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Mullet Fillets with a Twist: Beer Vanilla Sauce

While mullet may not hold the same prestige as some of its oceanic kin, this humble fish possesses a potential that soars when paired with the right ingredients. Enter the beer vanilla sauce—a surprising but harmonious accompaniment that elevates mullet to new culinary heights. Today, we'll guide you through creating this unique dish, bringing a touch of elegance and intrigue to your dinner table.

 

Why choose mullet?

 

To the untrained eye, various mullet species appear deceivingly similar. However, their nuances in flavor are to be appreciated, which is why sourcing from a reputable fishmonger is essential to this dish's success. Affordable and underappreciated, mullet can be the star of your meal with just a touch of creativity.

Ingredients

For this dish, which serves four, you'll need:

- 1 kg potatoes, cooked and ready to be sliced

- Olive oil, for frying

- 1 whole mullet, filleted and portioned into serving sizes

- A knob of butter for cooking

- ½ a vanilla bean, which will infuse a delicate fragrance

- 1 bottle of dark beer, to add depth to your sauce

- Salt and pepper, to taste

-1 bunch of fennel fronds, for garnishing

Method

 

  1. Potato Preparation

Begin by slicing your cooked potatoes and setting a frying pan on medium heat. Add a fair amount of olive oil and once hot, gently slide the potato slices in. Fry until they're crisp and golden on the outside but still tender within.

 

  1. Cooking the Mullet Fillets

Place another frying pan over medium heat and melt a generous knob of butter. Once sizzling, lay in your mullet fillets. They'll need attention and a careful eye — turn them once they've achieved a golden crust on one side. Medium heat should ensure the fillets cook through without losing moisture.

 

  1. Creating the Beer Vanilla Sauce

Just as your mullet nears completion — approximately three minutes before you estimate it's done — introduce the half vanilla bean. Cut it into three equal segments (about 1 cm each) and stir them into the butter where the fish is cooking.

 

Wait for the warm, sweet fragrance of vanilla to fill the air before pouring in the dark beer to deglaze the pan. Allow this to simmer briefly; this is where the magic happens, and the sauce reduces, combining the beer's richness with the vanilla's subtle spice.

Season the resulting sauce with salt and pepper, adjusting to your preference.

 

  1. Plating Up

Arrange the crisp potato slices as a base on each plate. Carefully place a cooked mullet fillet over the potatoes, then crown with a few sprigs of the fresh fennel fronds. Finally, and most crucially, drizzle the warm beer vanilla sauce over the fish and potatoes, ensuring an even distribution of flavor.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Mullet Fillets with Beer Vanilla Sauce is more than a recipe; it's a statement. It speaks of the possibilities that lie within the overlooked and underutilized. It stands as proof that with the right combination of flavors, even the simplest ingredients can create a taste experience that is anything but ordinary.

 

Wine Pairing:

Given the rich and intricate flavors of the Mullet Fillets with Beer Vanilla Sauce, selecting the perfect wine to complement this dish requires careful consideration. Here are three meticulously chosen pairings that not only harmonize with the meaty texture of the mullet but also enhance the unique beer and vanilla infusion of the sauce.

 

Brouilly 2020 Red Wine

 

This wine, with its bright ruby color and purple highlights, perfectly complements mullet fillets. Its aroma of black cherries and spices, along with a notable minerality, enhances the rich flavors of the fish. The palate enjoys a remarkable subtlety with supple tannins, and a lingering taste of wild strawberries and spices, which align well with the delicate yet distinct taste of mullet. The intense and persistent aromas of this high-quality Brouilly wine make it an ideal match for the nuanced flavors of mullet fillets

 

Altos De Torona Albarino 2022 White Wine

 

Altos de Torona, with its straw yellow color and greenish hues, is the ideal wine to complement mullet fillet. Its bouquet of reineta apple, citrus, apricot, and toasted notes from aging on lees, alongside its voluminous, unctuous palate with a hint of salinity and restrained acidity, enhances the delicate flavors of the fish. The subtle finish of the wine pairs elegantly with the mullet, elevating the dining experience. For the best pairing, we recommend serving Altos de Torona chilled, between 7 and 10ºC.

 

Brochet Zero Organic Alcohol Free Sauvignon Blanc

The crisp and refreshing flavors of sauvignon blanc, exemplified by Brochet Zero, are beautifully highlighted in every sip, making it the perfect companion for mullet fillets. Its light body and delicate fruity notes complement the tender texture and subtle flavors of the fish, enhancing the overall dining experience. For the ultimate pairing, ensure Brochet Zero is served at a temperature of 8ºC to accentuate its qualities alongside your seafood dish.

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