NEIL'S RECIPES: ORANGE AND ALMOND CAKE

by Cafe St Honoré in


"This recipe came to me by way of my head chef Joe, who discovered it in a Shaun Hill cook book, so thank you Shaun. Ensure you boil the oranges whole and make sure the water is topped up. It’s a simple method after that. I love serving this warm with a peat-smokey Benromach whisky ice cream - rich and decadent."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes one cake

Prep time 4 hours 10 minutes, cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 large oranges

6 whole eggs

300g caster sugar

250g ground almonds

1tbsp baking powder

25ml Grand Marnier

50ml water

A small handful of hazelnuts

Another 75g caster sugar

1tsp icing sugar

Candied orange peel to garnish, optional

Ice-cream to serve, optional

METHOD

Line a 10-inch spring-form high-sided cake tin with oil and greaseproof paper.

Boil the oranges whole for 4 hours then halve, remove any pips and blitz to a pulp in a food processor – this will take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Make a praline by adding 75g of caster sugar to a pan and melting gently, allowing it to become dark and caramel in colour. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the hazelnuts and pour onto an oiled, clean surface like a non-stick, heat-resistant mat or a marble work surface. Once cooled, blitz in a food processor or crush with a rolling pin.

Use an electric whisk to mix together the eggs, ground almonds, 250g of sugar and the baking powder. Then add 300g of the orange pulp and whisk again.

Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. It’s cooked when a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow the cake time to rest in the tin.

Meanwhile, make a syrup by boiling the Grand Mariner with the remaining sugar and water and reduce by half. Prick the top of the cake with a cocktail stick and pour over the syrup using a pastry brush to ensure it fills the holes. Allow to cool.

To serve, place a slice of cake on a plate and dust with icing sugar. Place a large tablespoon of praline next to the cake and top with a scoop of ice-cream. Garnish the ice-cream with a piece of candied orange peel. We serve this in the restaurant with a delicious whisky ice-cream.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: OYSTERS WITH WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE AND TABASCO

by Cafe St Honoré in


"I worked in Australia 25 years ago where oysters are hugely popular. I recall a delicious dish called Oysters Kilpatrick. All the elements of that dish are included in this recipe - shellfish, bacon, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and others, but it’s my own take on it. It doesn’t really need much else, even lemon isn’t required, but a big Bloody Mary or a Guinness would be amazing…"

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Allow 3 to 6 oysters per person as a starter, 12 for a main course
150g piece of good air-dried bacon, cut into very small lardons
2 tablespoons of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
3 to 4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce
A twist of pepper
Course salt to rest the shells on

METHOD

Have a go at shucking the oysters yourself. Go online and watch a tutorial, or ask your fishmonger to do it for you. Retain each oyster in half the shell.

Next, add the oil to a solid frying pan and bring to a moderate heat. Add the bacon and fry until just starting to crisp up, keeping it moving all the time. It’ll take 5 minutes or so.

Whilst the bacon cooks, turn the grill on full heat. Top each oyster with bacon and place in an oven-proof dish. To make the sauce, combine the Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco and drizzle over each oyster and place under the hot grill for 3 to 5 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the oysters are just cooked.

Serve at once on plates of course salt alongside a big salad and bread.




NEIL'S RECIPES: SHORTBREAD

by Cafe St Honoré in


"This is a Forbes family recipe, made by the sack full at this time of year, and always served on a plate for Santa - and a carrot of course for the reindeer! I remember my gran making shortbread in trays, scoring the top with a fork. It was almost soft in the middle but utterly delicious and buttery. The final dredge of sugar after baking gives it the edge. Welcoming and Scottish, and above all, very Christmassy!"

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes around 15 biscuits

INGREDIENTS

250g unsalted butter, diced to room temperature

125g unrefined caster sugar

300g plain flour

80g corn flour

Extra caster sugar for dredging

METHOD

Whip the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, then gently and carefully sift in the flour and corn flour. Not whilst the machine is on! Fold in, being careful not to over mix at this stage.

Roll the dough into 2 sausage shapes, about the width of a £2 coin. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1cm-thick discs and lay on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake in pre-heated oven (135°C to 150°C) for 45 minutes, or until they start turning golden at the edges. Allow to cool, then dredge with extra sugar. 


