Pan-fried red snapper with coriander Puy lentils

Ingredients

For the coriander Puy lentils
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 300g/11oz Puy lentils
  • 175ml/6fl oz red wine
  • 450ml/16fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar, or other red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the red snapper
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 2 red snapper fillets, trimmed, skin scored at 1cm/½in intervals using a sharp knife, each fillet cut into 2 portions
For the braised shallots
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 20 baby shallots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 110ml/4fl oz water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Preparation method

  1. For the coriander Puy lentils, heat half of the butter and all of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

  2. Add the cumin seeds and ground coriander and cook for a further minute, or until the spices are fragrant.

  3. Add the Puy lentils and stir well, then add the red wine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring well, until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third.

  4. Add the stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and continue to cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed the liquid.

  5. Add the remaining butter and the Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar to the pan. Stir well, until the butter has melted, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.

  6. Meanwhile, for the red snapper, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the red snapper fillets, skin-side down, and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.

  7. Carefully turn the red snapper fillets over and continue to fry for a further 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.

  8. For the braised shallots, heat the oil and butter in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the shallots and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until just coloured.

  9. Add the sugar and water and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the shallots are tender and the majority of the liquid has evaporated. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  10. Just before serving, sprinkle the coriander over the Puy lentils and cook for one minute, stirring well, or until the mixture is warmed through.

  11. To serve, divide the coriander Puy lentils equally among four serving plates. Place one piece of red snapper fillet on top of each serving. Dot the braised shallots around the edge of each plate and drizzle a little olive oil over them.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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