A selection of summer recipes adapted from Philip Paxman at South Farm.
Tian of Summer Berries
Six slices stale white bread, thin cut
6 ozs each fresh strawberries, raspberries and black currants
For the coulis:
1 pound mixed strawberries and raspberries
4 ozs caster sugar
- Make up a coulis from strawberries and raspberries by food processing the berries and sugar and then strain through a fine sieve.
- Using a pastry cutter, make three circles of bread from each slice, and soak in half the coulis.
- Using a mousse ring about 2” diameter, place one circle in the bottom of the ring, dice the strawberries and load the bottom of the ring. Add another coulis soaked slice, then lay on the blackcurrants, then the final slice.
- Press down gently to compress.
- Carefully remove the ring and just before serving add the raspberries, or Alpine Strawberries would be just as nice.
- Crown with mint, dust with icing sugar and serve with a generous quenelle of crème fraiche, a flourish of the remaining coulis and maybe a Madeleine to push with.
South Farm Summer Trout Salad
A decent sized fresh trout about 2/3lbs
A dozen baby carrots
A dozen asparagus spears
A handful of purple sprouting broccoli
A juicy thick stemmed pak choi
A handful of mange tout peas and flowers
A handful of courgettes, with their yellow flowers, if available
A handful of tender dandelion leaves
A bed of salad leaves or seedlings
A glass of white wine
Butter and oil to cook the fish, olive oil and lemon juice for the dressing.
- Take a good silver flanked fish and run a knife from the vent to the gills and disembowel, not forgetting to remove the air sack and the deep vein under the spine. Take out the gills too, to avoid any discolouration.
- Rub the fish with butter against the scales, olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon and seasoning.
- Lay the fish on a generous length of baking foil, turn up the sides, add a couple more knobs of butter, a generous dash of oil, the rest of the lemon juice and place the quartered peels in the cavity.
- Finally pour in half a glass of good dry wine and crimp the foil loosely over the fish.
- Put the foiled fish on a baking tray into a preheated oven at about 180C or the medium oven of your Aga. Cook for 15 minutes, remove and rest without removing the foil.
- Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and when rolling drop in the carrots, broccoli, asparagus spears and mange touts and blanch for a couple of minutes. Drain but don’t refresh, or the flavour will flee. Allow to cool uncovered. If the young courgettes are at their best, don’t cook them at all, just slice thinly, carpaccio slivers, and warm with the heat of the rest of the veg.
- To serve, take the fish off the bone in two clean fillets, carefully reserving the delicious liquor that has collected in the bottom of the foil. Make a bed of leaves or seedlings and then arrange segments of fish and segments of orange with the crunchy veg to adorn them. If the courgette flowers are fresh and vibrant place them on top.
- Dress with the delicious citrusy fishy liquor that seeped from the fish as it cooked.
Ceviche of Shingay Trout
Both fillets from a three or four pound trout
Juice of 4 limes
Level tablespoon of Maldon sea salt
Diced fresh green garlic, about one head, Sprint is ideal.
Generous amount of chopped dill or Thai basil
Ground black pepper
Good extra virgin olive oil to dress
- Take the trout fillets and cut across to make thin slices that look just like gravadlax slices. When cutting keep the shape of the whole fillet intact.
- Sprinkle the bottom of a flat serving dish with half of all the ingredients and then the fillet slices are laid on and the rest of the juice and ingredients are sprinkled on top. Cover the dish with cling film. It starts to ‘cook” immediately in the highly acidic lime juice, changing colour from bright pink to a soft blanched pink, and it is ready to eat within about 5 minutes.
- Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of dill or Thai basil. Serve it straight from the dish in mouth size bites with cocktail sticks, or as a starter with a salata of diced red onion, sweet peppers, avocado, a little chilli pepper if you like, with the cooking liquor as vinaigrette.
The best possible accompaniment is ice cold Schnapps straight from the freezer, with an Italian lager chaser.
WARNING. Ceviche must be made with very fresh wild fish, preferably rod caught and within hours of landing, better still as it comes ashore. Do not use farmed fish. If using tropical fish, especially coral eating varieties, it is essential to flash freeze the fish on catching to kill parasites; thaw and fillet for immediate use.
Pigeon Breast Salad, starter for six
Boned and skinless breast fillets from six wild pigeons or barnyard doves
Six thick cut slices of pancetta, diced
1 large pak choi, or 1lb sprouting broccoli, cavolo nero or chard
1 large coloured sweet bell pepper
A handful of wild mushrooms
Chopped head of garlic and a chilli pepper
A good shot of brandy, Calvados or Armagnac
Four slices of thick white toast cut into croutons
Mixed Salad leaves or seedlings.
Good quality balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
- In a wok, or deep frying pan, heat a table spoon of olive oil and add the garlic and chilli and diced pancetta.
- When smoking hot, drop in the twelve breast fillets and turn with a spatula for two or three minutes to sear and seal.
- Turn off the gas, add the brandy to the wok and light immediately. Flambé the breasts and pancetta and turn again when the fire goes out.
- Set the wok aside and cover with foil to allow the breasts to cool for a couple of minutes. Then remove, keep covered and warm.
- Still using the wok add the pepper, mushrooms, toast croutons and pak choi and stir fry briefly, using a little more oil if necessary.
- To serve make a little pyramid of the stir fried vegetables, slice the breasts long ways, about five slices per fillet, and arrange like a bonfire, dribble over the croutons and pancetta, any residual juices from the wok and the cooling plate and arrange the fresh leaves around the stack.
- Finally dress with olive oil and balsamic.
- For crostini, simplify the stir fry, just fillets, garlic, pancetta and sweet pepper. Toast the crostini and smear with the wok juices, add the breast slices and pepper and dress. Serve warm straight away.