MasterChef quarter finalist and WanderSups supper clubs host Hannah Gregory returns with a storecupboard supper that will make your tastebuds tango
If you’re anything like me there is a packet of lentils sitting in the back of your cupboard from when you had that fleeting idea of becoming super healthy. You then attempted to cook them once, realised they taste like mud and put them firmly to the back of the cupboard. This is the recipe for you! I solemnly swear this will convert everyone into lentil lovers.
ROAST HERBY WHITE FISH WITH CRISPY LENTILS & PANCETTA
2 fillets (approx 150g each) white fish (fresh or frozen and defrosted. I used cod but you could use haddock, pollock or any other meaty white fish – and hold on to your hats, if you can’t find fish, this recipe works perfectly with chicken)
Large sprig of rosemary
200g green or Puy lentils
1 stick of celery
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf (dried is fine)
500ml chicken stock
8 rashers of pancetta or streaky bacon
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Rinse your lentils thoroughly.
Peel your carrot and shallot.
Finely dice your carrot, shallot and celery as small as possible. We’re talking Polly Pocket size here – the idea is to get them as close to the size of your lentils as possible to make for a pleasing mouth experience, and yes, this is an actual term, I haven’t just made it up.
Melt your butter in a frying pan (ideally ovenproof but if you don’t have one, no drama, you just need to transfer your goods to an ovenproof dish post frying). Throw in your teeny tiny diced veg, thyme and bay and sweat (the veg, not you). You need to get these puppies softened and smelling glorious but no colour on them.
Stir in your lentils, then pour in your chicken stock and bring to the boil. Make a cartouche out of greaseproof paper (this is a circle of paper that sits on top of the lentils to prevent evaporation – top tip, scrunch the greaseproof into a ball first and it will become super malleable and a lot easier to fit the pan snugly) and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
After the time is up pop your lentils in the oven for 30 minutes. Keep checking and stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You want them to have a crunch and texture to them, so keep tasting and trying as you go here.
Fish time. Chop your rosemary super fine – the aim of the game here is to make almost a rosemary crumb to coat your fish with. Once you have your fine herbs, transfer to a plate along with the zest of a lemon and a really good grinding of black pepper. Place your fish on the layer of delicious dust, turn over and repeat on the other side so your lovely fillets are completely coated in the crumb.
On a board lay out your rashers of pancetta – you need to overlap each piece so you have a complete sheet ready to wrap your fish. Place the fish on to the pancetta and carefully wrap your fillets up so they are all tidy and beautifully packaged.
Heat a frying pan with a splash of oil and sit the fish parcel (ugly side down) in it for a couple of minutes. Then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
Fry your lardons until golden brown. Get your lentils out of the oven and transfer into the lardon pan, stir well,you want to get everything coated in the glorious lardon fat that will have rendered out during cooking.
Spoon your lentils onto the plate and sit your fish on top. DELICIOUS.
Hannah’s ethos is cooking should be a joy, not a stress and advocates taking your time, pouring yourself a drink and putting on music to make it an enjoyable process.
To that end she has specially-curated playlists to go with her recipes and these can be accessed on WanderSups Spotify. For this recipe, tune into Sups.
And the tipple she recommends to have with this dish? “Call me crazy, but Pinot Noir works wonderfully here,” she says.
Find out about Hannah’s upcoming Supper Clubs and what she is currently cooking via Instagram @WanderSups