As Head chef of pioneering Shoreditch eco-restaurant The Water House, Marie Gonfond is cautious about many fish but fortunately a few treats remain that are great for both the plate and the conscience. Here she shares a dish from the restaurant's November menu and a homely autumnal salad.
Pan fried black bream with Jerusalem Artichokes puree and chilli oil
To serve 2
- 2 black bream fillets
- 400g Jerusalem Artichokes
- 2 Fresh Red Chillies
- Olive Oil
- Salt, pepper
- 2 slices of bread
- A hand full of rocket washed
- Juice of half a lemon.
At least thirty minutes before dinner:
1. Wearing vinyl gloves deseed two chillis and then chop them as finely as possible. Leave to marinade in around a third of a cup of olive oil for at least half an hour.
2. Peel your artichokes down to the hearts and boil until soft. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and add your lemon juice and a splash of olive oil and then puree in a blender.
3. In a hot frying pan and with a splash of olive oil place your fish skin side down. After three to four minute your skin should be crispy. Turn your fish and give another minute before taking it out of the pan.
4. Toast the slices of bread and cut into triangles.
5. Serve with your artichoke puree generously spread across the toast. Your fish skin side up so that your companion is greeted by the beautiful tone of the flesh when their plate arrives and
6. Drizzle generously with chilli oil and decorate with the rocket.
Smoked Mackerel Salad with celeriac remoulade and garlic croutons
- 1 large or 2 small smoked mackerel fillets
- Half a head of celeriac
- 1 Braeburn Apple
- 3 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise. (see below)
- 2 thick slices of white bread
- 50g of butter (or olive oil for a lighter more health conscious crouton)
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 beetroot – peeled and grated
- 1 bunch of watercress - washed
- A few stems of fresh thyme
- Juice of half a lemon
1. Prepare your mayonnaise by adding your oil slowly to your egg yolk and whisking furiously. Then whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Wash, peel and grate your celeriac. Add the lemon juice and then mix the celeriac and the mayonnaise thoroughly and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
3. For the croutons, cut your slices of bread into cubes and add the butter, thyme and garlic. In the oven at around 180C toss frequently until golden brown.
4. Serve with the remoulade in the centre and some grated beetroot on top. Around this centre piece scatter some watercress and croutons and then finish your plate with the roughly torn pieces of smoke mackerel over the top.
Water House restaurant is a training restaurant and a partner of training charity The Blue Marble Trust. To learn more about the trusts work nurturing champions for our planets food visit bluemarbletrust.blogspot.com
The Water House Restaurant
Recipes: Marie Gonfond
Text: Andy Gold
This article first appeared in the Ecologist November 2008
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