Caper butter


Unsalted butter 

Capers - drained and washed in cold water.

Juice of 1 lemon plus finely grated zest

Chopped flat leaf parsley


Put capers, lemon and parsley in a blender and whiz until mixed and capers are chopped, then add butter and mix together.

Mix should go a green colour.

Then place on grease proof paper and form into a roll, put in fridge to set.

Best served as a slice on top of fish or vegetables, can also be melted in a pan at the last minute.

Recipe from Tony Keane

Caper oil    

To drizzle on skate wing or decorate the plate for serving


Capers well drained from the vinegar

Good quality olive oil 

French parsley (blanch for bright green sauce) roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lemon 


Place all the ingredients in a food processor, or in a bowl for processing with a hand held mixer.

Combine until well mixed and a good green colour.

Drain through a sieve to produce a smooth glossy oil.

Keep in a jar in the fridge.

Use within 2 weeks.

Recipe from Tony Keane

Cod caramba

This colourful Mexican standard fish recipe is simple to prepare and is a lovely warming family supper dish.
Cod is now available and is often on special offer as it has a bigger quota and is no longer on the sustainable fish to be avoided list. 
Pollack, ling or coley will be just as good and still cheaper!


450g/1lb cod fillets or pollack, coley or any inexpensive white fish
225g/8oz smoked cod or any smoked white fish-pollack, haddock or whiting
300g fish or vegetable stock
50g/2oz butter
1 onion sliced
2 garlic cloves-crushed
1 green +1 red pepper-diced
2 courgettes -diced
115g/40z sweetcorn-can or frozen
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Tabasco sauce
Salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper

For topping

75g tortilla chips and 50g/2oz grated cheddar cheese
Coriander sprigs and lime wedges to serve.


Lay the fish in a shallow pan and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 8-10 minutes only and then turn off the heat and leave to cool. Then drain and remove skin and separate the flesh into large flakes. Keep hot.

Fry the onion and garlic in the butter, cook gently until soft and add peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the courgettes and cook for 3 minutes more.

Stir in the corn and tomatoes, add lime juice and tabasco to taste. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cook for 2 minutes. To heat through the corn and tomatoes, then stir in the fish and transfer to a heatproof dish-suitable to heat under the grill.

Preheat the grill. Make the topping by crushing the tortilla chips then mixing with grated cheese. Add cayenne pepper to taste and sprinkle over the fish mixture.

Place under the grill until the topping is crisp and brown.
Garnish with coriander sprigs and lime wedges.

Pollack wrapped in parma ham

This is a fantastic quick and easy dish or you can make small wraps on cocktail sticks to eat with drinks.


4x140g pollack or any cheap white fillet

4 sage leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4 slices of parma/serrano ham.

2 tbsp olive oil 


Place a sage leaf on each portion of fish.

Season and wrap each fish in a ham slice.


Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pan fry the fish for 2-3minutes on each side until the ham is crisp.

Serve with potatoes rough crushed with olive oil and chopped rosemary, green beans or cabbage such as kale or spring greens.

Or alternatively cut each fillet in 2 or 3 and wrap in ham and serve on a cocktail stick with drinks.

Greek baked hake or pollack with tomatoes and feta

Ingredients for 4 people

4 skinless pollack fillets or skinned hake pieces

2/3 ripe large tomatoes

125g feta cheese

1 large lemon

A good pinch of herbs or fresh chopped herbs

Olive oil

Freshly ground pepper


Preheat your oven to 200C/ gas 6

De-seed the tomatoes by cutting in half and scooping out the seeds with a spoon or sharp knife. Chop the remaining tomato flesh into small chunks and out to one side.

Finely grate the lemon rind and save the zest.

Place the pollack fillets/hake pieces in a lightly oiled dish, leaving a good space in between each.

Drizzle a little olive oil over each fillet. Season with pepper and add a pinch of dried herbs or fresh chopped herbs.

Crumble the feta cheese over the fish, add a sprinkle of lemon zest to the feta then finish off with a squeeze of a lemon juice and a final drizzle of olive oil.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the feta is soft and a little golden.

Serve immediately with mashed potatoes.

Recipe from SEAFISH “Fish is the dish” family cookbook

Clovelly herring and apple bake



4-6 herrings, filleted

3 onions
1 cox apple, peeled, cored and sliced
6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
25 g butter
300ml milk
120ml cream



Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 5.

