EASY HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE 

I promise you that once you’ve made your own mayonnaise, you’ll never buy another supermarket jar ever again

Again, it’s another great recipe to have under your belt, that’ll get you out of any “what shall I serve with this?” Hole you find yourself in!

By adding chopped gherkins and capers you’ve made tartare sauce! Which is fantastic with your beer battered fish

And it’ll keep in your fridge for a few days

Why not try mixing some Thai curry paste into it and serve with fish cakes?! Add some basil and serve with some poached fish?!! You see the list is endless, just experiment

SHOPPING LIST

3 medium egg yolks

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp English mustard

1 tsp white wine vinegar

100ml vegetable oil

100ml olive oil

Good squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper

METHOD

Place the egg yolks, mustards and vinegar into a mixing bowl

Mix the oils together

Whilst whisking constantly, add the oils in a steady stream, you’ll start to get a really thick creamy mayonnaise

Add the squeeze of lemon and season to taste

And there you go! As easy as that!!

Homemade Mayonnaise!!

I’ve used my homemade mayonnaise to make tartare sauce for my fish and chips

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EASY HOLLANDAISE SAUCE 

For some reason this as a young chef starting out filled my with dread! I’m not sure why,

If you can make HOLLANDAISE then you’re always going to have a sauce to go with your seafood at your fingertips

The sauce is all butter and really quite rich, if you want to try something really special, use garlic butter instead of plain butter, you can use the sauce as it is, or try popping it under your grill, gives a fantastic glazed look to your seafood dishes

We’ll often add a variety of chopped herbs too! Basil, Tarragon, Parsley and Chervil are all great to use

SHOPPING LIST

3 medium egg yolks

250g of melted butter

The juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Splash of water

METHOD

Place the egg yolks and water into a heatproof bowl and gently whisk over a medium heat

This will take just a few moments and the yolks will thicken and double in size

DON’T GET THE EGGS TOO HOT! THEY WILL SCRAMBLE!!! SO BE CAREFUL

Remove from the heat, and gradually add the melted butter in a steady stream, whisking constantly

You should now have a fantastically creamy thick sauce

Now add the lemon juice and season to taste

It should taste quite lemony but still rich and creamy

SALSA VERDE RECIPE 

Most chefs have their own recipe for salsa verde, it’s a great sauce to have in the fridge, goes well with a multitude of things but most especially fish,

The choice of herbs you use is really up to you, I’d try and use soft herbs though, try and stay clear of hard herbs, but as I’ve said this is your choice

SHOPPING LIST

500ml of good quality olive oil

Handful of capers

6 anchovies

2 cloves garlic

Handful of fresh basil

Handful of fresh mint

Handful of fresh parsley

Handful of fresh tarragon

Handful of fresh chervil

The juice of a lemon

METHOD

Put all the ingredients except the lemon juice into a food processor, add a splash of the olive oil and blitz to a paste

You can now stir in the rest of the oil

Store in a sealed container and use when required, just add a squeeze of lemon juice

This is a great sauce you can use with many many seafood dishes


CLASSIC FISH STOCK 

Many of my recipes use fish stocks, now you can buy your fish stock, in fact I’ve done so myself on various occasions, but fish stock is really easy to make, in the kitchen we’ll make large batches and freeze it for when required

What you must remember is that fish stock is used for flavour, it isn’t a sauce in its own right, but the same amount of time, effort and good ingredients should be used to ensure the best stock possible

I always use fish bones from brill, monkfish, turbot or halibut, I find these will make you the best stock

SHOPPING LIST

A good glass of white wine

1 bulb of fennel finely chopped

About 1kg of fish bones

1 stick of celery finely chopped

2 carrots finely chopped

1 onion finely chopped

1 medium leek finely chopped

Good bunch of fresh thyme

METHOD

In a large pan sweat the vegetables and thyme in a small amount of oil until softened

Cut the bones into pieces small enough to fit into the pan

Add the bones and wine to the pan, and just cover with water

Simmer for about 30-40 minutes, from time to time skim off any scum which will sit on the top

You can now strain the stock and return to the boil and reduce by 1/3

This process will intensify the stock and flavour, just gently reduce until you have about 2 pints

Cool, and freeze in batches until you require it

GRATIN OF COD CHEEKS 

Now! Yes I said cheeks, not many people know about these little nuggets of deliciousness! So speak to your fishmonger really really nicely and he may be able to get his hands on some for you! If you are lucky! 

