way with fish
to the fore
For better or worse, April in Ireland is often the
finest month, so celebrate the beginning of the brighter
days with Hugo Arnold’s five seasonal menus
Photography Juan Carlos Cordovez-Mantilla |
Wine matches Brigid O’Hora | All recipes serve four
Mackerel escabeche Mackerel escabeche 1 Combine the yeast with a little of the Guinness
and mix to dissolve. Add the rest of the Guinness. Sieve
Battered cod and A lovely way with fish that keeps the flour into a bowl with a teaspoon of salt. Pour in
tartar sauce freshness to the fore. Not quite raw food but the Guinness and yeast and mix well. Cover with a
almost, as part of the cooking is done by curing cloth and set aside for 40 minutes before using.
semifreddo with 750g mackerel, filleted and skinned 2 Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dip in the
Plain flour batter. Heat enough oil to take two pieces of fish to
blueberries Olive oil 160ºC (if you don’t have a thermometer drop a little of
3 carrots, peeled and trimmed the batter into the oil. It needs to sizzle with gusto).
Muscadet 2 sticks celery, trimmed Fry two pieces for eight minutes, or until golden
Loire Sauvignon 4 spring onions brown. Turn a couple of times during this time.
Mosel Riesling 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped Remove, dry on kitchen paper and hold in a warm oven
Burgundy Pinot Noir 1 bay leaf while you cook the other two.
1 glass white wine
Verdelho 8 peppercorns 3 Combine all the sauce ingredients and whisk
2 lemons, zest removed and reserved together to serve.
WINE MATCH 1 bunch parsley
Tip Other fish to
Cool climate crisp wines 1 Cut the fish into 3cm chunks. Sprinkle with salt and
tend to fair finest against pepper and dust with plain flour. Sauté gently in olive oil consider include haddock,
oily fishy treats. Northern for barely one minute each side. Remove to a shallow, ling and pollock.
France or indeed southern earthenware bowl.
Germany produces racy wines Limoncello semifreddo with
with delicate yet persistent 2 Cut the carrots, celery and spring onions into thin blueberries
flavours. Muscadet, Sauvignon strips. Put the garlic, bay leaf, white wine, peppercorns
from the Loire, dry Riesling and 125ml of olive oil into a saucepan along with the I’m not a huge fan of limoncello as a drink – too
from the Mosel or a light vegetables and bring to the boil. Add the zest and juice often rather artificial tasting – but it makes for a
crunchy Villages Pinot Noir of the lemons and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fantastically refreshing semifreddo and just right
from Burgundy all charm for 10 minutes and then pour over the fish. for this time of year
the oily pants off fish like
mackerel, herring or anchovies. 3 Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight, or for two or 4 large eggs, separated
A mayonnaise-style dressing three days, which produces a mellow, complex flavour. 75g caster sugar, plus 4 teaspoons
for the battered cod, however, Remove the peppercorns and bay leaf and serve with a 500ml double cream
deems a riper, fruitier white generous sprinkling of parsley and lots of bread. 150ml limoncello
with a touch more gusto. The 750g blueberries
search for warmer climate Tip Also very 1 lemon, zest only
whites leads us to Verdelho, 2 tablespoons lemon juice
of Portuguese origin but the good with tuna.
Aussies, with their abundant 1 Add 75g sugar to the egg yolks and beat until pale.
sun, produce wines with Battered cod and tartar sauce Beat the egg whites until stiff.
honeydew melon on the palate
and just enough lemon fresh I’ve always struggled with the idea of battered fish 2 Add the cream to the egg yolks and stir in the
acidity to lift the cod. Although and chips, too much of a crispy note. Here, I ditch the limoncello. Gently fold in the whisked egg whites.
refreshingly beneficial at the chips in favour of lashings of homemade tartar sauce Pour into a loaf tin and freeze, stirring every hour
close of a meal, the generous or so until frozen. You will then need to take it out
alcohol in limoncello would 1 sachet instant yeast 30 minutes before you plan to eat it.
overpower and clash against 300ml Guinness
the sweet charms of any 225g plain flour 3 Wash the blueberries and combine with the lemon
dessert wine. Flying solo is 1 teaspoon salt zest, juice, a good slug of the limoncello and the sugar.
best here. 4x160g thick pieces of cod Toss gently. Slice the semifreddo, pile on
the blueberries and juice and serve.
