“Fit for a Dame, this super-cheffy dish is inspired by Jessica Ennis-Hill’s favourite meal on her honeymoon resort, originally created by Alistair Waddell, the head chef at the time at the resort on Hamilton Island, Australia. It’s a beautiful combination, featuring some extra-special ingredients and a few clever tricks for the most phenomenal plate of food. Perfect for a special occasion. ”
To make the purée, place the almonds and milk into a small saucepan on a medium-low heat and simmer gently for 1 hour.
Place a large sheet of clingfilm on a board and grease all over with olive oil. Arrange a quarter of the ham on the clingfilm, overlapping the slices.
Season a cod fillet with sea salt, place it at one end of the ham and tightly roll it up like a sausage – use the clingfilm to help you turn it. Twist each end like a cracker and roll it against the board to tighten further, then knot each end. Repeat with the remaining fish and ham to make 4 cod parcels. Set aside until ready to cook.
Strain the almonds through a sieve set over a bowl to catch the milk. Tip the almonds into a blender with 250ml of the reserved milk and blend until smooth, adding a splash more milk if needed. Have a taste and season with sea salt.
Pour the purée into a heatproof bowl and place into a small roasting tray. Scattering the wood chips around the bowl, then cover tightly with foil. Place the tray on the hob on a medium-low heat and smoke for 10 minutes. Give the purée a stir, check the seasoning, then cover and set aside.
Fill a pan with boiling water, lower in your cod parcels (see tip) and poach on a low heat for 8 minutes with the lid on. Remove and set aside until needed.
Meanwhile, prepare the marmalade. Trim and finely chop the fennel, reserving any leafy tops for later. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a medium-low heat. Add the fennel seeds and pollen (if using), cook for 1 minute, then add the onion, garlic, vinegar and sugar. Finely zest in the oranges, then squeeze in all the juice and simmer for 20 minutes or until softened and lightly caramelised.
Carefully remove the clingfilm from the fish parcels and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice the baby courgettes in half, lengthways. Pit the olives and discard the stones. Sort through the clams, giving any that aren’t tightly closed a tap. If they don’t close, discard them.
Place a large frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the fish and fry for a few minutes or until golden and crispy all over, turning regularly with tongs. Add the courgettes, cut-side down, halfway through, along with the clams. Remove the fish parcels and courgettes to a board, leaving the clams in the pan.
Pour in the wine, then throw in the knob of butter and olives, and cook for 2 minutes more or until the clams have steamed open.
Carefully slice each fish parcel into three and arrange on a plate with a good dollop of the purée (cheffy swipe optional) and the courgettes. Spoon over the clams and olives, along with some pan juices, then scatter with the reserved fennel tops, and serve.
To prevent your fish from floating, submerge with the help of a fish slice and hold in place with the lid. Job done!