I use them as frequently as I can get them, they’re becoming rather “fashionable” on the cheffy scene, which is great as they were once just thrown away which is a real shame 

This recipe I’m going to share with you guys is just one of the ways I like to use them 

This recipe will serve 4 people 

SHOPPING LIST 

600g of cod cheeks ( chunks of monkfish will be fine)

600ml full fat milk 

1 onion which has been peeled and cut in half 

8 cloves 

6 bay leaf 

Good pinch of nutmeg 

4 sprigs of fresh thyme 

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns 

80g butter 

50g plain flour 

200ml double cream 

100g of grated mature cheddar cheese 

50g breadcrumbs (I use panko that you can find in supermarkets) 

METHOD 

In a saucepan bring to the boil the milk, onion, bay leaf, nutmeg, thyme, cloves and peppercorns 

Once boiling remove from the heat and allow to infuse for about an hour 

Now bring it back to the boil and strain 

Melt  butter in a pan and add the flour, cook for 2-3 minutes 

Now gradually add the milk, stir constantly 

Bring to the simmer 

Stir regularly for 10 minutes 

You can now add the cream and season to taste 

Heat a pan and add a knob of butter, once foaming add the cod cheeks and cook for 4-5 minutes turning frequently 

Place the cheeks into an ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over the top

Mix the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top

Heat your grill till hot and grill the cheeks until golden brown 

Serve nice and warm with some crusty bread 

I love this dish, nothing flash, just good honest homely food to be enjoyed 
Jon 

   
 

GRILLED SCALLOPS WITH CORIANDER BUTTER 

By now you all know that I’m passionate about my seafood, from the people who fish for it, how it’s caught, where to buy it, and, most importantly of all, the cooking and the enjoyment of eating it

I do however also believe, rightly or wrongly, there’s something particularly romantic and exciting when finding and eating fantastic seafood by the sea

I’ve been extremely lucky in my colourful and sometimes chaotic life to have eaten some great seafood, from my first Mussels in Paris, Squid aged 10 in Florence Italy, Fish Lip Soup in a Chinese Restaurant in Manchester, to my very first Oysters in Oban Scotland

I love Scotland, the people, the culture, the great open spaces, the food, the whisky!!! And of course the seafood, The one place I’ve always returned to is Oban, I love it dearly for many many reasons, one of those reasons is I know I’ll always be able to eat great seafood in Oban

This recipe I’m going to share with you guys is one I ate in a restaurant many years ago while on holiday in Oban, it’s quite simple I suppose really, but works fantastically well, The Scallops are grilled in their shells, I love the smell that the hot shells give off, something rather satisfying I think, and it’s what makes this dish, and a method I try to use whenever possible

GRILLED SCALLOPS WITH CORIANDER BUTTER

This recipe will serve 4 people

SHOPPING LIST

  • 16 scallops in their shells ( ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
  • 50g melted butter
  • Some salt and pepper
  • 40g hazelnuts
  • 100g soft butter
  • Good handful of fresh coriander
  • Half handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot finely chopped

Good squeeze of lemon
METHOD

  1. Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet until golden brown
  2. Place them in a food processor along with the butter, coriander, parsley, shallot, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blitz until well mixed
  3. Heat your grill until it’s at its hottest
  4. Brush each scallop with the melted butter and grill for 2 minutes

Spoon a small amount of the coriander butter on each and grill again for another 1 1/2 minutes
Serve immediately

These are fantastic as a dinner party starter or supper

You’ll really enjoy these, give them a try and let me know what you think

Jon

 

 

WHOLE ROASTED SEA BREAM 

I’m a huge believer in leaving the fish whole, as it should be, unfussy, letting the fish speak for itself 

This recipe I’m sharing with you is a brilliant way to cook whole sea bream, you can use sea bass or snapper if you wish, speak to your fishmonger, he’ll be happy to advise you 

SHOPPING LIST 

4 whole sea bream about 600-800g each, cleaned and scaled 

2 each of red,yellow and green peppers 

2-4 red chillies depending on how spicy you are feeling 

About 1/4 pint of olive oil 

A good splash of light soy sauce 

3 limes 

METHOD 

Place the peppers onto a baking sheet and place in an oven on its hottest setting, when the skin becomes blackened and blistered, cover with cling film

Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin, seeds, and stalks

Finely chop the chillies 

Season the fish really well, in a large frying pan heat a good splash of oil and add the chopped chillies, once warm carefully add the sea bream 

Cook for 4 minutes and then turn and cook for 4 minutes 

Remove the fish onto a baking sheet and place in a hot oven 180c for 10 minutes 

Slice the peppers and add them to the chilli oil and fish pan, add a good splash of soy sauce, lime juice and season to taste 

Remove the fish from the oven and place onto warm plates

Spoon some of the pepper mix over the fish and serve