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John Dory, nettles, cuttlefish, ink sauce

You'll need

3 small cuttlefish, cleaned, guts and heads reserved for ink sauce 3 John Dory fillets, skin on (about 300gm each) 100 ml olive oil To taste: lemon juice   Ink sauce 50 ml olive oil 2 onions, coarsely chopped 1 carrot, coarsely chopped 3 garlic cloves, bruised 250 ml dry white wine 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock 2 thyme sprigs 1 tsp squid ink   Nettle purée 120 gm (4 cups firmly packed) trimmed stinging nettles 20 ml olive oil 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 100 ml dry white wine 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock


  • 01
  • For ink sauce, heat oil in a wide saucepan, add onion and carrot and stir occasionally until starting to caramelise (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and cuttlefish trimmings and stir occasionally until vegetables are deep-brown and cuttlefish is golden (10-15 minutes). Add wine and simmer until reduced to about 50ml (4-5 minutes). Add stock and thyme, bring to the simmer, then skim any scum from surface. Add squid ink and simmer gently until well-flavoured and reduced to a coating consistency (1-1¼ hours). Strain through a fine sieve, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 02
  • For nettle purée, stand nettles in a large bowl of cold water so dirt sinks to the bottom (10 minutes), scoop leaves from water with a sieve and drain. Blanch leaves until tender (2 minutes), drain, refresh, then drain well on absorbent paper. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add shallot and garlic, stir occasionally until tender and translucent (5-10 minutes), add wine and reduce to 1 tbsp (5-10 minutes). Add stock, simmer until reduced by half (10-15 minutes), add nettles and simmer for 1 minute. Transfer to a food processor, blend until smooth, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 03
  • Blanch cuttlefish until tender (30 seconds), refresh, then drain on absorbent paper.
  • 04
  • Trim each fish fillet into two 3cm x 8cm rectangles and season skin with sea salt. Heat two frying pans over medium heat, add 50ml olive oil to each pan, and add half the fish, skin-side down, to each pan. Reduce heat to low, cook until skin is golden and crisp (2 minutes), remove pans from heat, turn fish and add a little lemon juice to each pan. Drain fish on absorbent paper.
  • 05
  • Place a spoonful of nettle purée on each plate, top with one fish finger. Toss blanched cuttlefish in a little lemon juice, divide among plates, dollop with ink sauce and serve.
This recipe is from the September 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Equipo Navazos No 27 Fino.

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