Seared whiting with smashed corn and shiitake broth
This simple, delicious dish is perfect for summer. The full flavour of the Whiting is complimented by the sweetness of the smashed corn.
You can watch the clip of me cooking this recipe on the SBS Food website: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/seared-whiting-smashed-corn-and-shiitake-broth
12 large Whiting fillets, pin boned and skin on
vegetable oil, for cooking
watercress, dill and edible flowers, to serve
Shitake Mushroom Broth
250 g dried shiitake mushroom
450 ml chicken stock
1 small onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, bruised
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp white peppercorns
2 tbsp dry sherry or white wine (optional)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 kg corn kernels taken from the cob
50 g butter
4 French shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
50 ml chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
To make the mushroom broth, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, season to taste and discard the solids.
To make the smashed corn, push half the corn kernels through a juicer. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper, then add the corn juice, corn kernels and stock, then bring to a simmer. Stir in the sugar and continue to simmer until the kernels are starting to soften. Using a stick blender, puree the corn mixture until the kernels are just crushed- you want the mixture to have lots of texture so don’t over-process.
Pat dry the fish fillet skin with paper towel. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add a good splash of vegetable oil and as the pan gets hot, add some salt. Ensuring that the pan is really hot before adding the fish, carefully place the whiting fillets skin-side down into the pan, pressing them down flat with a spatula or fish lifter so they don’t curl. Cook for 2 minutes or until the fillets are nearly entirely white. Drain on a piece of paper towel, skin-side up.
To serve, place one fish fillet, skin-side down in the centre of each shallow bowl. Top with a large spoonful of smashed corn, then another two fillets, skin-side up and another small spoonful of smashed corn. Scatter with the greens and a few edible flowers, then pour the mushroom broth around the fish and serve immediately
• If making the mushroom broth ahead of time, strain the broth and let it cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Gently reheat to serve.