Sauté the onions in the butter. Grease a large oven proof dish.

Put a layer of potatoes in the dish followed by a layer of onion, then herring, then apple, then potato again.

Season each layer as you add them to the dish.

Continue until you have used up all the ingredients ensuring that you finish with potatoes.

Mix together the milk and cream and pour over.

Bake for 60-90 minutes, depending on the depth of the dish.

Serve as a tasty autumn supper dish.


Recipe supplied by Ann Burnham for Herring Lunch, Appledore 2012


Marinated baked huss


650g/1lb 6oz huss skinned or large white fish fillets skinned

Fine semolina
Plain flour

Vegetable oil for frying

The marinade

225ml/8floz white wine vinegar

150ml/5floz water
I tbsp dried oregano

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp salt


First soak huss in cold water for 2 hours.-this makes the flesh white.

Drain fish and mix together marinade ingredients in a deep bowl.

Immerse the fish and leave for 6/8hrs in the fridge-the marinade will have time to work though all the fish.

Mix 2 cups of semolina and 1 cup of plain flour and spread on a plate.

Take fish out of the marinade and shake off excess.

Roll in the semolina mixture until coated thoroughly.

Fry for 2 minutes on all sides to seal and place on a baking tray.

Bake for 8/10 a hot oven until crisp.

Eat piping hot.

Serves 4.

Purple kale and potato back/Jenson's temptations


1 large purple /green kale
2 onions
4/6 potatoes
4/6 rashers bacon sliced /300gms bacon pieces
25g/1oz butter
300ml/ ½ pint milk
120ml/1/3 pint cream.
Pepper and salt
Parsley to garnish


Pre heat oven to 200 C/gas 6.

Slice kale and onions-saute onions in half the butter, season.

Grease deep ovenproof dish. Put sliced potatoes in bottom layer and add sliced kale, onions and bacon.

Season each layer with pepper. Finish with a neat layer of potatoes.

Pour over half the cream/milk and cook for 20 mins.

Add remaining milk and some knobs of butter and return to oven, turn down to 180C/Gas5 or cover with foil for 30/40mins.Remove foil to brown top.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley if liked.

To make “Jenson’s Temptation” to serve with a platter of hot smoked fish

Add 12 Anchovy Fillets instead of bacon and kale.

Demonstrated on 10 November 2014 at Cooking up a treat in the Tamar valley

Ro Day's smoked salmon paté


200/250gms smoked salmon trimmings
50/75gms unsalted butter or 4 tbsp ground nut oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbspdouble cream
Freshly ground black pepper


Mince smoked salmon trimmings and all other ingredients in a food processor for 5 mins.
Do not blend too finely.
Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

This is a favourite recipe for New Years Eve dinner/celebrations.
Thank you Ro for all your work as Brilliant Fish chairman from June 2012 to December 2013!

Calamari with two tomato stuffing

For cooking on the BBQ or in the oven!

Serves 4


500gms baby squid
1 clove garlic
3 plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
4tbsp chopped fresh basil
4tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
3tbsp olive oil
1tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
lemon juice, to serve


Clean the squid and chop off the tentacles and keep to add to the stuffing.

Soak the cocktail sticks in cold water before use.

Mix together the garlic, chopped plum tomatoes, chopped sundried tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Stir in the salt and pepper and chopped tentacles. Stir in 1 tbsp. of oil and the vinegar.

With a teaspoon fill the main part of the squid. Secure with the soaked cocktail sticks.

Brush the squid with the remaining oil and cook over a medium - hot BBQ for 4-5 minutes turning often or bake in a medium - hot oven-6/7 gas 200/220C for 10 mins.

Sprinkle with lemon juice and extra basil to serve.

Fresh mackerel pickled in fennel


4 whole really fresh mackerel-filleted
Salt and sugar
Fennel-growing locally June-August
Horseradish and crème fraiche for sauce


Fillet mackerel. Remove all pin bones.

Make up mixture of equal parts salt and sugar. Add plenty of chopped fennel.

Put all fillets in glass or pottery bowl rub with pickle mixture. Cover and leave in the fridge for 24hrs.

