Seed Encrusted Hake, Lemon Butter Leeks


When opting for the keto style of eating, some of our favourite and very nutritious nuts and seed are sneakily high in carbs, so you should really be aware of which ones you can snack on and use in your cooking that won't knock you out of ketosis......which if you didn't know already, is when your body is burning fat to use as energy rather than relying on carbohydrates from food.

Pumpkin seeds are one of those wondrous low carb seeds that you can use when cooking or enjoy as a snack, and they have the added bonus of being packed with nutrients like zinc, vitamin E and have antioxidant properties. When crushed and roasted they make an excellent topping for something that cooks quickly..... like fish..... especially the firmer types of fish like cod, haddock, halibut, turbot, salmon....you could even top nuggets of monk-fish.

For this recipe I have used hake, another of those 'meatier' fish, simply because it was on offer in the supermarket and I got two portions for less than 2 euros!....I am the self professed queen of bargain hunting!

So for this encrusted hake you will need.........for 2 people...

120 - 150 g hake per person.....or you can use cod or any other of the above I've mentioned
50 g pumpkin seeds...they don't have to be pre-roasted ones
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 small clove garlic crushed
a bit of butter
sea salt
fresh black pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil....use extra virgin for flavour
approx 100mls dry white wine or water

for the lemon butter leeks..........
1 medium stalk of leek
juice of the lemon
50 g butter
4 tablespoons coconut milk
sea salt
fresh black pepper

How to..............

line an oven dish with some tin foil, rub a little butter on the foil where you will place the fish...this is to prevent stickingremove any bones from the fish....this is very important as because of the crust, bones will be invisible after cooking....feel all over the fish with your fingers to check for anyplace the fish onto the buttered foil, season with a little salt and pepperplace the pumpkin seeds in a blender and crush until they resemble coarse breadcrumbsadd the lemon zest, the crushed garlic clove and some salt and pepper...give a last whiz to blend everythingtransfer the seeds to a clean bowl and add enough olive oil to coat all the seeds...stir really well.......it should almost resemble a coarse paste at this point spoon the seed paste onto the top of the fish fillets and press firmly so it will stickadd the white wine / water to the dish and place your fish in a pre-heated oven 180oC for approx 15 minutesfor the lemon butter leeks.......these can be cooked while the fish is in the ovenslice the leek very thinly and wash well....drain on kitchen papermelt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the leeks and allow to sweat for just a moment....we don't want the leeks to be overcooked at this pointadd the lemon juice, bring to the boil and reduce by half then add the coconut milkallow to boil again and thickenseason to taste with salt and pepperTo serve........divide the lemon butter leeks between two plates, place  a portion of fish on top and add a wedge of lemon if desired. Drizzle the cooking juices from the fish over each plate and into the buttery lemon sauce......divine!
I served this dish very simply with some steamed broccoli on the side.....pack in those green veggies!

Try adding some herbs to crust or even to the sauce...maybe chives....or what about some Indian spices like turmeric which would go so well with the coconut.