottom!
The pastry case had rested for an hour before I flaked the fish over the base. Four eggs, two teaspoons of horseradish sauce, salt and pepper, a tablespoon of fennel fronds from the garden and about 300 ml double cream were whizzed together and poured over the fish.
A final 30 minutes in the oven before resting for a couple of minutes while I knocked up a salad of tomato and avocado dressed with vinaigrette to add freshness and colour to the plate. Lunch done and a new ingredient discovered.