Wash of sugar and salt mixture add fresh chopped fennel to the flesh side.

Leave to chill in the fridge.

Cut mackerel fillets into thin slices.

Mix horseradish with crème fraiche to taste.

Serve fish with sauce for a starter or lunch.

used in Shebbear WI session 9th July 2014

Smoked mackerel and Tamar apple paté


250g hot smoked whole mackerel
100g cream cheese
1 tbsp crème fraiche
1 tbsp cider vinegar and or 1tbsp apple juice if sweetness preferred
Chopped chives and ground black pepper


Take mackerel flesh from fish carefully removing all bones and flake in a bowl.

Add cream cheese, crème fraiche, and mix.

Add cider vinegar and /or apple juice to taste.

Mix in chopped chives and season with black pepper.

Chill in ‘fridge before serving with hot toast or biscuits

This can be kept for 3/4days covered with cling film in a refrigerator.


An original Brilliant Fish recipe-specially developed for the Trio of Chefs cookery demonstration on 23 February 2014 & demonstrated at cooking up a Treat in the Tamar Valley -10 November 2014

Smoked mackerel pate with shallots and herbs-Mrs. Beeton’s recipe


350g skinned smoked mackerel fillets
50g melted butter
3 shallots finely chopped
75g tomato purée
1 tsp brown sugar
Juice of half lemon
1 tsp fresh basil and tarragon
Tabasco sauce - a few drops to taste
100ml double cream
Fresh herbs to garnish



Cook the shallots in the melted butter, cook gently until softened.

Add tomato purée, sugar, lemon juice and herbs and cook gently for 4-5 mins.

Add the tabasco sauce and then cool.

Mix mackerel, cool sauce and cream and blend until smooth.

Turn into individual dishes or mould and chill.

Cover with clarified butter, leave to go firm. Garnish and serve with hot toast.

Smoked mackerel, greek yoghurt and tomato paté - school’s favourite


250g smoked mackerel fillets, skinned
I small pot natural or greek yoghurt
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Black pepper to taste


In a large bowl flake the mackerel with a fork.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Serve on savoury biscuits or hot toast.

A favourite recipe at St Mary’s Primary School, Bideford sessions last year

Smoked mackerel paté with fruit - served in oranges or with pear

Smoked Mackerel Orange pots


350g smoked mackerel –fillets or whole
Cayenne pepper
150ml soured cream
5ml/1tsp orange zest
100g cream cheese
2tbsp orange juice
25g butter at room temperature
4 large half orange shells (chilled)
50g cream cheese
1 small bay leaves to garnish


Strip away the mackerel skin and finely flake the flesh discarding any small bones.

Put the soured cream, cream cheese, softened butter and flaked mackerel into a blender and blend until the mixture forms a soft paste, scraping the sides of the container.

Season to taste with cayenne pepper and add the orange zest and a few drops of juice, blend again, add a little more orange juice and blend until all orange juice is incorporated.

Cut a thin slice from the base of each orange so that they can stand up. Spoon in the paté and shape it into a mound at the top.

Loosely cover the filled orange shells and chill. Stick a bay leaf into the top of each mound of paté before serving.


Smoked mackerel and pear paté


1 pack smoked mackerel fillets-plain or peppered
1 small tin of pears in natural juice.


Skin smoked mackerel fillets and check for bones.

Put mackerel and drained pears in the food processor and blend until smooth, add juice if required.

Garnish with lemon wedges, chill in fridge and serve with brown bread.

Two retro recipes from the 1980’s! - Fruit is good with fish so worth a try!!
demonstrated at cooking up a Treat in the Tamar Valley -10 November 2014

Soused fresh mackerel (also herrings and sardines)


8 cleaned mackerel
8 bay leaves
20 black peppercorns
1tbsp brown sugar
Equal parts of white vinegar and cold tea or cider vinegar



Lay gutted and boned fish with a bay leaf inside each fish side by side in an oven proof dish.

Sprinkle over the brown sugar and peppercorns evenly and pour over the liquor.

Cover with foil and bake in a moderate oven -350 gas 5 for about 50 mins.

Leave to go cold in the juice which will be slightly jellied.

Serve as a starter or a light supper.


