Mussels with parsley crumb
Serves 4 as a starter
Mussels are undisputed champs of sustainable seafood choice, here served as simply as possible. It’s been a very mild year so the three-cornered garlic has had the opportunity to get re-established before winter. It’s much sweeter than regular garlic so don’t be afraid to put a big handful in.
75g stale bread crusts
1 handful of parsley
1 handful of three cornered garlic (or 2 cloves of garlic)
50ml olive oil
A splash of white wine
Clean the mussels of their beards and set aside. Pulse the crusts in a food processor. Roughly chop the parsley and three cornered garlic then add the herbs to the breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Heat a wide pan or heavy roasting tray, add the mussels and a splash of wine. Cover with a lid or tin foil until they open. Sprinkle the mussels with the crumb mix and put under the grill until golden brown. As the crumbs fall down through the gaps they soak up the delicious mussel liquor so a spoon when eating is a must!
Winter white fish with cauliflower
One of the most delicious things to eat with any white fish is a creamy white sauce. Here the cauliflower is made into the sauce with the help of onion and butter. The fish pictured is coley but whiting would be a great seasonal alternative. In fact, pollack, pouting or even haddock would also work. There is so much pressure on what the sustainable “fish of the moment”, simply cooking with something you wouldn't usually eat is a good starting point.
1 large cauliflower
1 white onion
2 bay leaves
150ml whole milk
500g-600g white fish fillet or portion or a 1kg white fish whole
25ml olive oil
25ml veg oil
250g spinach as a side
Peel and roughly chop the onion. Cut the very toughest leaves from the cauliflower but keep some of the more tender ones attached, they are delicious. Cut through the cauliflower into eighths from the base and put half of them (without the leaves) in a saucepan with the onion. Add the butter, clove and bay, season well and cover.
Sweat until the onion is tender, add the milk and simmer for 10 minutes then remove the bay and clove before blending until smooth. Return to a clean pan and set aside. Roast the remaining quarters of cauliflower in a saucepan with 25ml of the olive oil until they start to colour. Put the lid on to help steam until tender.
Turn the heat off and leave the lid half on to keep warm until ready to serve. Season and fry the fish fillets with the vegetable oil in a hot flat pan taking care not to move them about too much. Usually, fry for about three minutes skin down and then turn over for a further minute for moist and tender fish.
Warm the cauliflower cream and check the seasoning before spooning onto a warm plate, add the fish fillet and roasted cauliflower, this is delicious served with wilted spinach.
Squid or cuttlefish with roasted squash, radicchio and pak choi
Squid and cuttlefish are increasingly line caught on jigs in the Helford in Cornwall, and are spectacular. They often end on the continental markets, but they are too good to export and should be eaten here in the UK where they are caught.
500g cleaned squid/cuttlefish, scored (ask the fishmonger to do this for you)
1 kabocha squash
1 head of radicchio
4 heads of pak choi
50ml olive oil
25ml veg oil
2 cloves of garlic
Wash the squash, half and remove the seeds, cut into wedges with the skin on (it is thin and delicious when cooked). Place in a roasting tin with the garlic cloves skin on to stop them scorching, season, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with marjoram.
Roast at 175C for 15 mins or until tender. Cut or break the radicchio into manageable pieces and half the pak choi. To finish sear the squid in a hot frying pan with the vegetable oil, seasoning in the pan.
Add the pak choi to the pan, sliced, face-down and cook for one minute. Turn the squid and pak choi, add the squash and radicchio, toss and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve immediately with lemon wedges before the radicchio browns. Boiled or sauté potatoes work very well with this dish.
Recipes by Peter Weeden, head chef at the Duke of Cambridge in Islington, London
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