Main Courses

Yuzu Salmon with Buttered Leeks

A Mary Berry dish, this one is from her ‘Everyday’ series. The first thing that I should say is that I couldn’t find Yuzu juice anywhere but that didn’t matter – Google recommended the alternative mix of fresh lime and orange juice – I have no idea whether this combination tastes like the Japanese citrus fruit juice, ‘Yuzu’, but I can tell you that this salmon dish was absolutely delicious – fresh, tangy with a touch of Asian-inspired heat, all working brilliantly as a foil for the richness of the salmon. Also, it’s stupidly easy AND can be prepared in advance! This is DEFINITELY on the regulars list.

Serves 4

What you need…

Knob of butter

4 small leeks, finely sliced

4 x 125g salmon fillets, skinned

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced, to garnish

A few coriander leaves, to garnish

for the dressing

2cm chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Dessertspoon of fresh orange juice

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Into a screw top jar, tip the ginger and garlic with the chilli, lime juice, orange juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper, screw on the lid and shake like mad. Set aside until you’re ready to cook the meal.

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°c / gas 6.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan and when it has melted, add the leeks and fry over a high heat for 3 minutes. Pop the lid on the pan, lower the heat and sweat the leeks for 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Tip into an ovenproof dish.

Sit the salmon fillets on top of the leeks and season with salt and pepper. (If you’re preparing ahead you could now just cover the whole lot with cling film or foil and pop into the fridge).

Spoon all but two tablespoons of the dressing over the salmon. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through (a little longer if the dish has been sat in the fridge already prepared).

Toss the coriander leaves and radishes in the remaining dressing. Serve a spoonful of leeks onto each plate with a salmon fillet on top and then spoon over the radishes, coriander and dressing.

Enjoy this delicious, tangy and vibrant supper dish and remember to stick it right back on the menu to enjoy again soon!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Ridiculously easy and so much flexibility with time (we enjoyed ‘wine time’ between when the salmon sat on the leeks and when the dressing went on and the whole lot went into the oven.

 

 

 

Tournedos Rossini!

When we fancy a bit of blow out, we turn to steak and I’ve tried some amazing recipes. Last weekend, at the behest of the uni-returning daughter, steak was once again on the menu and we elected to try a classic: Tournedos Rossini – a gutsy yet elegant dish that is served with a wonderful velvety sauce – it was nothing short of fabulous. I did adapt the recipe however! The original includes fois gras and as much as my food shopping bills are significant, even I could not push the boat out for that extravagance so swapped it for a little chicken liver paté and some sautéed mushrooms – still decadent and absolutely delicious!

Serves 4 very lucky people

What you need…

1 x small cookie cutter

Olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 x 200g beef fillet steaks

Sea salt and black pepper

250g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and sliced

150g good quality chicken liver paté (optional)

4 chunky slices of ciabatta

for the sauce

100ml hot water from the kettle

½ beef stockpot (I use Knorr)

2 tablespoons port

4 tablespoons brandy

4 tablespoons Madeira, plus extra for frying

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 truffle, finely sliced

What to do…

A couple of hours before you want to eat, take your steaks out of the fridge, put a teaspoon of oil onto each one, massage the oil in using the heel of your hand, season with black pepper (no salt at this stage), flip them and repeat on the other side. Cover with cling film and set aside.

Just before you’re ready to eat, add the butter to a hot frying pan. Season the steaks with salt on both sides and when the butter is foaming, pop in the steaks and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and keep warm (I put mine into a really low oven).

Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté for five minutes until golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and pop onto kitchen paper to drain any excess liquid and then keep warm with the steaks.

Into the pan pour the port, brandy and Madeira and bring to the boil. Add the stock and reduce the heat to moderate, letting the sauce bubble away until it starts to thicken.

In a separate pan over a moderate heat, add a splash of Madeira and the garlic, cooking for a couple of minutes before adding the truffle. Turn the heat to low and cook for a further two minutes. Then, add the reduced sauce.

