I happened to be in Sandfords the other day to buy some Yellow Fin Tuna, sadly a rarity since most of our best fish seem to find their way onto an plane these days. Where foods concerned I think the French attitude of eat the best, export the rest is maybe a better option.

Anyway, to get off my soapbox for a minute, while I was there I noticed that there was some perfect looking Blue Nose winking at me. Blue Nose is that piece of fishy perfection that becomes pure white as it cooks and handled correctly has a great firm texture, to me it is one of the prime fish.

Now to the herb crust, what we are looking for here is a smooth herby green coating that hugs the surface of the fish almost like a carpet. The trick is to put the crust on the fish just moments before it goes in the oven and while the crust is still frozen, that way it will defrost then cook without breaking apart. Try using different herbs if you wish, or maybe some lemon or lime zest, the trick is to create the flavour that you like. As a total aside, I also love the herb crust method with racks of lamb, use the same technique but add rosemary and green olives to the food processor.





Fillet of Blue Nose with a Soft Herb Crust and a Champagne and Chive Sauce

Serves 8

8 Fillets of Blue Nose, skin off

1 glass white wine (optional)

Soft Herb Crust:

175g fresh white breadcrumbs (preferably brioche)

80g Gruyere cheese, grated

50g chopped fresh parsley

5g chopped fresh thyme

125g unsalted butter, softened


Champagne & Chive Sauce:

3 shallots (or 1 medium onion), finely chopped

¼ leek, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

300ml champagne or white wine

300ml fish stock (or chicken stock)

3 tbsps fresh chives, chopped

300ml double cream

Lemon juice to taste





Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz until thoroughly mixed.  Spread out onto a greaseproof lined tray and open freeze.  Cut into portions and place one on top of each seasoned fillet of blue nose.  Place on baking tray, pour wine onto baking tray (optional) and bake at 180˚C for 10-12 minutes or until topping is slightly golden and fish is firm to the touch and opaque.


Meanwhile prepare sauce: sweat shallots, leek and garlic in the olive oil.  Add stock and champagne to the pan and reduce to quarter of original volume.  In a second pan, reduce cream to half the original volume.  Add stock mix to cream and hand whisk.  Add lemon juice, chopped chives and seasoning to taste.



Wine Match


Ata Rangi wines from Martinborough are famous for their world beating Pinot Noir, but don’t ignore their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc as it is superb.

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