Wonderful flavours from one of Spains favourite fish.
20 gm sea salt flakes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
200 gm blue-eye trevalla, cut into 5cm chunks
300 gm sebago potatoes, coarsely chopped
1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shallow-frying
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350 ml milk
2 tbsp each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and oregano, plus extra leaves to serve
1 tsp smoked paprika
Finely grated rind and juice of 1½ lemons
1 egg white, whisked to firm peaks
1 baguette, thinly sliced
For drizzling: sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil
1 Combine salt, garlic, thyme and lemon rind in a non-reactive container, add fish, stir to coat well. Refrigerate to cure (12 hours).
2 For romesco, preheat oven to 200C, drizzle tomato, capsicum and garlic with 1 tbsp oil on an oven tray, season and roast until tender (25-30 minutes). When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins (discard skins), then transfer garlic, tomato, capsicum and any pan juices to a food processor. Add bread, hazelnuts, vinegar, lemon juice and paprika, and process until smooth (1-2 minutes). With motor running, slowly add remaining oil and process until emulsified. Season to taste and refrigerate for flavours to develop (1-2 hours).
3 Bring potato and enough cold water to cover generously to the boil in a saucepan, cook until tender (10-12 minutes), drain and mash with a fork. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small saucepan, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), then add to the potato. Rinse fish under cold running water, bring to the simmer in a small saucepan with milk and poach until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Drain, coarsely flake and add to potato mixture with herbs, paprika, lemon juice and rind. Fold through whisked egg white, season to taste and set aside.
4 Heat 3cm oil in a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tablespoonfuls of potato mixture to oil in batches and shallow-fry, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm.
5 To serve, drizzle baguette slices with a couple of drops each of sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, spread with Romesco and top with a fritter. Skewer with a toothpick and serve warm scattered with extra herbs.