Meanwhile, toast the ciabatta. Also, if you’re including the paté, cut 4 small circles from it using your cookie cutter. Set aside.

To serve, place each steak on a piece of the toasted ciabatta, top with a circle of paté if using, then the mushrooms. Pour over the delicious sauce and dig in – it’s gutsy but elegant at the same time – fillet steak needs little faffing and this sauce together with a little pate and mushrooms create a fabulous dish that should be lingered over but….is demolished!!!!!

Serving Suggestion…

Potato Dauphinoise and a few green beans works particularly well.

What’s it all about…

Tournedos Rossini was created by chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, who is renowned as the ‘king of chefs’ and ‘chef of kings’ having cooked for Napoleon, the Prince Regent and Tsar Alexander I, to name but a few. But it was whilst working for the House of Rothschild that he met and became friends with great composer and kindred spirit, Gioachino Antonio Rossini and it was for him, that this wonderful dish was created.

Inspired by…

James Winter, who included it in his fabulous book, ‘Who Put the Beef in Wellington?’ and who said, ‘…people with passionate appetites for luxurious food will always order Tournedos Rossini.’ What a wonderful line!

How easy…

Really easy, very quick and absolutely fantastic – only for a special occasion though unless you have very deep pockets!

Fennel and Feta Linguine

OK, so the image might not excite but this is a totally gorgeous, light, relaxing dish and is comforting and flavoursome. A perfect supper dish that is quick and easy to make and combines the lovely sweet, fried flavours of the fennel and shallot with tangy, salty earthiness of the feta.

Serves 4

What you need…

400g linguine (I use gluten-free as it’s lighter on my old tummy)

Splash of rapeseed oil

2 fennel bulbs, peeled and sliced

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

A generously large handful of basil leaves, torn

200g feta cheese

What to do…

Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water in accordance with the packet instructions – my takes around 12 minutes.

In a large saucepan, warm the oil over a moderate heat and then sauté the fennel and shallot until soft.

Scatter over the basil and crumble in the feta.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and then tip into the shallot mixture. Stir thoroughly but gently, mixing all the ingredients together.

Enjoy this perfectly lovely supper, perhaps with a glass of cold, crisp white wine on the side. Simply delightful!

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater

How easy…

So very, very easy and it takes no time at all.

 

 

Venison with Red Wine & Chocolate Sauce (oh yeah!) with Celeriac & Apple Purée

O M G! This is so very, very special! Delectable, delicious, de-lovely – absolutely incredible! OK, enough adjectives! This is a dish worth celebrating – venison can be dear (or deer – see what I did there!!). I paid £17 for 600g which serves 4 so that’s £4.25 each which I didn’t think was too bad given the ‘off-the-scale’ enjoyment that was registered: the meat is so succulent and very flavoursome without being ‘gamey’. Paired with the rich red wine and chocolate sauce and complemented by the sweet, crisp celeriac and apple purée: a better trio I cannot imagine! An ideal dinner party dish, this is so good and not at all difficult (especially if you prepare the sauce and purée in advance); you simply must give it a go!!!! (Don’t let the long ingredients list put you off – it’s sooooo worth it!)

Serves 4

What you need…

600g venison loin

Rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed

2 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves, chopped

50g unsalted butter

Sea salt and black pepper

for the sauce

Rapeseed oil

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed/grinded

300ml robust red wine

200ml water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g dark chocolate, grated

25g cold unsalted butter, chunked

Pinch of salt

for the purée

1 celeriac head, peeled and chunked

500ml semi skimmed milk

500ml water

2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon caster sugar

25g unsalted butter

Pepper (white’s better as it blends in but I only had black, which works equally as well)

What to do…

So, we’re going to turn the ingredients list all around: first making the chocolate sauce and then the purée, both of which can then be popped in the fridge for use later in the day or even the following day.

To the sauce: heat a splash of oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until they start to caramelise.

