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Pan Fried Hake with Polenta and Wilted Baby Spinach

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Pan Fried Hake with Polenta and Wilted Baby Spinach

Pan Fried Hake with Polenta and Wilted Baby Spinach
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total prep


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup pecorino, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 5-ounce pieces hake, whiting or cod fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 24 kalamata olives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Place a saucepan over a high heat then add the water and salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat then slowly pour in the polenta, stirring with a whisk as you pour to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk steadily, until the mixture begins to thicken, then add the cheese and butter, and whisk until combined.
  • Place a pan containing 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the hake fillets then fry for 3 to 5 minutes a side, or until cooked through.
  • To another pan, add the remaining olive oil, the spinach and lemon juice, then stir-fry over a high heat until the leaves are just wilted. Remove immediately to prevent further cooking. Divide the polenta among four dishes, top each serving with a hake fillet and serve with wilted baby spinach, topped with sun-dried-tomato quarters and kalamata olives. Season to taste.
  • Cook’s tip: Substitute the hake fillets with calamari steaks. Dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with a wedge of matured Parmesan for grating.