For the tartar sauce
4 tablespoons mayonnaise Tip Campari also goes rather well with
1 teaspoon good small capers
2 teaspoons chopped cornichon the blueberries in place of the limoncello.
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley Strawberries work well in the summer.
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Merguez, potato and Merguez sausages, potato Stand by with lots
poached egg with and poached egg with of cream
Sherry vinegar Sherry vinegar
Braised spring preheated oven, 200ºC/gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes
greens, beetroot, Made well, these north African sausages pack a lovely or until tender.
lentils, ricotta and spicy punch so look out for a good supplier
Gabriel 2 Roughly chop the spring greens, removing any
Rhubarb pie 1 medium-sized potato tough stalky bits and blanch in boiling salted water
Trousseau reds Olive oil for four minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh
Late harvest 4 merguez sausages, cut into 4cm lengths in cold water.
Gruner Veltliner 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 3 Cover the lentils with cold water in a saucepan,
WINE MATCH Sherry vinegar bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes or
2 tablespoons water until just cooked. Remove from the heat.
Light in body with high acid, 4 eggs
tangy red fruit and just a 4 handfuls mixed salad leaves 4 In a large saucepan, heat four tablespoons of
smattering of tannins are the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic, fennel seeds and
qualities present in the under- 1 Cut the potato in half and then into half-centimetre chilli flakes, turn briefly in the oil and then add the
rated yet wonderfully unique slices, cover with cold water, season with salt and bring spring greens. Sauté gently for two minutes and then
and fascinating Trousseau reds to the boil. Simmer until tender, six to eight minutes, add the herbs. Stir again, then add the lentils and
found in Jura. This small but refresh under cold water and set aside. their liquid. You may need to add more water, the
high quality region in eastern mixture should be quite sloppy. Season with salt
France concentrate their 2 Heat a large frying pan and, when hot, add two and pepper.
efforts on light reds with wild tablespoons of olive oil and the merguez. Sauté over a
strawberries and herbaceous moderate heat for two minutes and then add the potato. 5 To serve, spoon the braised spring greens and
notes to contrast the spicy Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. lentil mixture into four bowls, add the beetroot,
sausages. The raspberry acidity Add the shallots and parsley and continue cooking for a spoon over the ricotta, sprinkle over grated Gabriel
emulsifies the ricotta and the further three minutes. and drizzle with lots of good olive oil.
dusky leathery notes often
found in these reds gives 3 Splash in a dessertspoon of Sherry vinegar, season Rhubarb pie
rise to the earthy tones in with salt and pepper and add two tablespoons of water.
the beetroot and lentils. For Shake the pan so everything is coated and set aside to An old-fashioned deep pie with steaming fruit and
rhubarb desserts, delicacy and keep warm. crispy, sugar-crusted pastry topping. Stand by with
minerality are the mirror key lots of cream
ingredients necessary. Late 4 Poach the eggs in boiling salted water for three
harvest Gruner Veltliner has minutes, or until just cooked. Arrange the salad leaves 225g butter, softened
a ripe stone fruit palate but on four plates, spoon over the merguez mixture and top 50g caster sugar
a white pepper and vibrant with a poached egg. 2 eggs
mineral streak to ease its way 340g plain flour
through the pie. Tip You can poach the eggs in 750g rhubarb, leaves removed and stalks cut into
66 F&W 4cm lengths
advance, chill them in iced water 250g sugar, plus extra for dusting
and then drop them into boiling 1 egg combined with 2 tablespoons milk
water for a minute before you serve.
1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
Braised spring greens, beetroot,
lentils, ricotta and Gabriel 2 Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth
and then stir in the eggs followed by the flour. Turn out
A vegetable main course, which is a favourite at this onto some clingfilm, wrap and chill in the fridge for at
time of year when spring greens are at their best least an hour.
8 golfball-sized beetroot 3 Roll out the pastry and use two-thirds of it to line a
Extra virgin olive oil 20cm tart tin. Scatter over the rhubarb and sugar. Roll
1 tablespoon picked thyme leaves out the remaining pastry and cover the rhubarb,
1kg spring greens sealing the edges. Brush over the egg wash and scatter
200g puy lentils over a further tablespoon of sugar. Prick with a fork
Olive oil and bake for 45 minutes to one hour or until golden
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped brown and bubbling.