Add the herbs, juniper berries and peppercorns and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Meanwhile, make a strong chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dilute your chicken stockpot into the hot water. Add the stock to the pan, bring back to the boil and then simmer until reduced by half.

Into a jug, tip the grated chocolate. Strain the sauce into the jug and then plop in chunks of butter. Use your balloon whisk again dissolve both the chocolate and butter into the sauce. Season with a pinch of salt. Taste, say ‘wow’ and vow to leave the sauce alone until it’s on your plate with the venison! Cover with cling film and set aside until needed.

Next the purée: pop the celeriac into a large saucepan with the milk and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the celeriac is soft. Into your blender pour a couple of ladles of the cooking liquid and then, using a slotted spoon, add the celeriac chunks. Set aside. Pour the remaining cooking liquid into a jug and set aside.

Wipe out your pan and pop it back onto the heat with a splash of water, the apple and sugar. Simmer gently until the apple is soft and beginning to break apart. Use a spatula to scrape the lot into the blender with the celeriac. Whizz until smooth, adding more cooking liquid if needed. Add the butter, season, whizz, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside until needed.

That’s most of the ‘work’ and mess done. At this stage you could cool both the sauce and purée and pop them in the fridge until tomorrow if you were preparing in advance for a dinner party. I made mine in the morning and then just left them on the worktop side until I was ready to cook dinner in the evening.

To the main event: preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Rub the venison loin with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Also, rub in the juniper berries all over the meat. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, add the venison and sear on all sides for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the thyme, garlic and butter to the pan and baste the venison for 2 minutes. Cover the meat with foil and then transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest, still covered by the foil, on a warmed plate for 10 minutes.

Whilst all that is going on, have your sauce and purée and sauce in separate saucepans over a low heat just to warm through.

Carve the venison into thick slices; try not to dribble in anticipation. Onto each diner’s plate, plop or swirl some purée, arrange a few venison slices on the top and then drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy with a simple green vegetable and a lovely glass or two of red wine. Consider for a moment how wonderful life can be! Enjoy!

Tip…

I found the size of the venison too ungainly to deal with as one piece so chopped it in half….worked for me!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Really easy. And if you prep the sauce and purée in advance, the actual cooking of the venison takes no time at all and is a sinch!

Red Mullet with Saffron, Orange Oil and Spring Onion Barley

I first tried this last week when I was in Penzance with my brother, Martin; this dish is ridiculously easy to make and absolutely delicious! We picked up the freshly caught fish at lunchtime and cooked this up on a whim in the evening. The freshness of the fish evokes a quite wonderful essence of the sea: a beautiful flavour that is enhanced by the lovely and light pearl barley ‘risotto’ – the perfect base for these delightful little fish – just yummy!

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

What you need…

for the orange oil

Zest of 1 orange, grated finely

75ml rapeseed oil

25ml olive oil

for the main dish

1 x medium baking tin

400ml hot water from the kettle

1 vegetable stockpot (I use Knorr)

8 spring onions

8 red mullet fillets (your fishmonger will do this for you)

Rapeseed oil

50g unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped

100g pearl barley

1 teaspoon saffron strands

200g spinach, washed and trimmed

2 teaspoons dill, chopped, plus extra fronds to garnish

50g Parmesan, grated finely

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Ideally, the day before you want to enjoy this dish, make up the orange oil by putting all the ingredients into a blender and whizzing for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a jug, cover, pop into the fridge and leave to infuse for 24 hours. Strain into a screw-topped jar and keep in the fridge until needed (it will actually keep for up to 1 month).

Time to prepare this lovely meal! First, a bit of prep: make some stock by using a balloon whisk to dilute the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside. Trim the spring onions and slice finely, keeping the white parts separate from the green. Set aside. That’s it – prep done.

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil and the butter. When hot, add the white spring onion slices and the garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the pearl barley, stirring for a further minute.

Pour in 200ml of the vegetable stock and add the saffron. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a moderate heat for 20 minutes, checking on it occasionally – if it looks like the stock is being absorbed too soon, add a little more until the 20 minutes is up and the cooking liquid is now almost completely absorbed. Discard any remaining stock.