A traditional recipe and very useful if you have lots of fish in season

Mackerel Gravalax with fennel (Gravad Macks) - Totnes chef recipe


16 fillets of mackerel
Mixture of salt and sugar
Chopped fennel tops - freshly picked

To serve.- Sauce made from creamed horseradish and crème fraiche



Place mackerel fillets with all bones removed in a ceramic bowls.

Mix up enough mixture to rub on all the fillets generously and cover.

Chill in the fridge for 24 hours.

Cover again with freshly chopped fennel for another 24 hours.

Cut thinly and serve with the sauce and thin brown bread.


A brand new recipe- well received in Totnes restaurant

Smoked mackerel dip


225g smoked mackerel fillets-skinned
115g fromage frais or natural yoghurt
1tsp creamed horseradish

1tsp fresh chopped dill or parsley
Black pepper to taste


Flake the fillets of  mackerel with a fork.

Beat in the remaining ingredients until well blended.

Serve as filler for baked potatoes, sandwiches or a dip with breadsticks or chopped raw vegetables.


This is a recipe from Sea Fish and is a good basic recipe for mackerel pate or dip

Lapland fish pot


40g butter
1 tsp fennel seeds

3 bay leaves

3 celery sticks, thinly sliced

1 onion, diced

4 carrots, thinly sliced

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice

Sea salt and pepper

150ml dry white wine

300g trout or salmon fillets, skinned

300g pollack fillets, skinned

200ml double cream

Fresh dill, chopped


Slowly melt butter in medium saucepan, adding fennel and bay leaves.

Add vegetables, turn up heat a little. Sweat them with lid on, stirring occasionally until soft but not coloured.

Season well, add wine and replace lid. Simmer until potatoes are just cooked.

Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and carefully add to pan, gently mix fish with vegetables. Add water to cover, bring to a simmer and cook until fish turns opaque, about 4 minutes.

Drain out some of the vegetable water.

Pour in cream and stir gently.

Check seasoning, scatter dill and serve at once.

Adapted from The good Table by Valentine Warner

Smoked mackerel cassoulet

Serves 4


455g smoked mackerel fillets, plain or peppered, fresh or defrosted skinned and cubes
1tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

400g can chopped tomatoes

1tbsp tomato puree

1tsp red wine vinegar

Pinch sugar

Bay leaf

Salt and black pepper

455-670g mixed beans, cooked or canned e.g. Red kidney, borlotto etc

Fresh parsley, chopped


Heat oil in large pan and cook onion and garlic until soft and transparent.

Stir in tomatoes, puree, vinegar, sugar and bay leaf. Bring to boil.

Season and stir in beans, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Stir in fish, cover and cook until piping hot-about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty French bread.


Cullen skink


450g smoked haddock, pollack or whiting, skin on

1 medium onion finely chopped
225g chopped leeks

50g butter

225g peeled diced potatoes

600ml milk

3 tbsp double cream

Salt & pepper

1 bay leaf

Chopped parsley 


Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until just tender, drain and place to one side.

In a separate pan, place the smoked fish with the bay leaf, cover with the milk, bring slowly up to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.

Remove the fish, discard the bay leaf and retain the cooking liquor, when the fish is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones and flake the haddock into small pieces.

Meanwhile in another pan, melt the butter and add the chopped onion and leeks.

Fry gently for 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft but not coloured.

Add the milk to the onions and simmer gently for a minute or two, add the cooked potatoes to the milk and onions and continue simmering for a few minutes.

Using the back of a fork, press about half the potatoes against the side of the pan until they break up, this will thicken the soup; leave some of the potatoes whole as this will add a nice textured contrast to the finished soup.

Add the flaked smoked fish to the milk and potatoes and gently simmer for 3-4 minutes.

To finish the soup stir in the cream, the soup should have a really rich creamy consistency, check the soup for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste and serve in warmed bowls with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley on top.

Cullen Skink is a traditional Scottish fish soup. There are many variations of this classic soup, but this is based on the original and traditional recipe. Cullen is a small fishing village on the Moray Firth in North East Scotland from where this recipe originates, Skink is a Gaelic work meaning 'essence' but now more commonly referred to as soup, stew or a broth.

This wonderful filling soup is regularly served at our Brilliant Fish autumn and winter events. Also cooked and enjoyed on the Petroc College course this October 2013.

