Chef, traveller and writer Jake Tilson shares four simple, yet succulent, recipes from his new book 'In At The Deep End'
This warming winter dish is rather like an upside down potato and ﬁsh pie. It’s enough for a whole meal and can be made with any white or smoked ﬁsh.
175g leeks, ﬁnely sliced
700g potatoes, cut into 1cm rounds
1 bay leaf
3 spring onions, chopped
Salt and pepper
200g haddock, skinless ﬁllets
200g salmon, skinless ﬁllets
100g smoked haddock
1 handful chopped chives
1 handful ﬁnely chopped ﬂat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 220°C/ Gas Mark 7.
In an oven-proof casserole dish, put the leeks, potatoes, bay leaf and spring onions and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the milk and enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, until browned.
Cut all of the ﬁsh into bite-sized pieces.
Remove the casserole from the oven. Mash a few of the cooked potatoes and mix them back into the stew.
Arrange the ﬁsh in a layer over the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with chives and parsley. Add a little more milk if needed. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, just long enough to cook the ﬁsh through. The stew should be bubbling up through the ﬁsh.
New York City
Fellow chef, Peter, makes a reduced orange and ginger sauce – it takes two hours! Wonderful. I make some plain rice to go with it and leek and carrots which we overcook twice. We save them with some grated parmesan. A Scandinavian guest tells us that dill in Finland is much stronger-tasting because it’s grown so far north. You can also catch pike in the ocean there because the salinity of the sea is so low. Fishermen there often catch freshwater river-ﬁsh in their nets far out at sea. This sauce would work well with most white ﬁsh.
Ingredients:1 small onion, ﬁnely chopped
In a heavy-based pan, sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until translucent.
Add the orange juice, lemon juice and cube of ginger. Simmer on the lowest possible heat for about one hour to reduce it by about a third.
Before serving grate the remaining fresh ginger into the sauce, heat through.
In a large non-stick frying pan, cook the tilapia ﬁllets in a little sunﬂower oil on a medium heat for about two minutes on each side.
Serve with the orange and ginger sauce.
The key to the success of this salad is ﬁnding the best ingredients you can. If you can’t ﬁnd rock lobster or bugs use a mixture of lobster and perhaps some langoustine, it’s the mixture of species size that’s important – large medium and small crustacea are needed eg lobster, langoustine, prawn. Avocados are a great way to make the more expensive seafood ingredients go further.
Ingredients:1 cooked rock lobster tail
Carefully take all of the ﬂesh out of the rock lobsters and Balmain bug, cut into bite-sized pieces, put into a salad bowl. Add the prawns, avocado and nuts.
Make a dressing, mix the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar and mustard in a jar, shake well. Pour over the salad. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Serve with fresh bread and a chilled Australian white wine.
Variation: Also good with a little ﬁrm cooked white ﬁsh. You could extend it with some crisp chopped red peppers or a touch of lettuce, although some of the richness may be lost.
Hand-rolled sushi, temaki-zushi, is a perfect way to celebrate good fresh ﬁsh: raw, cured, smoked or pickled.
Arriving at our friends Heechang, Shinano and Aru, on the outskirts of Tokyo, we ﬁnd that we’re all making sushi for lunch. I’m a little worried – sushi always looks rather intimidating. Today though, we’re at the easy end of sushi making – temaki-zushi, which are little folded squares of nori seaweed ﬁlled with rice, vegetables and ﬁsh. As easy as making a sandwich. The essential wrapping ingredients are sheets of nori seaweed. Also key is the use of Japanese rice with kombu stock and rice vinegar, though jasmine rice is a good substitute. The ﬁllings shouldn’t follow a slavish sushi-wish-list; use local and seasonal vegetables and ﬁsh.
If I were making this in Scotland I might use fresh mackerel, salmon roe and some smoked ﬁsh – salmon, mackerel or trout. In Venice I’d try Adriatic squid, octopus and crabmeat.
Ingredients:28g bag of nori seaweed (10 sheets)
Fillings:2-egg omelette, sliced into thin strips
To make the vinegared rice, simply wash the rice well, drain and leave to dry for one hour.
Put the rice, water and kombu into a pan, bring to a boil then remove the kombu.
Simmer over a moderate heat, covered, for five minutes then reduce the heat to as low as possible and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Turn up the heat for five seconds, remove from the heat.
Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to a small pan, heat gently until dissolved.
Using a ﬂat wooden spoon gently turn the rice into a wooden bowl, fanning it between spoonfuls and slowly add the warm dressing. The aim is to cool the cooked rice whilst gradually adding the vinegared dressing.
To keep the rice warm place a damp cloth over the bowl.
Lay out your various ﬁllings on a plate, gather round and start making your own hand-rolled sushi. Place a 12cm square sheet of seaweed in your hand, add a small spoonful of rice in the middle, maybe a smear of wasabi, then some ﬁsh, vegetables, omelette and mayonaise – roll into the shape of a cornet, dip a corner into soy sauce, and enjoy.
Recipes are from travelling chef Jake Tilson's new book In At The Deep End, where he travels from Venice to Tokyo on a journey of discovery of the sea and fish cookery. His book is available now on Amazon and from Quadrille publishers.