NEIL'S RECIPES: MALLARD WITH CLAPSHOT, BRAISED RED CABBAGE AND PARSNIP

by Cafe St Honoré in


"I adore this dish. The almost sticky red cabbage is not overly sweet and has just the right amount of sharpness. The mallard breast is cooked in a pan and shown the oven for just a minute or two. Served with a little garlic, thyme and clapshot - essential in these chilly months to warm the soul."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 2

30 minutes prep time, 2 hours cooking time

INGREDIENTS

2 mallard or wild duck breasts, skin on

2 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, Roosters are good

200g turnip, peeled, diced, boiled and mashed

1/3 small red cabbage, cut thinly with a sharp knife

1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

1 cinnamon stick

A pinch of mixed spice

A small handful of Californian raisins

1/3 apple, grated

1 star anise

1 glass of red wine

2 tablespoons of bramble vinegar

Good salt and pepper

2 small parsnips, peeled and blanched in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes and refreshed in cold water

1 sprig thyme

1 clove garlic, halved

1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil for frying

50g butter, diced into 1cm cubes

Around 100ml stock for reducing, chicken, game or beef will do

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C

Begin by placing the shredded cabbage, jelly, cinnamon, spice, raisins, grated apple, star anise, red wine (leave a small amount in the glass for later) and vinegar into a large pot, season and place onto the hob on a moderate heat with the lid on. Leave for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Do not let it burn, if it looks like it’s getting too hot, turn down the heat and add a splash of water.

Prepare the clapshot by combining the mashed potatoes and turnip whilst they are still hot. Season with salt, a lot of pepper and nearly all the butter, leaving some for the mallard. Keep to one side in a warm place.

Heat the oil in an oven-proof frying pan and place the mallard breasts in the pan skin side down, alongside the parsnips, thyme and garlic and begin to caramelise the duck and parsnips together. Add a knob of butter and season. Turn the duck and parsnips over after a couple of minutes, then place the pan in the oven for a minute or two.

Remove from the oven and place the duck on a plate to rest. Continue to fry the parsnips if they need colour.

Deglaze the frying pan with the remaining red wine until it reduces and incorporates all the bits of roasting goodness from the pan. Then add some stock, and reduce again for a few minutes until the sauce is rich and dark. Add a knob of butter and incorporate.

To plate up, place a spoonful of red cabbage on each plate and add a dollop of clapshot alongside. Then carve the mallard on a slant giving 6 to 8 slices from each breast, and place that from the knife on to the plate. Lean the parsnip on the clapshot and garnish with a trickle of sauce.

 


CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL IN 5 EASY STEPS

by Cafe St Honoré in


We're getting in the mood for Christmas with this simple seasonal cocktail. Fresh and elegant, it's the perfect sipper this winter. Full recipe below...

WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL5135.jpg

STEP ONE

PREPARE THE GARNISH

WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL5137.jpg

STEP TWO

SHAKE THE SLOE SYRUP AND GIN OVER ICE IN A COCKTAIL SHAKER

WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL5143.jpg

STEP THREE

SINGLE STRAIN INTO A CHILLED CHAMPAGNE FLUTE

WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL5152.jpg

STEP FOUR

TOP WITH CHAMPAGNE

WEB SIZE (Credit - Paul Johnston at Copper Mango)-CMPL5158.jpg

STEP FIVE

TOP GLASS WITH GARNISH AND ENJOY!

For the Sloe Syrup:

500g sloe berries, 250g sugar, 250ml water

Bring to the boil together in a pan and simmer until glossy and reduce by a third. Cool. Strain the contents through a sieve.

For the Cocktail:

20ml sloe syrup, 20ml gin, champagne to top up, orange peel to garnish

IMAGES: COPPER MANGO


NEIL'S RECIPES: BUTTERMILK PUDDING WITH SPICED PLUM CRUMBLE

by Cafe St Honoré in


"This pudding is similar to panna cotta but way better. The recipe comes from a chef at Ballintaggart Farm, a wonderful place in the Perthshire hills, who scribbled this recipe down for me when working at Cafe St Honoré for a few days. Served here with gently roasted plums and a crunchy crumble topping with a hint of spice. Remember to cool the pudding in the jug in the fridge and stir occasionally before pouring into the mould otherwise the vanilla seeds will sink to the bottom."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4
Prep time 1 hour, cooking time 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

500ml buttermilk
200ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed

6 ½ leaves of gelatine
150g unrefined caster sugar
4 plums, halved and stones removed
50g plain flour
50g jumbo oats
40g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of mixed spice

25g butter
1 teaspoon of honey
Edible flowers, optional

METHOD

Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft.