Kipper or mackerel cakes

Serves 4


455g kipper or smoked mackerel fillets, fresh or defrosted, skinned
! egg, beaten

Worcestershire sauce

170g fresh breadcrumbs




Preheat grill.

Place fillets into a food processor or blender. Process or blend until finely flaked.

Stir in egg, dash Worcestershire sauce and breadcrumbs.

Divide mixture into 8 pieces and shaped into 5cm rounds. Chill for 10-15 minutes.

Cook under low grill for 8-10 minutes turning once.

Garnish with lemon and serve with salad and tomato and onion relish.

Excellent breakfast dish, recipe from Seafood Kitchen.

Sardines with redcurrants

Serves 4



455g fresh sardines, fresh or defrosted, cleaned and heads removed

2 x 15ml spoon (2 tbsp) redcurrant jelly
Grated rind 1 lemon

2 x 15ml spoon medium dry sherry

Salt and black pepper

Fresh chopped parsley

Lemon wedges

Salad to serve



Preheat grill or barbeque.

In a small bowl mix redcurrant jelly, lemon rind and sherry.

Make several diagonal cuts across the flesh of each fish and season with salt and pepper.

Brush redcurrant mixture over the skin of the fish and inside cavity.

Cook on a prepared grill or barbeque for 8-10 minutes, turning once and basting occasionally with any remaining mixture.

Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Serve with crisp salad and fresh crusty bread.


Cooked and enjoyed at Petroc College course October 2013, recipe from Seafish.

Mackerel with apricots

Serves 4


4 x 170g mackerel fillets, fresh or frozen

115g fresh apricots or 1 x 227g can apricots in natural juice, drained and finely chopped
2 x 15ml spoon (2 tbsp) fresh chopped dill

Lemon juice

1 x 15ml spoon (1 tbsp) honey or apricot jam

Sprig dill to garnish



Preheat grill or barbecue.

If using fresh apricots, cut in half and remove stone, roughly chop and cook in 30-45ml (2-3tbsp) water for 2-3 minutes or until slightly soft.

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the fish and cook for about 5 minutes under hot grill or barbecue. (If barbecuing lay the fish onto foil to protect against heat).

Brush with apricot jam or honey.

Mix the dill into the chopped apricots and spoon over the fish.

Cook for further 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with sprig of dill and with new potatoes and mixed greens.

A very quick recipe from Seafish cooked and enjoyed at Petroc College course 2013.

Baked mackerel with caramelised apple and cider sauce

Serves 4


2 x 170g mackerel fillets

30g butter
150ml dry cider
1 dessert apple, thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1 x 15ml (1tbsp) crème fraiche
Mange tout



Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas mark 4.

Place fish onto baking tray.

Combine melted butter, two thirds of the cider and the apple.

Pour over the fish, arranging some of the apple slices on top of the fish and sprinkle with thyme.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until apples have begun to caramelise.

Heat remaining cider in small pan, simmer for 2-3 minutes until syrupy and whisk in crème fraiche.

Serve fish with sauce, mange tout and potatoes.

A Brilliant Fish favourite recipe, demonstrated  at several RHS Garden Rosemoor Apple Days.

Adapted from The Seafood Kitchen simple recipe range.

Spicy crab cakes

Serves 4


150g potatoes peeled
250g crab meat

3 spring onions sliced

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

½ red pepper de-seeded and finely chopped

Grated zest and juice of ½ lime

1 tablespoon chopped coriander


Salt & pepper


Boil the potatoes, drain and leave to cool.

Place remaining ingredients except oil in a bowl.

Grate potatoes when cool into bowl, mix well and shape into 8 crab cakes.

Place cakes on plate or tray and chill for 20 minutes.

Cook cake in oiled non-stick frying pan for 3-4 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Recipe served at the Brilliant Fish Lunch in Appledore, summer 2011

Buttered crab

Serves 6


2 large boiled crabs
2 anchovy fillets
1 cup white breadcrumbs

Pinch nutmeg
½ pint white wine

Salt and white pepper
3 tablespoons melted butter

Slices buttered toast


Mash anchovy fillets and work in with breadcrumbs and nutmeg.

Add wine and season.

Put mixture in pan and bring gently to a boil, simmer for 5 mins.

Flake the meat from the crabs, mmix with melted butter and add to the hot wine mixture.

