Butterflied Red Mullet, Red Pepper Marmalade, Shellfish Dressing

Nathan Outlaw

Nathan Outlaw

5th February 2016
Nathan Outlaw

Butterflied Red Mullet, Red Pepper Marmalade, Shellfish Dressing

This delicately flavoured fish lends itself to a range of delicious red mullet recipes. Whether grilled, pan-fried or steamed, red mullet is the ideal addition to any dish - Why not give the following butterflied red mullet, red pepper marmalade, shellfish dressing recipe a try yourself? As part of The Staff Canteen Live - Skillery, Nathan Outlaw and Tom Brown will be creating butterflied red mullet, and red pepper marmalade with a shellfish dressing for their demonstration at Hotelympia 2016 - supported by the Craft Guild of Chefs and in association with Westlands. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here - www.hotelympia.com/whats-on/the-staff-canteen-skillery If you are unable to get a ticket the event will be streamed live in real time direct onto The Staff Canteen YouTube channel - www.youtube.com/user/StaffCanteen


  • 2 red mullet, approx. 600 - 700g each
  • Red Pepper Marmalade:
  • 2 red peppers
  • ½ red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp chopped thyme
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 20g caster sugar
  • Shellfish Dressing:
  • 75ml shellfish stock
  • 25ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • Cornish sea salt
  • Tarragon and Anchovy Butter:
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • Bunch tarragon, leaves only
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 salted anchovy fillets, chopped
  • To serve:
  • Lemon wedges


Butterflied Red Mullet, Red Pepper Marmalade, Shellfish Dressing

To butterfly the red mullet, cut off the head, fins and gills. Extend the cut from gutting the fish so the fish is cut from top to tail end. Next cut down both sides of the skeleton to release the flesh without cutting right through. Using the palm of your hand, gently push down onto the back of the fish until the backbone is flat against the chopping board and the fillets are either side. Pull the backbone out with your fingers or, if it won’t come, use strong scissors to trim off the backbone. Now use a filleting knife to trim the fish neatly and pin-bone using tweezers. The butterflied fish is now ready to cook.

To cook the fish, heat the grill to medium high. Brush the fish with oil and season with salt, then lay skin side up on the grill tray. Grill for 4 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Don’t worry if the skin begins to colour – a bit of colour on the skin is good.

Red Pepper Marmalade:

Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Roast the peppers on a tray for 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool; the trapped steam will help to lift the skins.

Place the red onion, garlic, wine vinegar and thyme into a pan and bring to a simmer. Allow to bubble over a medium heat until the liquid has reduced down to almost nothing, taking care not to burn the onions.

Peel the skins from the peppers then core, deseed and slice them thinly. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add a drizzle of oil then add the sliced peppers and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes then add the red onion mixture. Continue to cook until the juice has reduced to almost nothing. Taste and season the marmalade, allow to cool, then chill.

Shellfish Dressing:

Put the shellfish stock and rapeseed oil into a bowl and whisk together with a pinch of salt until thoroughly combined.

Lemon Sole Baked on Cider Onions, Tarragon and Anchovy Butter:

Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 7.

For the flavoured butter, put the softened butter into a bowl. Chop the tarragon and add to the butter with the chopped shallots and anchovies. Mix until evenly combined then season with pepper and a little salt if needed. Lay out a sheet of clingfilm then lay out the butter in a roll and wrap tightly. Twist and tie the ends of the clingfilm and place in the fridge to firm.

Put the olive oil, bay leaves and onions in a roasting tray, pour on the cider and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Season the lemon sole then take the roasting tray from the oven and lay the fish on top of the onions. Put the tray back into the oven for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, unwrap and slice the butter. Remove the fish from the oven and check by making an incision into the thickest part to see if the flesh is pulling away from the bone. Lay the slices of butter on the fish and pop the tray back into the oven for 2 minutes.

Serve simply with cider onions and lemon wedges.

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