Bring the buttermilk, cream, sugar and vanilla to the boil on the hob. Turn off the heat and leave for few minutes to extract the vanilla flavour.

Add the gelatine to the pot and mix well. Pass through a fine sieve into a jug. Place the jug in the fridge to cool for 45 minutes, removing every few minutes to whisk.

Once cool, pour into dariole moulds or tea cups and chill in the fridge for a good 5 to 6 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 180°C.

To make the crumble, mix the dry ingredients, honey and butter together. Arrange the halved plums in an oven-proof dish and top with the crumble mixture. Bake in the oven for 20 to 40 minutes, or until the plums are soft and the crumble has browned. Serve warm along side the chilled buttermilk puddings. Garnish with a few edible flowers.

 

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: ROAST PARTRIDGE, CONFIT LEG, WATERCRESS, CRAB APPLE JELLY

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Partridge is a great bird to cook. I like to remove the legs before roasting the crowns so the legs can be cooked longer either by roasting or confiting in duck fat. The splash of Madeira in the pan to glaze the breasts and of course a bit of butter for extra richness is great. Try this with bread sauce, a classic with roasted game birds."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

Prep time 30 minutes, cooking time 2 hours

INGREDIENTS

4 grey or red legged partridge, legs removed

4 bunches of watercress, washed200g crab apples, washed and cut into pieces

200g unrefined caster sugar

1 glass Madeira

250ml pint of good beef or chicken stock

250ml pint duck fat,1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil

2 knobs of butter

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Begin by making the crab apple jelly. Place the apples in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour until the fruit is soft and mushy. 

Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil carefully - it will splutter like jam - stirring continuously on a moderate heat for about an hour until the mix has thickened and has turned a deep red. It may take a while longer. 

Allow to cool then chill the jelly in the fridge for a day. This jelly is also excellent with cheese, like a quince paste. 

Heat the oven to 180°C.

Next, confit the partridge legs by submerging them in the duck fat in a pan on a on a low heat. When starting to boil, place in the oven for a couple of hours. 

Next, roast the partridge crowns. Place an oven-proof frying pan on the hob and add the oil. Fry the partridge all over for a few minutes then add some butter and allow the meat to brown. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until just golden, remove from the pan and allow to rest in a warm place for 5 to 7 minutes.

To make a sauce, add the Madeira to the same frying pan and deglaze by bringing it to the boil and reducing by two thirds. Then add the stock and reduce again by two thirds. Add a knob of butter and check the consistency and seasoning. 

To serve, remove the breasts from the bone and place the drained legs on top. Spoon the sauce over the meat and garnish with watercress and a dollop of crab apple jelly. Serve with a bread sauce if desired.


NEIL'S RECIPES: SUMMER PUDDING

by Cafe St Honoré in


"This is a great recipe for using the frozen berries we harvested throughout the summer. It’s important to use blackcurrants for this dish as they give the bread a deep colour and a wonderful summery taste. I like to serve this with extra-thick double cream, but ice-cream will do. Ensure you use enough sugar, otherwise it can end up being a tad tart."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

20 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

4 to 6 slices of white bread, the best you can find, not too thickly cut, crusts removed

4 handfuls of blackcurrants

4 handfuls of redcurrants

8 large strawberries, tops removed

A handful of brambles

A handful of raspberries

Extra berries for garnish

2 to 3 tablespoons of caster sugar

1/2 a vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

4 dollops of extra-thick double cream

METHOD

Firstly line 4 dariole moulds or tea cups with oiled cling film. I would suggest using 2 to 3 layers.  Line the moulds with the bread to create an outer layer, leaving a piece of bread for the top of each pudding. Set to one side.

Now, give the berries a good wash and place them in a pot with the sugar and vanilla. Place on a gentle heat and bring to a simmer. Turn up the heat a little and boil for a few minutes until all the berries have softened. 

Remove the pan from the heat and tip the berries into a sieve, returning the liquid to the boil to reduce by half. Place the berries in the centre of the lined moulds and seal with a piece of bread.

