Luxury fish pie


Simmer half a pint of milk with black pepper, fish stock, skin and bones for 20 minutes.  Skim and remove the skin and bones, then strain through a chinois. Bring the liquor back to a gentle simmer.  Add cubes of smoked cod, smoked haddock, cod fillet and salmon fillet, simmering in the liquor for 5 minutes with a splash of double cream, knob of butter and a glug of sherry.  Drain and put the fish into an ovenproof dish. Skim and strain the liquor again.

Fry a chopped shallot or onion with sliced mushrooms and chopped celery in butter,  Add paprika and ground white pepper and cook until the onion is transparent but not browned

Reduce the remaining liquor a little, then add to the fried onion/celery/mushrooms and thicken with more cream (and some cornflour if necessary).  Add chopped parsley, then pour the sauce over the fish.  Top with dill weed.

Mash some boiled potatoes with roughly-chopped steamed parsnips and carrots.  Add cream, sea salt, butter and pepper.  Dot the mash on top of the fish, leaving the surface ragged and rough.  Bake at 200-220C until bubbling and browned on top.

Smoked cod and salmon fishcakes with creamed leeks

Inspired by a recipe from Great British Chefs. Smoked cod, hot-smoked salmon, chopped spring onions, finely-chopped chilli, paprika, black pepper, sea salt and chopped anchovy fillets, formed into patties and tossed in rice flour, fried until golden, then baked for ten minutes at 200C.  Served on a bed of leeks simmered in fish stock, butter and white wine until just softening, then added cream and black pepper and simmered to thicken a little. Few button mushrooms browned in butter to finish.

Baked monkfish with chickpeas and chorizo

Chick peas,simmered with bacon, carrot and celery. A quarter of the chickpeas and some liquid roughly whizzed with some cream. Half a chorizo, simmered in water for two minutes, then drained, skinned and cubed and fried until sizzling and crispy.  Added the chickpeas with some of the cooking liquor and cooked gently,  adding more liquor to keep it moist.

Monkfish tail, filleted off the bone and fried until nicely browned, then roasted for 15 minutes in the oven. Rested, then sliced obliquely into thick tranches. Served with crushed, buttered new potatoes, wilted spinach, fresh French beans and cherry tomatoes roasted with rosemary and olive oil.


Soupe de poissons

Mirepoix of shallot, celery and sweet pepper with a tiny bit of ultra-finely-diced carrot, sweated in olive oil until translucent.  Added paprika and crushed, chopped garlic, sauteed for a few minutes.   Added wide strips of orange zest peel, a chopped anchovy fillet, sea salt, black pepper and a generous pinch of whole saffron and left to infuse for a few minutes in a pint of fish stock that was nearly at the boil but not quite.  Added the stock to the main pan, brought to a slightly wobbly stage, not quite simmering.  Added bits of fish, in walnut-sized chunks.  Kept at non-quite-simmering for five minutes.  Added pre-cooked mussels and a drained tin of smoked mussels.  Left at the same heat for another two minutes, then scooped out most of the big pieces of fish and some of the mussels. and left them to drain in a colander.  Brought the remaining liquid and bits to the boil and skimmed off the foam a few times. Added a pile of fresh chopped tomatoes and a decent glug of passata, simmered gently for ten minutes then given a final skim then blitzed with a stick blender.

Served in wide pre-heated bowls with a selection of fish pieces and mussels in the middle and a bit of dill weed.

Pan-fried fillet of mackerel

Fresh mackerel, filleted, slashed on the skin side then fried in a little butter for 2 mins until browned, then heat turned off and the other side cooked for a minute.  Served on a bed of sauteed carrot julienne and wilted shredded savoy cabbage. Dressed with deep-fried shallot rings

Lentil and nut salad with smoked mackerel pâté

Salad of shredded cos lettuce, diced cucumber, celery and sweet pepper, with chopped walnuts, grated Nantes carrots, chopped figs, shavings of red cabbage and cubed avocado. Green lentils cooked in stock, then drained and chilled, mixed with the salad.  Dressing of finely diced salad onion, marinated in lemon juice for an hour, then mixed with walnut oil, cream, black pepper, chopped anchovies, mustard and fiercely hot pickled garlic. Slice of tomato on top for colour.

Pâté made from flaked smoked mackerel, soya cream, pepper, chilli-infused oil, anchovies, French mustard, liquidised with melted butter and chopped onion heated for a few minutes in a heavy copper pan.  The pâté was pressed into ramekins and sealed with melted butter, cooked for a minute with chopped parsley, coarsely-ground black pepper and finely-chopped red chilli, then poured over the pate and chilled.

Served on thin slices of Caroline’s freshly-made bread

Scallops with salad

Scallops flash-fried in butter with lots of crushed garlic. Finely-sliced red cabbage in a dressing of soft brown sugar, cider vinegar and cream. Microplaned Nantes carrots dressed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Torn Little Gem lettuce, sweet pepper rings, walnuts, chopped figs, cubed cucumber and celery dressed with walnut oil, lemon juice, and black pepper.  New potatoes, diced,  boiled for 5 minutes, then drained and tossed violently to make the edges a bit ragged. Deep fried at 130C until blond, then rested while the oil heated to 190C.  Fried for a few more minutes until crunchy and golden outside, fluffy inside. Drained and tossed on kitchen roll, then served as croutons on the salad.

Fish pie

Three types of fish, smoked haddock, salmon and coley, in a sauce made by frying the fish pieces in butter with shallots, then infusing them in milk.  Removed the fish and thickened the sauce with beurre manie, then flavoured with star anise, paprika, white wine, anchovies, fish stock and parsley.

Placed the fish pieces in a baking dish, covered with the sauce, then topped with mashed potato with cream and butter.  Baked for 30 minutes until browned and bubbling and sticky