Red Mullet and Fennel with Rouille Recipe
This recipe is ideal for a dinner party because so much can be done in advance. The mullet may be prepared up to 1 hour ahead, covered and kept in a cool place. The rouille can be made up to 24 hours in advance, covered and kept chilled. However, if you do make it ahead, use only one chilli because the flavour is absorbed more by the mayonnaise over a longer period and it will become very fiery indeed.
- 6 medium red mullet, filleted
- 2 small fennel bulbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- Pepper #Rouille#
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-2 red chillies, deseeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 6-8 fl oz (175-250 ml) olive oil
- Sea salt
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Rinse the red mullet fillets and pat dry. Slice the fennel bulbs very thinly. Brush the fish with a little oil, then wrap the fillets around slices of fennel. Put them on a baking sheet lined with greased foil and bake in a preheated oven, 350° C (175° C), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes, or until cooked.
- To make the rouille, pound the garlic very thoroughly using a pestle and mortar. Add the chopped chillies and pound to a paste. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk in the garlic paste, mixing very well.
- Add a few drops of olive oil, beating very well, then a few more once the first have been absorbed. Keep on adding the oilr a little at a time, as if making mayonnaise, beating constantly and adding more oil only when the previous addition has been amalgamated. The mixture will be very thick, and a beautiful deep pink. Season lightly with salt, generously with pepper and add a few drops of lemon juice if liked, though this is not traditional.
- Serve the mullet at once on a bed of green beans and tomatoes, and the rouille handed round separately.