Once the berry juice has reduced, pour it over the puddings, ensuring the liquid stains the bread. Reserve 2 tablespoons for serving. Wrap the cling film over to seal and place a weight on top. Pop into the fridge overnight. 

To serve, turn out the puddings onto plates and garnish with a few berries and the reduced berry juice. Serve with extra-thick double cream.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: SALAD OF HERITAGE TOMATOES, CROWDIE, PESTO AND CROUTONS

by Cafe St Honoré in


"As a keen gardener I think home-grown tomatoes are the best in the world. I tasted one yesterday that was like a peach - fruity and sweet. Married with a cheese of any kind, tomatoes taste great, and here I’ve used a sweet, creamy, almost crumbly crowdie. Perfect alongside the pesto. So easy to do, and a real show stopper."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4
10 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

4 to 6 tablespoons crowdie

Around 6 or 7 different varieties of tomatoes, or home-grown

A small handful of fresh basil

A few lightly-toasted pine nuts, or hazelnuts

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or a good British hard cheese, even a good cheddar is fine

2 cloves garlic, peeled

250ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the croutons

A few thyme leavesGood salt and pepperSome stale bread, ideally a loaf from the previous day

A few salad leaves and slices of radish

METHOD

Heat the oven to 165°C.

Begin by making the croutons. Slice the stale bread into wafer-thin shards, and trickle with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, a few thyme leaves and bake on an oven tray for around 20 minutes until just crisp. Allow to cool. 

Next, make the pesto by placing the nuts, cheese, oil and garlic in a liquidiser and blitzing for a few seconds. Add the basil leaves and continue to whizz for a few more seconds. I sometimes use a pestle and mortar to make pesto.

Remove the eyes from the tomatoes and cut them into slices and arrange on plates. Add some dollops of crowdie and trickle over some pesto. You will have some left over for another day. Arrange the shards of croutons and scatter a few salad leaves and slices of radish as a garnish. Finish with a pinch of good salt and pepper.
 


NEIL'S RECIPES: GARDEN PEA SOUP WITH SCALLOPS AND BACON

by Cafe St Honoré in


"The warm, sweet, seared scallops contrast superbly with the chilled soup. It’s similar to a Spanish gazpacho but a bit lighter. Great on a hot day if you are eating outside in the garden, and so easy to do. Instead of scallops, try a mix of brown and white crab meat mixed with a little mayo. I always say this, but please don’t be tempted by cheap scallops. Buy hand-dived and ask where they came from."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

750ml vegetable or chicken stock, or water is fine

250g shelled, podded peas

1-2 tablespoons of cream, optional

4 hand-dived Isle of Mull scallops, cleaned and out of shell

1 small handful of chunky lardons of unsmoked bacon

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 knob of butterA few mint leaves

Good salt and pepper

A few salad leaves and edible flowers

METHOD

Heat the butter and half oil on a pot, then add the onion and garlic and sweat down very gently for a few minutes, without colouring. Season with salt and pepper, and when softened, add the stock and bring to the boil.

Simmer for a few minutes, then add the peas and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Season again, and add the mint leaves then blitz carefully in a liquidiser until smooth. Add some cream if you like, or more stock to make it easier to blitz. Pass the soup through a fine sieve to ensure it’s rich and silky. Keep in a warm place.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the scallops. Season in the pan and cook for a minute or two on each side. As you are frying the scallops, add in the bacon lardons and fry these too. Season as you go. Remove from the pan when just cooked. 

To serve, pour the soup into warmed bowls and place a scallop in the centre of each bowl. Scatter over the lardons of bacon and garnish with a few salad leaves and edible flowers.

1

 


THE PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN IN 10 STEPS

by Cafe St Honoré in


We all love a roast chicken, but how many of us are confident about cooking it perfectly? Our Chef Director Neil Forbes is here to show you how.

Every Sunday Neil roasts a chicken at home for the family dinner, served with seasonal veg from the garden. So follow Neil's 10 steps, and you too can create the perfect roast, every time!


