Scotch Woodcock with Asparagus

Scotch Woodcock, if you haven’t come across it before, is a Victorian savoury of creamy eggs poured over toast spread with anchovy butter. Just as Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit contains no rabbit, Scotch Woodcock contains no wading birds, which will no doubt come as a relief to many. I’ve paired it here with asparagus for a dish which makes a good starter or light lunch or supper. Continue reading

Smoked Trout with Fennel and Apple

Smoked trout’s delicate flavour and soft texture combines beautifully with crisp fennel and apple in this winter salad. We like it with rye bread as a main course but it works equally well as a starter and it’s elegant enough to serve to guests. Continue reading

Celeriac and Smoked Haddock Soup

Celeriac and smoked haddock blend beautifully in this velvety soup, which can be eaten as a main course or a starter. It’s luxurious but not too heavy. Perfect, I would suggest, for Christmas Eve. Continue reading

Scallops with Black Pudding and a Tomato and Pernod Sauce

I know, Scallops with Black Pudding and a Tomato and Pernod Sauce is a long-winded title for a simple dish but my word, it tastes good. The flavours really complement one another. And it is at least descriptive. Continue reading

Stuffed Lemon Sole with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Smaller flatfish such as lemon sole, dabs and flounder are vastly underrated compared to their posher cousins and usually very good value for money. Their flesh is delicately flavoured and best suits a simple treatment. I like them lightly seasoned and floured, then fried in brown butter, with a good squeeze of lemon juice and a scattering of parsley. Real fast food. But they adapt well to being stuffed and rolled. Continue reading

Big Mack(erel)

Beef burgers, meh, I can take them or leave them. Mostly I like them for the trimmings. A fried fish sandwich, though, is something else. A juicy mackerel fillet, cooked until the skin is crisp, slapped in a bun and anointed with tartare sauce with an unorthodox hit of horseradish … well, now I’m salivating. Continue reading

Red Mullet with Clams and Chorizo

Seafood, to my mind, is the original fast food. It cooks in minutes and given the number of species fished off our coast, there’s something for all tastes: delicate and flaky, dense and meaty, rich and oily. One of my favourites is red mullet, a fish I normally associate with warmer climes but which can be caught off our southern coast.

It’s a white fish but it will stand up to punchy flavours. I’ve cooked it here with rosemary, chorizo and clams and the resulting brothy sauce was so good we slurped it from our bowls. With spoons, we’re not heathens. Continue reading

Monkfish with Seville Dressing

I’m lucky when it comes to seafood. Spencer of Spen’s Fish will deliver to my door and my friend Mike Warner of A Passion For Seafood does pop-up sales at a local farm shop every Friday. I’m spoilt for choice, which is fortunate because I went through a lot of fish this week testing what is actually a very simple dish.

It is monkfish with a dressing based on Sicily’s salmoriglia, but using Seville orange juice instead of lemon. Sevilles are such a seasonal treat it seems silly not to. It’s essentially a punchy vinaigrette which acts here as both marinade, glaze and sauce.

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Salmon Terrines

I hardly dare wish you a Happy New Year but I do sincerely hope the next 12 months will be an improvement on what has gone before. If you’d like to celebrate leaving 2020 behind (and who wouldn’t?) then this is a good start to a meal and to 2021. Continue reading