Prosciutto wrapped Hake with Beurre Nantais

I haven’t cooked something for the blog in a while and I’m heading overseas for a week,  so I thought I’d pull out all the stops and go a tad fancy this time :)

I recently got word of Julie Carter’s Ocean Jewels Fish operation.  She sells beautifully fresh fish every Saturday at The Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town.  What I found even more appealing is that she also sends out emails during the week with a list of the various kinds of fresh fish she currently has on hand, and she delivers TO YOUR DOOR!

This just sounded too good to be true, so I decide to give Julie’s service a try and I must admit I am well impressed.

You can get hold of Julie on Twitter @OceanJewelsFish or via the blog link above.

This recipe is so easy I did not weigh anything out, I just used a pinch of this and a splash of that.

You will need the following though


  • Fresh Hake Fillets
  • (Baby) Fennel Bulbs
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning
  • Unsalted butter (plenty, get a whole block and keep it cold in the fridge)
  • One medium onion, finely chopped
  • Prosciutto (2 slices per portion of fish)
  • Dry white wine, about 2 dashes (probably about 100ml or so)
  • White wine vinegar, just one dash or so (50ml?)
  • Some olive oil
  • Dash of cream (ok you get the idea)
  • a Splash of lemon juice
  • Some baby greens (baby corn, mangetout and the like), blanched in some boiling salted water
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Some Sweetcorn Souffles (I am still working on perfecting these puppies, expect a post on this soon!)


Before getting started preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Then feast your eyes on these two lovely fillet’s of hake.



I cut these up into smaller portions to make them more manageable, and seasoned well with salt and pepper.



I found these nice looking baby fennel bulbs and Pick n Pay of all places, so I took them home, washed then and sliced ’em up nice and thin.



Which I then popped on my fish portions.



Enter the “Bos man” of bacon, the king of charcuterie, Richard Bosman.  It ain’t no secret that I am a big fan of his produce, so when I was at the Good Food and Wine Show on Sunday I just had to pick up a few things from his stand.  Just take a look at these beautiful thinly sliced Prosciutto.  It’s so pretty I almost didn’t feel like eating it, ok ok who am I kidding!



Just a tip when working with these slivers of goodness.  Because the slices are so thing they tear very easily, so be careful when handling them, unless you are making a sandwich, then rip and shred away :)

Ok back to the job at hand.  Get out a baking dish, grease it well with butter and place your fish portions inside.  Then carefully wrap the prosciutto around, tucking the ends underneath the fish. Drizzle some olive oil over the top to prevent the prosciutto from drying out too much. That goes into the oven for about 20- 30 minutes, this will depend on the size of your portions.



Ok next up is the sauce with the fancy French name, Beurre Nantais.  I did some research on sauces that goes well with fish.  When it comes to sauces, you can’t really fault the French.  I first found Beurre Blanc, which roughly translates to “White Butter”.

Beurre Nantais is very similar, the main difference being the addition of a splash of cream to make the sauce more stable.  Apparently Beurre Blanc is notorious for “splitting”.  So I opted for the Beurre Nantais, firstly because I like foolproof things, and secondly because most things are better with cream :)

Make sure your butter is nice and cold and cut it up into roughly 3cm cubes.

Add some olive oil to a hot pan and pop in your finely chopped onion.  Brown for a bit then add 2 good splashes of dry white wine,  a dash of white wine vinegar and a bit of lemon juice and let that reduce until you have something looking like this.



Now add the creamm lower the heat and let it reduce like so.



Now the idea is to add butter until en emulsion is formed that you deem worthy.  In plain English, add one block of butter at a time as you keep whisking away. Try to keep the temperature low and don’t add too much butter at once as it will cool the mix too much. You will see a sauce form.



Work it until it looks cool, you’ll see what I mean, it will soon resemble something like this.  At this stage taste it, you might want to add a bit more lemon juice, and also remember to season with salt and pepper. Purists say one should use white pepper as black pepper will cause black flecks in your sauce, but luckily I’ve never been all that pure.



Finish up your mashed potatoes as per usual.  I picked up a tip from Neill Anthony a while back on twitter, he said I should try adding some creamed horseradish (you get this at most supermarkets) to the mash to give it a bit of a zing.  I tried it and I must admit it worked wonders with the fish. Thanks Neill!



Here is a sneak peak at the Sweetcorn Souffle’s.  I will perfect the recipe when I get a chance and show you all the process. Watch this space!



Plate the dish by making a little mound of mash, top with the baby greens and place your fish on top.  Spoon over some fancy french sauce and you are set!

As always comments and questions are more than welcome, I love to hear from you guys (and girls!)


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Author:Fritz Brand

Passionate Foodie, Blues Man, Photographer, Technology Geek and all round cool dude.

12 Responses to “Prosciutto wrapped Hake with Beurre Nantais”

  1. June 3, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Eeeek, this is fantastic! I know some tricks regarding how to prevent the splitting of Beurre Blanc. Overseas – Yayness!

    • Fritz Brand
      June 3, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks hun! Will get those tricks from you at some stage!

  2. Julie
    June 3, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Looks amazing, makes me feel like fish for breakfast.
    Do you think it will work with Yellowtail?

    • Fritz Brand
      June 3, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      Thanks Julie, glad you approve :)

      It should work great yea! I just think it’s perfect for hake as it doesn’t has as much flavour as other kinds of fish.

  3. June 3, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Heck that looks like so much kief yumminess….well done Fritz. I am way impressed with your stunning kitchen and cooking skills. And your cheesemaking skills….I have yet to hear your blues skills……hehe! Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend xx

    • Fritz Brand
      June 3, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      Awwww thanks Colleen, it was seriously kief! And thanks so much for the kind words! I will give you a sample of the blues some day!

  4. June 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Gits Fritz, jy is dan ‘n pro, daai kossies kan vir Heston in sy peetjie stuur. Lekker, lekker!!

    • Fritz Brand
      June 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      Hahaha nee wat ek sal sleg tweede kom! Dankie!!

  5. June 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    What a magnificent meal – decadent I tell you! Have a good trip overseas.
    :-) Mandy

    • Fritz Brand
      June 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Thanks Mandy! It was delicious!!

      I will do, flying on Tuesday!

  6. August 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Holy guacamole – that looks AWESOME! I am so with you on the “foolproof” recipes (and the “I’ve never been that pure” bit hahaha! Fish and prosciutto is a surprisingly wonderful combo.

    On another note, I have added you to the SA Food and Wine Blog Directory which I administer:

    As you see, I do a regular profile post featuring a blogger – if you want to be featured in such a post, please drop me an e-mail and I will send you the questions :)

    • Fritz Brand
      August 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Thanks so much Jeanne, I finally found your comment! Have emailed you :)

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