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Fish stew with garlic saffron and chilli

This dish is a regular vehicle for tidying the remains of whatever fish was on Saturday’s menu. It is as time sensitive as any souffle as I don’t like overcooked fish – hate traditional bouillabaise type jobs as the fish is almost always cooked to death in order to make the liquor better – but can be put together fairly swiftly from the sort of things that are always in my kitchen

This stew is meant to be warm and spicy rather than vindaloo. The method is based on bourride in that it is thickened with garlic mayonnaise but the result is sharper and more citric.

The fish used can of course vary according to what suits and is available. I tend to boil scraped new potatoes in the liquor and serve these in the stew. No vegetables though, just a salad with the cheese course that always follows

For 4

150gr halibut fillet

150gr red mullet fillet

100gr white scallop meat

50gr cooked prawns or shrimps

2 shallots – peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon chopped celery

1 clove garlic

¼ average sized red pepper

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

5gr saffron threads

1 birdseye chilli - chopped

the grated zest of half an orange

500ml chicken stock

1 clove garlic – peeled and chopped

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

50ml sunflower oil

50ml olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

First make the garlic mayonnaise in the usual way by whisking in the oils to the lemon, mustard, egg yolks and garlic.

Sweat the shallots, pepper and celery in a tablespoon of sunflower oil. Add the saffron, chilli and orange then the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few moments. Add the fish in the order in which it takes to cook – in this case the halibut followed by the red mullet and then at the last moment the scallop and shrimp.

Take the pan from direct heat and drain all the liquid into a blender along with the bits and pieces of vegetable and orange. Liquidise along with the mayonnaise – add the mayonnaise a spoonful at a time and stop when the soup begins to thicken, pour the liquor back onto the fish and warm through before serving.

Serve with warm crusty bread....

Monkfish with mustard and cucumber sauce

For 4

1 small cucumber

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

125ml fish stock or white wine

1 tablespoon crème fraîche

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

50gr unsalted butter

25ml olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 monkfish tails – about 200gr each

salt and pepper

Peel and thinly slice the cucumber. Mix it with 1 teaspoonful of salt and press for an hour – placing a small plate or lid on the cucumber and placing a jar of jam on top will do the job nicely

In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, vinegar and black pepper. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the cucumber then toss the slices in this sweet and sour mixture

Make the sauce by heating the stock, mustard and crème fraîche together then either whisking in the butter piece by piece or blending it in a liquidiser. Season with a few drops of lemon juice.

Paint the monkfish fillets with olive oil and fry in a dry hot pan. Add a knob of butter or few more drops of olive oil and continue to fry until done. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the cooked fish.

Place the fish onto warmed plates along with the cucumber and sauce

Bob’s your uncle

Rack of lamb with jabron potatoes

Jabron are a version of gratin potatoes The spuds are boiled in their skins then peeled and tossed in garlic butter before baking with milk, cream and cheese. They are the simplest and the best of their sort

1kg maincrop potatoes

200gr unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped

salt and pepper

300ml milk

300ml cream

50gr hard white cheese – grated

boil and peel the potatoes. Skin and dice them. Season with salt and pepper then toss in garlic butter

Bake in a dish with cream, milk and cheese until golden brown – about 30 minutes

4 x 3 bone racks lamb

1 tablespoon mustard

1 bunch basil

1 bunch flat parsley

25gr olive oil

zest of one lemon

blend the herbs. Lemon and olive oil

sear the racks then roast until pink – 15 minutes

brush with mustard then paint with herb, oil mixture


slit each rack - or rump- of lamb and insert a sprig of rosemary, sliver of garlic and fillet of anchovy



100g bulgur wheat
100ml boiling hot water
60 large wild garlic leaves
2ltrs boiling hot water for blanching
5ml olive oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
75g grated halloumi cheese
4 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds lightly roasted
1tsp finely chopped mint
1tsp coarse black pepper
Extra olive oil for drizzling


Place the bulgar wheat into a ceramic bowl and pour over 200ml of boiling water.
Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Blanch the wild garlic leaves in 2 litres of boiling water for 1 minute to soften the
central stem.

Heat the olive oil and lightly sauté the onions until lightly brown. Remove from heat and add all the remaining ingredients together with the bulgur wheat, and mix well.

Depending on their size, take two or three wild garlic leaves and, with the shiny side down, lay one leaf next to the other overlapping them slightly. Straighten off the stalk ends.

Take 2 teaspoons of the mixture and place in the centre of the leaves at the stalk end.

Fold over once and then tuck the sides of the leaves towards the centre as tightly as possible. Continue to roll, ensuring that the package is as tight as possible with no breakages in the leaf parcel. Secure with a cocktail stick and pack into a steamer. Continue until all the leaves are used.

Steam for 20-25 minutes. Place on serving dish and drizzle with olive oil, then serve

Recipe kindly donated by the Really Wild Food and Countryside Festival - http://www.reallywildfestival.co.uk/year-round-events/really-wild-recipes.aspx

Moules Mariniere with Wild Garlic


1.75kg/4lb mussels

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 shallots, or 3-4 spring onions finely chopped

15g/½oz butter

100ml/3½fl oz local cider

120ml/4fl oz double cream

Handful, coarsely chopped of parsley leaves

2 good handfuls of chopped wild garlic leaves (ramsons)

Crusty bread, to serve

Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water and throw out any open ones that won't close when lightly tapped.

Pull off the 'beards' from between the closed shells, and quickly rinse again.

Soften the shallots or spring onions, and clove of garlic in the butter in a pan large enough to take all the mussels when they open.

Add the mussels and cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every so often.

Add the cream, chopped wild garlic and parsley, continue to cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.

Season to taste, spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread. Serves 4

Recipe kindly donated by the Really Wild Food and Countryside Festival - http://www.reallywildfestival.co.uk/year-round-events/really-wild-recipes.aspx

© Ffres, in association with South West Wales Tourism Partnership and Welsh Government

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