This is one for the more advanced chefs out there, adopted from a recipe served at the Sportsman at Seasalter, 2015’s gastropub of the year. Serve it at your next dinner party, though it might be worth doing a test-run first!
Remove the head from the parsley and submerge it in a pan of salted boiling water for two minutes. Drain (make sure you keep the water) and put in ice water to cool. Place the cooled parsley in a blender and blitz, adding the cooking water until it reaches the consistency of double cream. Sieve and stir in the creme fraiche, puree done.
Scrub the mussels and remove the “beards”. Tap the mussels against a hard surface, any that do not close must be thrown away as they are dead.
Put two thirds of the butter in a pan and heat until foaming, add the mussels and cook with a lid on for two minutes or until the shells open, add the splash of apple juice and cook for another minute. After they have cooled, strain off and save the cooking juices, and shell the mussels.
Remove and discard the core from the cabbage, cut the rest into strips and place into a pan with 1/2” water, the remaining third of the butter, and a pinch of salt. Boil off the water until you can hear the butter sizzling. Add pepper and a squeeze of lemon, take off the heat and keep warm.
Heat a pan with a small amount of oil and fry the hake fillets over a medium heat, skin-side down. 3-4 minutes should leave them golden brown. Transfer the hake to a baking tray and finish in a pre-heated oven at 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2, cooking time may vary but shouldn’t be longer than 5 minutes.
To serve, place a spoonful of cabbage on the plate, top with the hake fillet and drizzle with the parsley puree, warm up the mussels in their juices, and spoon over the fish. Serve with a nice chilled Pinot Blanc.