NEIL'S RECIPES: FILLET OF HALIBUT WITH SAMPHIRE AND CHANTERELLES

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Get your fishmonger to do the hard work and fillet the fish for you. As an alternative to halibut, try hake, or smoked haddock works well. Fish goes really well with chanterelles and it’s the start of the mushroom season here in Scotland, so these vibrant orange fungi are easily foraged. If you do go picking, be careful and make sure you know what you are doing. Salty samphire brings all the flavours together nicely. It grows wild on coastal marsh areas in East Lothian but you should get permission from the landowner before any form of foraging."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 175g halibut fillets, farmed Gigha Halibut is great
1 handful of British samphire, washed
2 handfuls of chanterelles mushrooms, cleaned
A few flowers from the garden, I like nasturtium leaves and flowers, borage is pretty too
2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
150g butter
Juice of a lemon, some fennel fronds, optional
Good salt and pepper

Season the fish all over. Heat a frying pan and a pot on the hob, bringing both to moderate heat. Add the oil to the frying pan and leave for a couple of minutes. Then add half the butter and the mushrooms to the pot, followed by the samphire and season. Keep tossing being careful not to burn the butter.

Meanwhile, check the fish. It should be starting to turn golden brown on the underside. Once it is, turn each fillet over and continue cooking. Add the remaining butter to the frying pan. It will start to froth and become lovely and nut brown in colour. Season the fish again and squeeze in the lemon juice, a few drops at a time. If you like, add some fennel fronds at this stage, as they will flavour the butter well.

When the mushrooms and samphire are just soft, season again and spoon into the centre of four warmed plates. Place the fish on top and decorate with the flowers and a few more drops of lemon.


NEIL'S RECIPES: ICED CROWDIE AND RASPBERRY PARFAIT

by Cafe St Honoré in


"The taste of this parfait is similar to a frozen cheesecake with the slightly salty, textured crowdie mixed with the sweetness of Angus raspberries. It just knocks me for six every time I eat it. Scattering a few oats as a tiny crust is great, or have it on its own, in a glass, bowl or plate, it doesn’t matter. Once it’s made, it’s in your freezer for a good few weeks until it’s all eaten! Do give it a go, maybe ask for help as there are a few stages to go through. Come on, I did give you an easy starter and main course to cook!"

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

This will make 2 terrine moulds (classic le Creuset style) or ice-cream tubs rubbed with oil and lined with 2 sheets of cling film. Very importantly, before lining with oil and cling film, add a strip of triple layered tin foil so you can lift the parfait out of the terrine when it’s frozen. Allow for an overhang of the tin foil and the cling film.

INGREDIENTS

350g raspberries, chopped plus extra for garnishing

Roasted pinhead oats, toasted as a garnish, optional

coulis:
150ml water
140g sugar
175g raspberries

creamed crowdie:
300ml double cream
600g crowdie

meringue:
4 egg whites
250g sugar
pâte à bombe

110 ml water
150g sugar

8 egg yolks

METHOD

Begin by making a coulis. Boil the coulis ingredients together until syrupy then blitz and pass through a sieve. Keep to one side. 

Next make the crowdie cream, by whisking together the cream and crowdie until smooth. Keep to one side. 

To make a classic meringue mix, whisk the egg whites until 3/4 whisked then add the sugar a little at a time as you continue to whisk. Use a mixer for this if you have one. Keep to one side.

To make the pâte à bombe parfait mixture, heat the water and sugar until it reaches 121°C. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and continue to whisk as you gently pour in the molten sugar. Use a miser for this if you have one. Keep whisking until the mix starts to cool slightly. This will take about 5 minutes.

To assemble, use a large bowl to fold the meringue into the pâte à bombe. Then fold in the coulis and crowdie cream, being very gentle as you go. And finally fold in the chopped raspberries.

Ensure all is combined and scoop into your prepared terrine moulds. Fold the cling film over the top and freeze overnight. The next day, remove the parfait from the moulds by lifting out using the tin foil handles.

Serve sliced with some toasted oats and fresh raspberries.

 


NEIL'S RECIPES: HALIBUT AND PETIT POIS A LA FRANÇAISE

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Quite delicious and fresh tasting - what more could you want from a very quick dish? It’s so easy now to obtain sustainable fish from your monger or market, so for this recipe I’ve chosen halibut. I adore this fish, but hake, cod, coley  - or any other fish of your choice - work well with this classic and versatile garnish. Bacon lardons, peas, lettuce, a touch of mint and a lot of butter is key here. And I love adding the crunch of a garden radish. Peas are everywhere now but frozen would do outwith the short harvest. Or try it with broad beans - if they are fresh, keep them in their shells after podding. Delicious."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 150g pieces of Halibut or whatever fish you like, all skin and bones removed

200g petit pois, or your own home-grown peas, shelled, podded and blanched in boiling salted water for 3 minutes

1 baby gem lettuce, washed

A handful of mint leaves

A small handful of curly parsley

150g piece of good bacon or pancetta, cut into lardons

1/2 a shallot, finely sliced

100g butter

30mls cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon flour, optional

A handful of radishes, sliced

1 lemon

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Heat half the oil and fry the lardons until just starting to go brown. Then add the shallot and fry gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the blanched peas and season with salt and pepper. Add half the butter and bring the ingredients together.

