My second book ‘One Perfect Ingredient’ came out last week; I am very pleased with it and so far have heard excellent comments including a review in the May edition of The Good Food Magazine (more reviews to follow!).
I have just spent a couple of days in Manchester at The Northern Restaurant and Bar Show; a trade show for chefs and managers in the catering/hospitality industry. The show has been running for a few years now and I think I have been there for the last four. This year I demonstrated a couple of dishes and signed books. I am from Southport so it is a great opportunity to catch up with fellow northerners including my college lecturers, family and colleagues.
This year I demonstrated the prawn bisque recipe from the book but also took it a step further and used the bisque as a sauce to accompany a beautiful fish dish. At the show, many people asked me about using sustainable fish in the restaurant – well this dish is ideal, as the sea trout is farmed, easily accessible and very like salmon. Once you have made a bisque using the recipe in the book, try this;
To serve 4
4 pieces sea trout (approximately 100g each), skinned and pinboned
2 heads baby gem lettuce, washed, trimmed and leaves separated
2 large carrots, peeled and diced into small cubes
2 small sticks (or 1 large, 50g) RJ's licorice (or other soft eating licorice), diced into small cubes
1/4 small bunch chopped herbs (chervil, chives or parsley)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 knobs butter
Prawn Bisque from One Perfect Ingredient
Begin by blanching the carrots in boiling, salted water until just firm to the bite.
Cool under running water then strain and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium sized non stick frypan over a moderate to high heat.
Season each piece of trout, top and bottom, and place into the hot pan. Turn the heat down a little and allow the trout to colour slightly on one side.
Carefully turn each piece over then remove the pan from the heat and allow the trout to finish cooking from the residual heat in the pan.
Place a medium sized frying pan on the heat with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
When hot quickly cook the baby gem until just wilted, season and place in the centre of each serving plate.
Place that pan back on the heat and add the butter and the carrots.
Season, then add the licorice and cook until hot. Mix in the herbs then spoon around the baby gem in each serving plate.
Place a piece of sea trout on top of the baby gem then gently pour over the hot Prawn Bisque, recipe found in One perfect Ingredient (buzzed with a stick blender if you have one). Serve immediately.
Whenever I visit Manchester I try and stay at The Lowry Hotel and I was delighted when they won the award for best hotel at The Northern Restaurant Awards, linked to the show and held at The Lowry! Also good to see one of my suppliers win a lifetime achievement award – well done Reg!
There are a few other things coming up in relation to the book; a serialisation in Stella Magazine, the Sunday Telegraph glossy, some potential TV appearances on This Morning with Angela Hartnett on 18th April, Borders TV on 21st April and Saturday Kitchen with James Martin on 3rd May and various radio interviews.