Hake, Chorizo and Tomato Butter Beans

This is a variation on a theme, a favourite combination of creamy white beans, firm white fish and spicy chorizo. Here I’ve used butter beans added to a slop of diced tomato flavoured with a splash of white wine and plump little chorizo cooking sausages. Fillets of hake are then laid over the top, the pan covered so the fish can steam in the heat of the beans in their sloppy red juices. The chorizo gives a spicy zing and meaty chew with the soft, creamy fish and beans. Usefully, the dish can be kept on hold without spoiling for 20 minutes or so. If you can’t easily source cooking chorizo which is usually sold in a pack of 4 small sausages or 250g pack or 12 bite-size sausages, use chunks or thin slices of peeled, cooked chorizo. You will end up with the same spicy background flavour but the textural contrast won’t be so interesting. Look out for large Spanish butter beans – Navarrico is the brand I use – which create delicious juices unlike the liquid tinned beans come in (which should be drained and a little stock added). If I’d had some flat leaf parsley or coriander when I made this, I would have chopped a few leaves and scattered it over the top for pretty.

Serves 2
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 30 min

4 cooking chorizo or 8 small cooking chorizo
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tomatoes
splash of white wine
700g jar Navarrico large butter beans
2 thick fillets hake

Chose a lidded sauté/frying pan, warm 1 tbsp oil and add the chorizo, turning after a couple of minutes, continuing until cooked through, the juices and oils seeping into the pan. While that happens, boil the kettle and place the tomatoes in a bowl that allows you to cover them with boiling water. Drain after about 40 seconds, cut out the core in a pointed plug shape and chop the flesh; easier to do if the toms are quartered first. Lift the chorizo from the pan and stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring regularly, adding a splash of white wine if you have some to spare, cooking until juicy rather than wet, then stir in the butter beans. Simmer to exchange flavours, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Return the chorizo, warm through and lay the hake, skin-side down, on top. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Use a fish slice to deftly turn the hake. Using a fork and knife, ease of the skin, leaving if still firmly attached. Cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered until you are ready to serve.