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste 4 Serve with lots of cream.
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint Tip A teaspoon of grated
4 tablespoons ricotta
2 tablespoons grated Gabriel cheese ginger adds bite and attitude.
1 Wash the beetroot and trim. Cut into quarters and
place in tin foil. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle over
olive oil and add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast in a
Tip This is also delicious
with white beans like
haricot or cannellini.
The joy of these pots
lies in the intense delivery
of a chocolate hit
Parma ham, celeriac Parma ham, 3 Remove the fish and keep warm. Place the
remoulade celeriac remoulade roasting tin over a moderate heat and add the
lemon juice, herbs and capers and heat through
Roast ray, lemon, I struggle with coleslaw but absolutely adore so everything amalgamates. Add two or three
capers and remoulade, that French classic of ribbons of celeriac tablespoons of olive oil and an equal quantity of
wilted with mustardy mayonnaise studded with water if it looks too dry and then stir in the greens.
spring greens flecks of parsley. The great thing is it keeps for a
Bitter chocolate pots few days in the fridge and goes with pretty much 4 Serve the fish on top of the greens and add a
any charcuterie wedge of lemon.
Vernaccia di San
Gimignano 1 small celeriac, peeled Tip You need the
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Californian Orange 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard oven to be good and
Muscat 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley hot or the fish will
8 slices Parma ham or similar stew. Searingly hot!
1 You will need a mandolin to cut the celeriac into Bitter chocolate pots
A vast array of ripened whites fine ribbons. Season with salt and toss well.
will contrast elegantly with The joy of these pots lies in the intense delivery of a
the salty yet silky wondrous 2 Add the mayonnaise, mustard and parsley and chocolate hit, which means you need to use really
Parma ham. Traditionally, toss for a good three minutes so everything gets to good chocolate and lovely free-range eggs
well-crafted Pinot Grigio suits know each other.
best, but Vernaccia di San Serves 6
Gimignano found in the hills of 3 Check seasoning and dollop onto plates
Tuscany is a lively white that is alongside the Parma ham and some slices of good 150ml double cream
quality driven and packed full country bread toasted. 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
of flavour. Green fruits on the 125g dark chocolate
palate are finished off with an Tip Toss the salt in well. 100ml full fat milk
almond tang to add a nutty 2 egg yolks
dimension to this pairing. Left It doesn’t dissolve well after 1 tablespoon caster sugar
to hang on vines surrounded you add the mayonnaise and 1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
by herbs and olives, these helps to soften the celeriac.
fresh whites can often develop 1 Preheat the oven to 140ºC/gas mark 1.
slight hints of eucalyptus and Roast ray, lemon, capers
sage, so ideal for grilled fish and spring greens 2 Heat the cream and vanilla pod together until
and certainly for the flavours almost boiling. Remove from the heat and set aside
of ray wing. The combination This is a great fish, the bones are huge so easily to cool.
of bitter chocolate and spotted and removed and the flesh soaks up other
Californian Orange Muscat flavours so well. Really undervalued but refreshingly 3 Combine the chocolate and milk in a small
is a classic match difficult to inexpensive as a result saucepan over a low heat and melt the chocolate.
4 ray wing pieces, each weighing about 300g 4 Beat the egg yolks, sugar and ground ginger
Olive oil together in a large bowl with a whisk. Remove the
400g spring greens vanilla pod from the cream, scraping any excess seeds
2 lemons, juice only back into the cream. Combine the cream and milk
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley with the egg and sugar mixture.
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1 tablespoon chopped sage 5 Pour into six ramekins. Place in a baking tray and
4 tablespoons well-soaked capers, salted are add hot water to come two-thirds of the way up the
generally better, but require soaking ramekins. Bake for an hour or until set (they will form
1 lemon, quartered, for serving a light crust). Remove, allow to cool and chill in the
fridge. Serve cold.
1 Brush the ray with olive oil, season with salt and
pepper and lay out in a roasting tray large enough to Tip Diced candied
accommodate them all without overlapping. Roast in
a pre-heated oven, 220ºC/gas mark 7 for 15 minutes, ginger on top, and some
or until cooked (gently insert the point of a sharp ginger wine to go with
knife). You’ll need to turn them half-way through adds a warming cheer.