Add the green spring onion slices, spinach and dill and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan, season, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

For the fish, allow 4 minutes before the end of the pearl barley cooking time. Heat your grill to medium. Splash a little rapeseed oil into your baking tin, spread all around and season. Pop the fish in, skin side up and slide the tin under the grill, cooking for 4 minutes or until just cooked through.

Spoon the barley onto warmed plates and arrange the red mullet on the top. Drizzle orange oil over and around the fish and then garnish with dill fronds. Dead easy and absolutely delicious!

Inspired by…

My bro and before him, Nathan Outlaw.

How easy…

Very easy. The freshness and essential flavours of the fish obviate the need for any fancy cooking – it’s all there for you already!

 

 

 

Chicken and Mushroom Pie with Sage and Onion Stuffing Pastry

This is a lovely, filling chicken pie – an ideal weekday family supper that uses up the leftover chicken from Sunday lunch. You could make your own pastry and you could also make your own stuffing but leaving the recipe this way, means it’s quite effortless and really scrummy: perfect comfort food for a chilly winter’s evening.

Question: what else can I stuff into pastry toppings……? Time will tell, I’m sure!!!

Serves 4 – 6

 

What you need…

1 x 1 litre pie dish, buttered

for the stuffing

1 x 110g pack sage and onion stuffing mix

Knob of butter

Small handful fresh sage leaves, chopped

8 walnut halves, chopped

for the filling

200ml hot water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

100g butter

1 onion, sliced thinly

50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

125ml single cream

500-600g cooked chicken (about 4 chicken breasts) chunked into bite-sized pieces

200g mushrooms, washed and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

320g ready-rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas 5.

Make the stuffing as per the instructions and then stir in the butter, sage leaves and walnut halves until they’re evenly incorporated. Set aside to cool.

Make up chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to help dissolve the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Now to the filling: melt the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate heat, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until soft.

Mix in the flour and then add the stock and cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken chunks, mushrooms and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to your pie dish and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry so that it is double the size of your pie dish. Spread the cooled stuffing over half of the pastry, folding the other half over the top of it so that you have a layer of stuffing in the middle. Roll out again so that it’s just a little bigger than your pie dish.

Brush the rim of your pie dish with beaten egg and then place the pastry over the pie. Fork the edges and make a hole in the middle to allow the cooking steam to escape. Trim off any excess pastry from around the sides. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and pop in the oven for 35 minutes and until the pastry is a rich, golden brown.

Serve your wonderful pie just by itself, with gravy or naughty potatoes. I don’t think any healthy greenery should be added to the plate – this is comfort food after all!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Very easy and relaxing to make.

Chicken with Mushrooms and Sherry Sauce

I saw Raymond Blanc do this on the telly and thought it looked absolutely yummy – it is, despite the fact that I didn’t use the specified ‘Morel’ mushrooms (which are hideously expensive). So I suspect that the flavours would have been even more fabulous than they were in my version. Really, really gorgeous and so simple to do – give it a go whether it’s a simple family meal or supper with friends – you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the leeks: what Monsieur Blanc did with them is simply one of the best ways to serve them!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 teaspoon stock from a chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50 ml hot water from the kettle

4 plump chicken breasts

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

200g wild or interesting mushrooms, washed and roughly torn

120g button mushrooms, washed and quartered

100ml dry sherry, boiled for 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol

200ml double cream

for the leeks

200ml water

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

4 leeks, outer leaves removed, washed and sliced

What to do…

First, make a little chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stock from the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from a pan and set aside.

In the butter remaining in the pan, chuck in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and add the boiled sherry, chicken stock and double cream. Bring to the boil and slip in the chicken breasts – which should be covered by the sauce. Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 7 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

Again using your slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. Turn the heat up to boil the sauce and cook until reduced by half (15 – 20 minutes on my hob) and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Actually, keep tasting because it’s bloody lovely!

