Cooking with Andy McLeish
PUBLISHED: 07:05 25 July 2014 | UPDATED: 07:05 25 July 2014
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The Michelin-starred chef chooses his ingredients for this month’s fish dish from his longstanding supplier Chapmans of Sevenoaks
My wife and I take our kids each year to the coast to fish for mackerel in Devon. What first started out as a bit of fun has now turned into a family tradition, the kids love it and I actually find it therapeutic.
On occasion, I’ll go out on a day boat to catch fish for my restaurant Chapter One. Last year I went fishing for sea bass and was surprised to discover just how competitive it is.
As we were approaching our destination I was informed that I wasn’t allowed to look at the GPS, as the captain didn’t want us to make note of the exact location. Just as we were about to cast the rods we realised that we were being followed by another boat. To ensure we didn’t give away the location of our quarry, the captain turned the boat around, exchanged a few strong words and had them leave immediately.
That experience totally opened my eyes, just like any other business you have to protect your assets.
One thing’s for sure, as consumers we have a moral responsibility to only buy sustainable fish. We are all aware that numerous species are being over-fished and threatened with extinction. We of course also need to support the fishermen who are doing a fabulous job of fishing ethically.
We use a fantastic local Kentish supplier, Chapman’s of Sevenoaks. Most of the fish they supply to the restaurant is caught locally and is also caught on day boats. This means the fish comes back to port on the day it is caught rather than trawler fishing when the boats can be out at sea for more than a week at a time.
Chapman’s and I both pride ourselves on the quality of fish we serve. This month’s recipe is very simple and utterly delicious.
Marinated herrings with beetroot, leeks and horseradish
12 herring fillets
3 large beetroot
3 sticks celery peeled
1 chopped shallot
100g fresh horseraddish
100ml white wine vinegar
Once the above has boiled and cooled add:
8 bay leaves
2 finely sliced red onions
200g sliced leeks
To the 12 herring fillets
Leave to marinade for 48 hours
Wrap the beetroot in tin foil and bake in the oven at 160 degrees for an hour. Leave to cool, peel the beetroot and cut into wedges. Add the chopped shallots and white wine vinegar to taste. Slice the peeled celery and blanch in boiling water for 20 seconds and refresh in iced water.
Remove the herrings from the marinade and drain on a paper towel. Place three fillets on a plate with some beetroot and celery on the side. Add some of the red onion and leek from the marinade sprinkle with rock salt and drizzle with olive oil.
Optional: grate some fresh horseradish over the top to give the dish a little kick.
FIND OUT MORE
Chapter One, Farnborough Common, Locksbottom BR6 8NF
Follow Andy on [Twitter symbol here] @andy23471
Chapman’s of Sevenoaks, Bartram Farm, Old Otford Road, Sevenoaks TN14 5EZ
Next month: Andy cooks game