2 Trim the stalks from the greens. Blanch in boiling
salted water for five minutes, or until tender and
drain. Refresh under cold water and gently but
Thai mussel soup Thai mussel soup 1 Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole
dish. Season the rabbit with salt and sauté until
Valencia rice with Bracing, refreshing and elegant, a spicy start to lightly coloured on both sides. Do this in two batches
rabbit and chorizo proceedings so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Set the rabbit aside.
Roast rhubarb and 1 x 400g tin coconut milk 2 Add the chorizo and colour on both sides, taking
pannacotta 2 sticks lemongrass, outer leaves removed and then care not to let the paprika oil that comes out burn.
smashed Return the rabbit, add the garlic and rice and stirring,
Languedoc 2cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced sauté for two minutes before adding the tomatoes
unoaked 1 chilli, chopped and the hot stock followed by the saffron. Bring back
Chardonnay 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced to the boil, stir once and simmer for 30 minutes.
Ribera Del Duero 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallots
Tinto del Pais 1 teaspoon turmeric 3 Check that the rabbit is cooked and seasoning
Hungarian Tokaji 2 tablespoons fish sauce is okay, stir in the parsley and serve with a wedge of
1kg mussels, well washed and beards removed lemon.
I’ve heard 2 tablespoons lime juice
some pretty 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped Tip Cooking chorizo is
heated 1 Open the tin of coconut milk without shaking it. generally short and thick, like
arguments over Spoon out the thick cream at the top and set aside. Pour a Cumberland sausage. You
the remains of the tin into a wok or large saucepan and can use salami but it tends to
what exactly add a canful of water. toughen up in the cooking and
makes a paella the flavour is not as good.
2 Add the lemongrass, ginger, chilli, garlic, shallots,
a paella turmeric and one tablespoon of the fish sauce and bring Roast rhubarb and
to the boil. Simmer for five minutes. Add the mussels, buttermilk panna cotta
WINE MATCH cover, bring back to the boil and simmer until the
mussels open, about five minutes. The secret to good panna cotta is all in the gelatine.
Primarily, you are searching Too much and things get firm, too little and nothing
for the balance of the spice 3 Remove from the heat and stir in two tablespoons stands up, which is why leaves are better to use than
versus the balance of the of the reserved coconut paste. Season with the powder. An exact approach is required
fruit in this fishy soup pairing. remaining fish sauce (you may need a little more) and
Generally, rounded fruits the lime juice. You are aiming for a richness in the broth, 1 handful rhubarb, cut into 6cm lengths
are more equipped to tame but also a contrasting acidity. If it’s too rich, you’ll end 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
the spicy goodness in the up tasting coconut milk and not much else. 400ml double cream
broth. Be sure to choose a 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
fruit-driven, low alcohol wine 4 Finally, season with salt if required (the mussels can 2 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for
as generous alcohol can play be quite salty) and scatter over the coriander. 10 minutes
havoc with ingredients such 350ml buttermilk
as chilli, turmeric and fresh Tip Fish sauce doesn’t last
garlic. Languedoc is choc full of 1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6.
maverick young winemakers longer than a few months so
experimenting with un-oaked keep an eye on it. 2 Rinse the rhubarb and toss into a roasting tin
Chardonnays with bountiful with the sugar. Cover with tin foil and roast for 45
fruit but a cleansing finish. Valencia rice with rabbit minutes or until tender.
These wines may be a little shy and chorizo
for the pungency of flavour 3 Combine the cream and vanilla pod and bring to
in the chorizo and rabbit so You might call this a paella, but then I’ve heard some the boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
a Ribera Del Duero, Tinto del pretty heated arguments over what exactly makes a
Pais-based wine will warm paella a paella. Not being Spanish, I feel it’s safer just 4 Remove the vanilla pod, scraping the seeds into
the cockles in anticipation of talking rice. If rabbit is a step too far, this also works the cream. Slide in the two gelatine leaves and stir to
this flavour sensation. Tropical well with chicken dissolve. Once you can put your finger in comfortably,
mandarins and honeysuckle add the buttermilk.
are lifted by a mineral Olive oil
backbone found in Hungarian 1 rabbit, jointed 5 Pour into four 10cm ramekins and place in the
Tokaji sweet wines suitably Salt and pepper fridge until set, about two hours.
perfect for the zesty, mouth- 2 cooking chorizo, cut into 2cm chunks
puckering rhubarb pudding. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 6 If the juices from the rhubarb are too watery,
400g Valencia rice or Arborio rice reduce over a moderate heat. Combine with the
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes rhubarb and serve with a panna cotta tipped out
1 litre chicken stock, simmering onto each plate.