Whilst the chicken breasts are cooking, turn your attention to the leeks. Into a saucepan, tip the water, salt and butter and bring to the boil. Tip in the leeks, pop on the lid and boil like mad for 3 minutes. That’s it!

To serve, place the chicken breasts back into the sauce to warm up for 2 minutes and then divide the chicken breasts and sauce between 4 plates, drain the leeks and serve them as well. We also had chunked up red potatoes that had been roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, dried rosemary and chopped garlic. The whole supper is absolutely delicious – gotta love food blogging!

Inspired by…

Raymond Blanc

How easy…

Easy, relaxed and really quite joyful! Glass of wine in hand, obviously!

 

 

 

 

Burns Night Supper: Haggis with Wonderful Whisky Sauce

I know haggis is not for everyone but we love it. I am devoted to the Simon Howie brand that is so tasty, perfectly balanced with a little spicy edge to it. Served with this simply sumptuous sauce and the haggis is worth celebrating all by itself! Then you get the Neep & Tattie Mash with Parsley and Walnuts, adding an unexpectedly delicious dimension to the meal. Serve with a wee dram – an aged single malt if you can run to it. What a lovely supper – I don’t think we are going to wait for Mr. Burns birthday before we have this again though!!!!

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

2 x 454g Haggis, (we love the Simon Howie Scottish butcher brand)

30g butter

2 large shallots, finely chopped

250ml whisky (not expensive)

1 litre hot water from the kettle

2 x beef stockpots (I use Knorr)

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

200ml double cream

for the mash

700g swede, peeled and chunked

650g potatoes, peeled and chunked

125g turnips, peeled and chunked

1 tablespoon butter

Sea salt and black pepper

25g fresh parsley

50g walnut pieces

Grated zest of 1 lemon

100ml olive oil

What to do…

Cook both of the haggis according to the packet instructions – mine were to wrap in foil and pop in boiling water, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the swede. Cook for 5 minutes then add the potatoes and turnips. Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Drain. Return the vegetables to the saucepan, add the butter, season and either mash or whisk. Pop the lid back on and keep warm.

In a mini chopper, chop the walnuts finely, add the parsley and chop again. Tip in the lemon, pour in the oil and whizz the lot together. Set aside.

Whilst the veg is bubbling along, you can make the fan-dabby-dozi sauce. Melt the butter in medium pan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and golden. Increase the heat and add the whisky. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until reduced by three-quarters.

Dilute the beef stockpots into the hot water with the aid of a balloon whisk to create your beef stock. Pour the stock into the shallots and whisky, add the Dijon mustard and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by three-quarters again. Add the cream, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Season, taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside and keep warm.

Once your haggis’ are cooked, remove from the pan, discard the foil and peel back the plastic pouch. Cut the haggis into lovely chunky slices and serve onto warmed plates. Swirl the parsley and walnut oil into the mash or serve the mash and drizzle it over the top. Try not to be greedy and share the sauce between you all nicely.

Taste, enjoy, take a sip of your chosen wee dram. Repeat until plate and glass are both empty – shame!

Inspired by…

The birth of Robert Burns and then the Waitrose Weekend magazine!

How easy…

The haggis cooks itself, the sauce is a total joy to prepare and the mash is, well mash – not hard is it?

Chicken, Mozzarella and Pesto Filo Parcels

I saw Tom Daley do these on TV and thought that they looked so very tasty as well as being so very easy and they are exactly that! An ideal gift of a lunch or supper (you do feel like you’re opening a present when you cut into them), these are really lovely and much more filling than I had thought. We did also think ‘ideal student food’ – one for you, Maddie!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking sheet, lined with reusable baking parchment

2 tablespoons olive oil

A large handful basil leaves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons pine nuts

450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

8 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

250g mozzarella, chopped

8 rectangular sheets filo pastry, cut in half to make 16 squares

50g butter, melted

Sea salt and black pepper

What you do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6. Pop in your baking sheet to warm up whilst you make the parcels.