Cook gently for 4 mins, arrange on a hot serving dish surrounded by strips of buttered toast and serve with salad.

Traditional recipe

Crab and courgette tart

Serves 4-6


200g plain flour
Pinch salt

125g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2 medium egg yolks
15-30ml or 1-2 tablespoons ice cold water
Or pre-prepared short crust pastry

For the filling

200ml milk
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
200ml double cream
2 pinches grated nutmeg
2-4 courgettes, yellow and green
170g fresh white crab meat
125g gruyere cheese, grated
Salt and pepper


Put flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add egg yolks and water and process until dough is formed.

Remove dough, wrap in cling film and shill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 2000C/4000F/Gas mark 6.

Roll out pastry on to a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 23cm round, fluted, loose-based tart tin. Prick the base with a fork, line base and sides with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.

Bake pastry case blind for 15 minutes. Remove lining and beans.

Mix together milk, eggs, cream and nutmeg. Season.

Coarsely grate courgettes and add to cream mixture.

Stir in crab and spoon filling into pastry case.

Sprinkle over the cheese and bake for about 25 minutes until filling is just set and surface golden brown.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a mixed leaf salad and chopped tomatoes dressed with olive oil and basil leaves.


Adapted from a traditional Italian recipe

Excellent recipe demonstrated by Felicity Sylvester by at Brixham Fishstock 2013

Buttered lobster

Serves 4


2 medium lobsters boiled
1½ oz butter

2 table spoons double cream

Browned breadcrumbs for topping


Cut lobsters in half lengthwise.

Remove all meat from shells and claws and cut into chunky pieces.

Scrub empty shells, set aside and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add lobster meat and toss until heated through.

Spoon meat into warmed shells.

Stir cream into pan juice, pour warm sauce over lobsters and sprinkle with oven-browned breadcrumbs.

Serve hot at once on a bed of lettuce with new potatoes buttered and garnished with chopped parsley.

Traditional Recipe see poem from Alice in Wonderland!

Quickie lobster bisque

For the stock
Lobster shells 2-4 and any carcass remains
I onion
I carrot
I celery stick
1 bay leaf
I tsp peppercorns

I dessert spoon tomato paste, tomato sauce or ketchup
I dessert spoon brandy

Chop vegetables and slowly sauté in olive oil.

Break up lobster shells and put into pan with 2 pints of water, vegetables, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and simmer for ½ hour.

This stock can be frozen.

Roux sauce
Melt 1 oz butter and add a pinch of salt with 1 dessert spoon of cornflour.

Blend using a whisk then add stock slowly to form soup-do not boil.

Add tomato paste (or ketchup) and brandy.
When all is mixed together pour into bowls and add a swirl of cream and parsley.

Recipe demonstrated by Viv Foster in the Brilliant Fish demonstration area at Clovelly Crab and Lobster Feast 2012

Lobster mojo de ajo

Serves 2-4


1 900g lobster

Mojo de ajo sauce

Large bulb garlic
125 ml light olive oil
2 plump chipotle chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 large lime
Flaked sea salt

Lime wedges

Method for the sauce

Peel garlic and chop medium-fine.

Put in small sauce pan, cover with oil, bring oil to gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 mins-garlic is ready when it turns ivory in colour.

Add chopped chillies, lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt.

Cook the lobster

Hypnotise lobster – see video Hypnotising a Lobster – and boil for 5 minutes less than weight, or 10 minutes less for 1½ lobster.

Cut lobster in half and remove green parts inside head and keep to make a rich mayonnaise with lemon juice.

Use a rolling pin or large kitchen knife crack the claws and leave shell on.

Put lobster in a large oven proof oval dish, spoon half the sauce over the tail meat ensuring you get lots of garlic and chillie from the bottom and bake in hot oven for 5-10 minutes. Serve remaining sauce separately

Garnish empty head cavity with coriander and put lime wedges on the top for squeezing.

Serve with cold beer.

Brilliant Fish recipe and method adapted from Valentine Warner’s ”What to eat now more please!”
This is the recipe demonstrated by Valentine and Felicity Sylvester on the BBC2 Cookery programme.


Red gurnard with celery and apple

*Gurnard is available all year but needs to be well filleted because of its small pin bones. It has a good flavour and is quite firm, its pinky red skin looks good with this sauce.