Meanwhile, get the remaining oil hot in a non-stick pan and fry the halibut steaks for 3 to 4 minutes either side or until they are just cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining butter and baste the fish as it finishes cooking in the frothy butter. Add a squeeze of lemon and place the pieces of fish on a warm plate.

Shred the lettuce, rip the mint and parsley and add to the pea mixture with a touch of flour if you like to thicken the butter slightly. Season and add the radishes. Serve with the halibut and bring to the table warm.


NEIL'S RECIPES: MONKFISH TAIL WITH SALSA VERDE AND SEMI-DRIED TOMATOES

by Cafe St Honoré in


It is a rare treat for me to use monkfish. Always ensure you buy from a sustainable source and it’s very fresh. Monkfish has a meaty texture with no small bones, just one central bone that can be left in if you want to cook it on the barbecue, or trimmed and the bone removed. Either way, don’t overcook the fish - keep it slightly underdone and allow to rest as it does go a bit dry if it’s over cooked. I’m serving here with salsa verde, a brilliant sauce a bit like pesto, but so much better.

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 large monkfish tail, either on or off the bone, get your fishmonger to help you trim it or remove the bone
4 large new season tomatoes, I like Isle of Wight organic tomatoes
A small handful each of fresh mint, parsley and basil, washed and dried
1 tablespoon of capers
1 tablespoon of anchovies, optional
1 tablespoon of good Dijon or wholegrain mustard
250ml extra-virgin olive oil, I use Palestinian organic olive oil, plus extra for roasting the tomatoes
A splash of red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
A few sprigs of thyme
Good salt and pepper
A few edible flowers, optional
A splash of sunflower oil
Lemon juice for seasoning

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 130°C.

To make the semi-dried tomatoes, remove the eyes from the tomatoes and cut them half . Then cut each half into 4 wedges and place in an oven-proof dish. Trickle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Place in the oven for a few hours until just semi-dried.

To make the salsa verde, blitz the herbs, capers, anchovies, vinegar, garlic and mustard, and olive oil in a blender until a slightly chunky consistency is achieved. Taste and season as required.

Prepare the fish for cooking by patting it dry and seasoning. Then place a frying pan on the hob and add a splash of sunflower oil. Once the oil is very hot add the monkfish very carefully. Colour the fish on all sides then season again and place in a hot (180°C) oven for a few minutes until it is still slightly under cooked.

Remove from the oven and season with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper if required.

To serve, slice the fish and drizzle with salsa verde and serve with the tomatoes.


NEIL'S RECIPES: STRAWBERRIES, CREAM, MERINGUE AND BRAMBLE VINEGAR

by Cafe St Honoré in


Strawberries and cream is a classic. This dish is a bit like an Eton Mess but made different with the addition of bramble vinegar. It has a wonderful fresh sweetness which brings out the taste of the strawberries, in fact I use it with a lot of fruit. I get mine from Summer Harvest but you can make your own. It’s not a vinegar to put on your chips – it has a very light, almost drinkably sweet, sharp taste. Try it. 

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 punnet of local, new-season strawberries, husks removed, washed and at room temperature

150ml double cream, lightly whipped

A handful of mini meringues – shop-bought is fine

A few tablespoons of bramble-infused vinegar, I like Summer Harvest

Icing sugar for dusting

A few sweet cicely leaves

METHOD

Arrange the strawberries in a bowl, with the mini meringues dotted around then pipe the cream on top. Drizzle the vinegar over the top and add a dusting of icing sugar and a few leaves of sweet cicely.


