Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Baked Yellowfin Sole with Lemon & Vanilla Risotto

This dish provides fresh & clean flavours to allow the subtleness of the yellowfin sole to shine through. A good recipe for springtime, this comforting dish provides mellow textures & clean flavours to excite and smooth the palate.

Ingredients (serves 1)

For the fish:
2 yellowfin sole fillets
50g butter
Pinch salt & pepper

For the risotto (serves 1):

300ml chicken stock
80g butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
100g arborio rice
1/22 lemon, rind finely grated
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1tbsp fresh rosemary
1tbsp fresh thyme
1 vanilla pod, seeds extracted

Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion & herbs, and vanilla seeds. Cook for about 3 minutes or just until soft. Add the rice and stir until well coated in the butter.
Add 1 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring often, until the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring until the stock is absorbed and the rice is just tender.
Stir the lemon rind through the risotto and then season to taste. Season with freshly ground pepper & Serve immediately as a base for the fish to sit on.

For the fish:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Line a baking tray with greased, greaseproof paper, put the fish on here and season with the salt & pepper, & butter. Cook in the oven for about 10 mins until fish is cooked. Serve on top of risotto & garnish with fresh rosemary & parsley.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Confit belly pork with crushed parsnips & caramelised apples, & rosemary & honey jus

This dish is quite elegant and contains a myriad of complimentary flavours which work well anytime from early winter to late spring. Its combination of earthy & sweet flavours, and the utilisation of spices give a balanced yet fragrant approach to this hearty dish.

Currently featured on our table d'hote menu at the Foxlowe Hotel in Leek, Staffordshire, this is a hospitable meal which would also be ideal for dinner parties or as a treat for a hearty family meal. The cooking time is indeed lengthy, yet well worth the wait.

Ingredients (serves 1):
Piece of belly pork with the fat still on (about 300g)
5 soft roasted parsnip chips (made from one whole parsnip & roasted in advance)
1 granny smith apple
250g Lard
1 vanilla pod.

For the jus:
250ml Chicken or veal stock
1tbsp honey
large spring of rosemary
50ml red wine

1 - Confit the belly pork
Preheat oven to approximately 150 degrees centigrade. In a roasting tin, place the belly pork, lard & confit seasoning. Open the vanilla pod & add to the mix. Cover the mix with greaseproof paper and foil the tray (so no moisture can escape). Cook in the oven for approximately 6 hours.

Upon service:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

When the belly pork is cooked remove from the lard (be sure to retain the lard for future use once cooled) and add glaze with honey & butter in a saute pan. Chop the apple into slices & add to the pan. Crush the parsnips then also add to the pan, and cook until piping hot. Carve the belly pork into slices (lengthways) and sit upon the parsnip & apple mash.

For the jus:

In a saucepan combine red wine and rosemary, then bring to the boil. Reduce wine by 2/3, then add the stock. Reduce liqour by half, and stir in the honey to finish. Serve jus seperately or as a garnishing liqour around the central plouche. Garnish with fresh rosemary or thyme.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Pan roasted chicken with sea salt & thyme, with crushed "champ" potatoes and sage cream

This dish is inbeliveably simple but hearty and pleasant. During the cloder months from late autumn to early spring, this dish will bring a smile to the faces of its audience. It utilised the more pungent flavours that the colder months provide, from the fragrance of sage and the punchy flavour of the onions, the thyme sits amongst it all adding further fragrance and flavour which goes perfectly with the chicken


1 whole chicken breast, skinned and deboned
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh thyme (garnish)
4 whole spring onions, washed & chopped into 1/2 centimetre echelons
4 cooked salad new potatoes
50 ml dry white wine
50 ml double cream
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh sage, torn into equal size pieces.
1 tsp butter
Pinch black pepper.


Season the chicken with the sea salt & thyme both sides.

In a large saute pan, add the butter, sear the chicken until golden brown on one side, then turn. Saute the spring onions until bright green. Crush the salad potatoes and stir into the spring onions. Put the whole pan into the oven to cook (approximately 10 minutes at 200C.)

For the sauce, in a sauce pan combine the wine and sage, and bring to the boil. Reduce liquid by half then add the cream. Add the pinch of black pepper, then reduce the volume by half once more (until sauce is thickened).

When chicken is cooked, cut in half lengthways and serve on top of the champ potatoes. Use the sprig of thyme to garnish, and decorate with sage cream. Serve.