Fishcake, wilted spinach and poached egg
We always sell out of these when they’re on the menu as they are just such a tasty way of eating. The little thing to get right here is the balance of lemon and herbs. Ask your fishmonger for fish pie mix, and even ask for the skin off. I’m not that keen on oily fish in my fishcake but salmon works well as the pink flesh stands out when you cut through the crunchy coating. So very tasty and a recipe you will come back to again and again. A true classic.
250g fishcake mix
3 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, no butter added
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp chopped parsley and chives
2 spring onions, finely chopped
a splash of vinegar for the poached egg water
2 tbsp plain flour
6 organic eggs, 2 of them beaten for egg wash
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 big handfuls of washed spinach, I like baby spinach
a knob of butter
good salt and pepper
oil for frying
a little olive oil for drizzling
1 Heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Ensure the potato mash is dry and still warm.
2 Place the fish on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven until just cooked, moving it around if necessary.
3 Once ready, add the fish to a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice and mashed potato and gently combine. Then add the zest of lemon, capers, parsley, chives, spring onions and seasoning. Combine, being careful not to over mix.
4 Divide the mixture into 4 and form into fishcakes. Place them on a sheet of greaseproof paper and put in the fridge until fully chilled.
5 Season the flour and lay out the egg wash and breadcrumbs in small bowls. Coat each fishcake in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs.
6 Heat a deep fryer to 160C and cook the fishcakes for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown all over, turning carefully if necessary. Then place them in the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the centre of each fishcake is piping hot.
7 Bring a pot of water to just below the boil and add a splash of vinegar. Crack the eggs into the water and poach for 3 to 4 minutes.
8 Heat the knob of butter in a pan and wilt the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. This should only take 2 to 3 minutes.
9 To serve, arrange the spinach on warmed plates, placing the piping hot fishcake on top with the egg on top of that. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and finish with a grind of salt and pepper.
Beetroot, goats cheese and potato bake with
shaved beetroot, fennel and shallot salad
You can also make this recipe the day before by allowing the bake to cool down, before refrigerating it overnight. Place something heavy on top to ensure the layers stay together. When you want to serve, remove the bake from the dish and cut into slices. Heat in a hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, topping with the cheese and breadcrumbs for the final few minutes.
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled
3 or 4 different varieties of beetroot, peeled. I’ve used candied, golden and red
1 head of garlic
a few sprigs of thyme
500ml double cream
a few slices of goats cheese, I like Golden Cross
a few tbsp of breadcrumbs
1 bulb fennel, peeled and thinly sliced
1 banana shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
a glug of organic olive oil
a splash of red wine vinegar
a few chopped, fresh herbs for the salad
1 Heat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.
2 Line an ovenproof lasagne dish with greaseproof paper.
3 Pour the cream into a pan and season. Add the garlic and thyme and bring to a gentle boil. Keep on a medium heat and reduce for a few minutes.
4 Use a mandolin to slice the potatoes and the beetroot to around 1mm thickness. Reserve 2 handfuls of sliced beetroot for the salad.
5 Remove the garlic and thyme from the cream.
6 Assemble the bake by layering potato, then cream, then beetroot and so on in the lasagne dish until all the cream and potatoes are used up. Make sure the final layer is cream and cover with greaseproof paper, pressing down gently.
7 Place in the oven for an hour. It’s cooked when the tip of a knife will penetrate with no resistance.
8 Remove the paper lid and add a few slices of goats cheese and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Return to the oven for a few minutes before serving.
9 To make the salad, mix the sliced fennel, shallots and beetroot in a bowl along with the red wine vinegar, olive oil and a few chopped fresh herbs of your choice. Season and serve alongside the bake.
Vanilla rice pudding with new season forced Yorkshire rhubarb
Another old favourite of mine. Rich, velvety rice pudding works brilliantly with the slight sharpness of new season forced rhubarb. Grown in dark sheds in the “rhubarb triangle” of Yorkshire, it’s harvested by candlelight. Some say you can hear the rhubarb stalks creaking and groaning as they force their way through the crowns. Be careful to not overcook it though. I like to add a hint of citrus zest and a wee kick of vanilla.
100g pudding rice
75g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
500ml whole milk, I use organic
400g Yorkshire rhubarb
zest of half a lemon
zest of half an orange
a liberal sprinkling of sugar
a splash of cream
a knob of butter
1 Heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
2 Pour the milk into a thick-bottomed pot on the hob. Add the rice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add the vanilla seeds. Keep the pod for the rhubarb.
3 Bring this mixture to just below the boil, stirring every minute or so. Be careful not to burn the milk or to let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan. It will take around 20 minutes for the rice to soften. Add a touch of cream and butter to enrich the pudding if you like.
4 Top and tail the rhubarb and give it a good wash. Cut it into roughly 1-inch long pieces and place on a baking tray with sides. Add the citrus zests, the vanilla pod and a liberal sprinkling of sugar. Place in the oven until the rhubarb is soft and the sugar has created a wonderful syrup. Allow to cool slightly.
5 To serve, divide the pudding between four warmed bowls and top with the rhubarb.