NEIL'S RECIPES: FLAPJACKS

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Flapjacks seem to be one of those sweet treats that we all know, but no-one really talks about. I adore their sweet oaty taste. This recipe was devised in collaboration with Connor from the restaurant, who makes it very well. Perfect served with a cuppa."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 18 finger-sized bars

INGREDIENTS

500g porridge oats

250g jumbo oats

375g unsalted butter

375g dark brown soft muscovado sugar

10 tablespoons of golden syrup

Nuts, seeds or dried fruit as desired

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C.

Melt the butter over a very low heat then slowly stir in the brown sugar until dissolved.

Add the oats and give it a good mix. You may need to do this in a large mixing bowl.

Add nuts and fruit, stir.

Line a baking tray with a smear of oil and then a layer of greaseproof paper. The oil helps to stick the paper in place.

Spread the mix into the tray, pressing it down firmly with a palette knife. It can be thick or thin, depending on the size of your tray.

Bake for around 20 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Then turn out of the tray, remove the paper, and cut into desired shapes.


NEIL'S RECIPES: FISHCAKE, WILTED SPINACH AND POACHED EGG

by Cafe St Honoré in


"We always sell out of these when they’re on the menu as they are just such a tasty way of eating. The little things to get right here are 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."

Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 4 fishcakes

INGREDIENTS

250g fishcake mix

3 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, no butter added

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon chopped parsley and chives

2 spring onions, finely chopped

A splash of vinegar for the poached egg water

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 eggs, beaten, for egg wash

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

4 organic eggs

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

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C.

Firstly ensure the potato mash is dry and still warm.

Next, place the fish on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven until just cooked, moving it around if necessary.

Once ready, add the fish to a large mixing bowl with lemon juice and mashed potato and gently combine. Then add the zest of lemon, capers, parsley, chives, spring onions and season. Combine being careful not to over mix.

Divide the mixture into 4 and form into fishcakes. Place them on a sheet of greaseproof paper and place in the fridge until fully chilled.

Meanwhile season the flour and lay out the egg wash and breadcrumbs in small bowls. Coat each fishcake in flour, then egg wash then breadcrumbs.

Heat a deep fryer to 160°C and cook the fishcakes for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown all over, turning carefully if necessary. Then place them in the oven (180°C) for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the centre of each fishcake is piping hot.

Meanwhile, 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.

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.

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.


NEIL'S RECIPES: VANILLA RICE PUDDING WITH NEW SEASON FORCED YORKSHIRE RHUBARB

by Cafe St Honoré in


"An 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 crowns creaking and growing 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."  

Images: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

100g pudding rice

75g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

500mls 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

METHOD

Heat oven to 180°C.

Place the milk in 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.

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.

Meanwhile, top and tail the rhubarb and give it a good wash. Cut it into roughly 1-inch 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.

To serve, divide the pudding between four warmed bowls and top with the rhubarb.


NEIL'S RECIPES: CHOCOLATE FONDANT

by Cafe St Honoré in


"To guarantee a soft, liquid centre place a few chocolate buttons or a cube of chocolate into the centre of the mix you are using. I use a dariole mould - a metal bowl the size of a tea cup. I love Montezuma chocolate; use your favourite, but use dark. To add extra texture I’ve used a sprinkle of praline."

Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Makes 2 large or 4 small fondants

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon of plain flour

100g dark chocolate, plus a few extra buttons for the centre

100g unsalted butter, diced

65g caster sugar

A little melted butter for brushing

A little cocoa powder for dusting

A dollop of crème fraîche

A small handful of hazelnuts

Another 75g caster sugar

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180°C.

Begin by making a praline. Add 75g of caster sugar to a pan and melt gently, allowing it to become dark and caramel in colour. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the hazelnuts and pour onto an oiled, clean surface like a non-stick, heat-resistant mat or a marble work surface. Once cooled, blitz in a food processor or crush with a rolling pin.

Next, prepare 2 large, or 4 small, dariole moulds by brushing with the melted butter then dust with a little cocoa powder. Knocking any excess powder out.

Whisk the egg, yolks and flour in a bowl and set to one side.

Place the chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt gently whilst whisking to combine. When it reaches room temperature, add the egg and flour mix to the chocolate mix. This is a basic fondant recipe.

Next, spoon the mixture into the moulds until they are half full, then add the buttons, then fill the moulds to the top. If there’s any mix left over, it will keep well in the fridge for another day.

Bake the fondants in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes, and then let them sit for a minute outside the oven before carefully turning them out onto warm plates. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of praline.