This recipe comes from Karen and Phillip Burgess, chef-patrons at the Dartmoor Inn in Lydford, Devon, and is a simple but luxurious dish.
Casserole of Sea Fish with Saffron and Cream Serves 4
Ingredients 2 whole 340-400g/12-14oz Dover sole or lemon sole - skinned and filleted 225g/8oz monkfish fillet 225g/8oz red mullet fillet 8 scallops - cleaned, in the half shell 285ml/1/2pint good fish stock 21/2 tbsp white wine 1 medium leek - white and pale green parts only, washed and finely sliced 2 bay leaves Good pinch of saffron threads Salt and pepper 285ml/1/2pint double cream 85g/3oz cold unsalted butter -cut into small cubes
To serve 1 courgette - finely sliced lengthways (optional), and brushed with olive oil 2 1/2tbsp parsley - finely chopped
Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F /gas-mark 4. Prepare all the fish. Fold over one-third of each sole fillet, then fold the other end over the top, to make a little parcel. Cut the monkfish into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks and each of the red mullet fillets into two or three pieces. Place all the fish together with the scallops in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the fish stock, wine, leek, bay leaves and saffron. Season. Bring gently to the boil on a medium heat. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper, place in the oven, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if serving with courgette, grill under a medium heat for five minutes or until just coloured.
Carefully remove the fish from the pan and keep warm, with the courgette, covered with foil. Strain the cooking liquor into a saucepan and boil rapidly to reduce by two-thirds. Stir in the cream and bring back to the boil. Simmer for two minutes, then whisk in the butter to thicken the sauce. Take off the heat and check the seasoning. Put the fish on a large, warmed serving dish, or on individual plates. Pour the sauce over the top, garnish with parsley and serve immediately with the grilled courgette slices.
You can substitute other fish such as haddock, sea bass, turbot or brill for the Dover sole, or monkfish and red mullet if that happens to be what is freshest at your local supplier.
Catch a frying star
This dish was devised by Matt Tebbutt, chef-owner of the Foxhunter in Nant-y-Derry, Monmouthshire, who trained in London with Alistair Little. Serve with a glass of ale.
Deep-fried whitebait with Paprika Mayonnaise Serves 4
Ingredients Vegetable oil - for deep-frying Handful of flat-leaf parsley - perfect leaves only 4 large handfuls whitebait Seasoned flour
For the paprika mayonnaise 2 medium egg yolks 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 clove garlic - crushed Pinch of sea salt 250ml/9fl oz sunflower oil 250ml/9fl oz olive oil White wine vinegar Paprika A few lemon wedges to serve
Method Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer, or heavy-bottomed pan. Take a handful of perfect parsley leaves. Make sure they are dry, then throw them into the hot oil; they will splutter furiously. As soon as they have stopped spitting, scoop them out with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper and salt them sparingly. Shake the whitebait in a bag with the seasoned flour. Sieve off any excess flour and split the whitebait into two batches. Deep-fry the fish in simmering oil for a few minutes, until crisp and golden. Lift out, drain on kitchen paper and salt them lightly. Pile the whitebait into a big bowl, scatter with the deep-fried parsley and serve immediately with the paprika mayonnaise and lemon wedges.
To make the mayonnaise whisk the egg yolks, mustard, crushed garlic and salt together in a bowl. Very slowly, add the oils, a dribble at a time, whisking vigorously, and thoroughly incorporating each drop of oil before adding any more. Once the mayonnaise has thickened and all the oil has been whisked in, add a splash of white wine vinegar. Season carefully with paprika until the mayo's as spicy as you want. Cover and refrigerate.
You can shank on it
This British classic is on the menu at the House in Canonbury Road, London. The recipe comes from chef Jeremy Hollingsworth, who trained under Marco Pierre White and gained a Michelin star at Quo Vadis Good, creamy mash and chunks of sweet lamb shank take the House's shepherd's pie into another league - comfort food of the highest order.
Shepherd's Pie Serves 4
Ingredients 4 lamb shanks Salt and pepper Vegetable oil - for frying 2 large onions 2 large carrots - peeled, topped and tailed 2 celery sticks 4 cloves garlic - chopped 1 bay leaf 2 thyme sprigs Chicken stock - to cover Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley - finely chopped For the mash topping 3 large red potatoes - peeled 150ml/51/2oz double cream 100g/33/4oz unsalted butter
Method Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gasmark 4. Season lamb shanks well. Heat a little vegetable oil in a hot frying pan, then brown the lamb all over. Put the shanks in a large casserole with the whole vegetables, garlic, bay leaf and thyme, cover with chicken stock. Place a round of greaseproof paper on top of the meat and vegetables and put in the oven to braise for two-and-a-half to three hours, until the meat is falling off the bones. Remove the meat and vegetables from the stock and pick out the sprigs of thyme. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce by about two thirds. Pick the meat off the bones and flake.
Cut the vegetables into small pieces and put both the meat and the vegetables in a bowl with the reduced stock and chopped parsley. Check the seasoning, then transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish. Cook the potatoes until tender, drain and let them rest for three to four minutes. In a small saucepan, slowly bring the cream and butter to the boil. Remove from the heat. Mash the potatoes, adding the hot cream and butter mixture, and season. Pipe or spread the mash on top of the meat, then cook in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until the mash is golden brown. Serve.