1 pinch saffron threads or powder, dissolved in a little
hot water Tip Tipping the pannacottas
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 lemons, halved out is easier if you dip them in
hot water for a few seconds.
A taste of summer
Smoked salmon and Smoked salmon and 2 Turn the heat down to 170ºC/gas mark 3. Add the
horseradish toasts horseradish toasts peas and the lettuce to the chicken and pour over the
Braised chicken with stock. Cover with tin foil, return to the oven and
peas and lettuce We produce some of the best smoked salmon in the braise for 40 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.
Raspberry and lemon world. The same goes for soda bread. Yet this duo is not
always the best partnership. The soda bread soaking 3 Transfer the vegetables to a warm serving plate.
syllabub up too much of the salmon’s delicate flavour. Swap Carve the chicken, add to the vegetables and cover
Gavi soda bread for sourdough toast, however, and now with the tin foil. Keep warm.
you are talking
Eau-de-Vie 4 Skim off any fat on the surface of the stock and
200ml crème fraîche boil down to half the volume, about 10 minutes. Turn
WINE MATCH 1 dessertspoon freshly gated horseradish the heat right down.
1 teaspoon small capers
Gavi is Northern Italy’s 1 lemon, quartered plus a little more 5 Whisk the eggs and cream together and stir into
answer to fine lean Burgundy 8 very thin slices of good quality bread the stock. Allow to thicken but take care not to
Chardonnay. Searing acidity 1 garlic clove, halved overheat or the eggs will scramble. Season with
coupled with graceful yet Olive oil lemon juice and salt and pour over the chicken and
assiduous citrus fruit with a 300g smoked salmon vegetables to serve.
nutty finish can outweigh
the luscious, smoky fish with 1 Combine the crème fraîche with the horseradish, Tip Buy a free-range
great elegance. There is a capers and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and
touch of sweetness required pepper. bird if you can, a god bit
to tackle the fiery horseradish, less than organic but
therefore choose a warmer 2 Toast the bread, rub with the cut side of garlic and more than adequate.
vintage. Gavi in cooler years drizzle with olive oil. Layer the smoked salmon in folds
can display austere fruit. With over the toasts, top with the crème fraîche and serve Raspberry and lemon
the aid of this extra fruit in a with a lemon wedge. syllabub
better year, the braised chicken
will sit pleasantly alongside. Tip Look out for a good I often make this when fresh raspberries have been
It is the long hang time these around for so long I am almost getting fed up. But at
grapes receive that leads smoked salmon producer. this time of year, it’s a useful way when the fruit can
into an extremely long and There are several and it’s be a little underwhelming
flavoursome finish. Eau-de- worth finding a favourite.
Vies are a happy medium to What’s the difference? Major 100ml Fino Sherry
suit the lemon cream, brandy areas of focus are the quality 1 tablespoon brandy
and Sherry mix. Brittany of the fish and the smoking. 60g caster sugar
produces some wonderful 300ml whipping cream
apple-based wines with just Braised chicken with peas 1 pinch nutmeg
the right amount of alcoholic and lettuce 1 lemon, zest only
fruit to lift this syllabub. 500g raspberries
Deceptively simple, this really is a taste of
summer to come 1 Combine the Sherry, brandy and sugar in a bowl
and stir to dissolve the sugar.
1 small bunch thyme 2 Stir in the cream and add nutmeg and lemon zest
250ml chicken stock to taste.
2 little gem, trimmed and cut into quarters 3 Whisk to a soft peak stage – it should hold its
shape but beware of over-whisking or you’ll end up
lengthways with a split mess.
2 egg yolks
100ml double cream 4 Chill and serve spooned over fresh raspberries on
1 lemon four plates.
1 Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 6. Season the Tip Top with shaved
chicken well and stuff with thyme. Roast upside down
for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn breast chocolate or toasted
side-up and roast for a further 15 minutes. Bring the flaked almonds.
chicken stock to the boil.