To create a pesto, put the oil, basil and pine nuts in mini chopper if you have one and whizz until smooth. If you don’t have a mini chopper, just chop the basil and nuts as finely as you can and then mix them with the oil.

Put the chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella into a bowl and add the pesto. Season liberally and stir everything together.

Take 4 squares of filo pastry and lay them one on top of another, but turning each one a little to the right to create a star outline once all four are on top of one another.

Divide the mixture evenly between the four pastry ‘stars’ piling it up in the middle of each.

Brush a little melted butter in a fat circle around the mixture and then scrunch each ‘star’ together to create 4 large moneybag shapes. Brush each parcel all over (except the base) with butter – this will help the pastry stick together and will also turn it a gorgeous golden brown when cooked.

Pop the parcels onto your preheated baking tray and bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden.

There’s quite a bit of theatre to serving them: they look amazing and then when you cut into them for ‘the big reveal’ the delightful crunch of the buttery filo pastry gives way to the really very yummy contents inside!

Chick, Mozz & Pesto Filo Parcels Open w

Serving suggestion…

Green vegetables or a salad of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and avocado, drizzled with a olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing (which is what we did together with some fresh, warm, chunky bread – delish!)

Inspired by…

Olympic diver and now chef, Tom Daley

How easy…

Fabulously easy and very attractive on the eye as well as the palette!

 

 

Smoked Haddock with Mustard Sauce

Wow! So easy and soooooo good. the rich, opulent but tangy sauce absolutely makes this dish and the fish is light and really flavoursome. So easy, no mess, such a wonderful mid-week treat – we’ll be having this again…and again!!!! But be warned: too much sauce is not good for you!!!! Thanks Martin (bro) for sharing this one!

Serves 4

What you need…

4 smoked haddock fillets, around 250g each

Splashes of rapeseed oil

8 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Handful of thyme sprigs

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

100ml cider

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

30ml double cream

100g unsalted butter, chunked

2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

4 large handfuls of samphire, to serve

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

First prep your fish fillets. For each haddock fillet, rip a large sheet of foil and rub over a little rapeseed oil. Pop the fish into the middle and drizzle over a little more oil. On top, place some thyme sprigs and two garlic cloves and then liberally season with black pepper. Bring the sides of the foil together, scrunching them to create a sealed parcel.

Tip your shallot, cider and cider vinegar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer rapidly until the liquid has reduced right down – practically to nothing.

About when the liquid has reduced by half, pop the fish parcels into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Whilst the fish is cooking, return to the sauce. Once its reduced to practically nothing, stir in the cream and then, over a low heat, whisk in the butter, one chunk at a time. Once it’s all incorporated, stir in the mustard, season the sauce with sea salt and black pepper, taste (wow!) and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Keep warm.

In another saucepan, bring unsalted water to boil, pop the samphire into a steamer and steam over the water for just 2 minutes.

Lift your haddock fillets from their parcels onto warmed plates and pour over the cooking juices (very yummy). Plonk or arrange the samphire to the side of the fish and then pour over a little sauce, pouring the rest into a serving jug to be placed in the middle of the table and fought over!!!!! Enjoy – I promise you will!

Note…

We’re a bit of a saucy family(!) – Sunday roast for instance requires over a litre of gravy for just four us! Hence, when I looked at this recipe, I doubled the sauce….then I saw how much butter went into it – wow: heart attack stuff! That said, most of the sauce disappeared! The recipe above is for the original quantities not the Cindy version!

Serving Suggestion…

I used samphire but Nathan serves his with sea spinach. We also had parmentier potatoes (oven-roasted chunked red potatoes swirled in olive oil, dried rosemary, chopped garlic and sea salt).

Inspired by…

My bro! He recommended the dish. He did mention something about the amount of butter…..anyway, damned fine recommendation Martin….who in turn was inspired by Nathan Outlaw.

How easy…

Really easy and such a star of a recipe.