90 mlolive oil½small Spanish onion, finely chopped½baby fennel bulb, finely chopped1garlic clove, finely chopped1fennel seeds¼ tspdried chilli flakes105 gm (1½ cups)coarse fresh sourdough breadcrumbsFinelygrated rind of 2 lemons and juice of 1, plus lemon wedges to serve8butterflied Coorong mullet (see note)20 gmbutter, coarsely choppedPea purée60 gmbutter, coarsely chopped1leek, trimmed, thinly sliced1garlic clove, finely chopped450 gmfrozen peas, defrosted125 ml(½ cup) chicken stockJuiceof ½ lemon
Heat half the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, fennel and garlic, stir occasionally until very tender (6-7 minutes), add fennel seeds and chilli and stir occasionally until fragrant (1 minute). Add breadcrumbs, stir until lightly toasted (2-3 minutes), remove from heat, add lemon rind, season to taste and cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180C. Place mullet on a work surface skin-side down. Press crumb mixture over each fillet to about 5mm thick (there may be a little left over), fold to enclose, tie with kitchen string to secure and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, add butter, cook until foaming, add mullet skin-side down and cook, turning once, until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to oven, roast until just cooked (3-4 minutes), set aside and squeeze lemon juice over to taste. Keep warm.
For pea purée, heat half the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add leek and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Add peas and stock, season to taste, cover and cook until peas are just tender (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, add remaining butter, purée with a hand-held blender until smooth, add lemon juice, season to taste and serve with mullet, salad and lemon wedges.
Note Coorong mullet is available from select fishmongers.
This recipe is from the October 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.