Serves 4


4 red gurnard filleted
3 celery sticks thinly sliced
2 apples chopped into small chunks
4 spring onions chopped
25g/1oz butter

275ml/10fl oz single cream
1 tbsp French flat leaf parsley chopped
1 tbsp chopped walnuts for decoration



Preheat oven to 230C, Gas mark 8.

Butter an ovenproof dish. Place in it gurnard fillet, sprinkle with celery, apple and spring onions.

Pour over single cream, cover with foil and put into oven.

Cook for 10 mins, uncover and cook for further 5 mins.

Decorate with parsley and walnuts.

Serve with broccoli and mashed potatoes sprinkled with parsley.

 Rosemary baked mackerel

Chairman's October Autumn Choice.

Serves 4


4 x 170g/6oz mackerel fillets, fresh or defrosted
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped
300ml/10 fl oz fish or chicken stock
Rosemary sprig
Salt and pepper
Worcestershire sauce



Preheat oven to 190C, Gas mark 5.

Place onion, apple, tomatoes and stock into a saucepan. Add rosemary, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Fold fish in half with skin side out and place in ovenproof dish.

Pour sauce over fish, cover with foil and bake for 20-25 mins.

Serve hot with boiled rice and rocket salad.


Smoked trout paté

St Mellion School    16th June, 2011

(Also works with smoked mackerel)

Smoked trout comes in many guises – some a bit dull and obvious.  This lovely recipe is neither!  It’s from River Cottage refugee Emma Miles, who now cooks at the Clerkenwell Kitchen in London.


250g hot-smoked trout fillet
2 teaspoons freshly grated horseradish root or horseradish sauce

1 tablespoon crème fra

1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice – or to taste
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
A handful of dill (or chives), finely chopped
½ teaspoon paprika
1 small raw beetroot, peeled and cut into matchsticks, to serve (optional)


Put half the trout in a food processor with the horseradish, crème fraîche, sugar and lemon juice and blend until smooth.

Break up the remaining fish into flakes and stir into the blended mixture with the pepper and dill.  Add more lemon juice to taste, if necessary.

Serve the paté on buttered rye bread.  Sprinkle with paprika and accompany, if you like, with the beetroot matchsticks.

Coley korma

Cornish Fish Lunch   Launceston, June 2011

There’s loads of Coley (which is also known as saithe and coalfish) in the sea. 
Looks-wise it’s more of an ivory colour than the snow white you’re used to but it’s beautiful, absolutely delicious, sweet, meaty, and melts in the mouth. Funnily enough cats have been enjoying it for years – lucky things – and sadly a lot of it is thrown overboard as bycatch. Coley is really versatile, Coley is often half the price of cod so you can feed twice as many people, or just save yourself loads of money.


2 heaped tablespoons Patak’s korma paste 
4 x 180g coley fillets, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
olive oil
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
½ x 400ml tin low-fat coconut milk
a few sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
½-1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced 
1 lemon, cut into wedges

for the rice
1 cup basmati rice 
sea salt


Normally you’d start cooking a fillet of fish skin-side down, but in this case, it's  flesh-side down here to really encrust the fish and get those flavours going. Korma is mild enough for kids to eat too and when something tastes this good, you’d be mad not to try it. 

Add the rice to a small pan with 2 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil on a high heat then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave for 7 to 8 minutes. 

Put a large frying pan on a medium heat. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1 heaped tablespoon of the korma paste all over the flesh side of the fish fillets. Add a lug of olive oil to the hot pan, then add the coley, flesh-side down. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning halfway when you’ve got some colour.

Check your rice – all of the water should have been absorbed by now so fluff it up with a fork and take it off the heat. Pop the lid back on so it stays warm. 

Turn the heat under the fish up to high and throw in the greener half of your sliced spring onions. Stir in the remaining korma paste, coconut milk, coriander stalks and most of the fresh chilli. Let it bubble away for a couple of minutes until the fish is starting to flake apart. Taste your sauce and add a squeeze of lemon juice if it needs it.

Divide the rice between your plates then top each portion with a piece of coley. Pour the sauce over the top then scatter over the reserved spring onions, chilli and coriander leaves. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over

Mediterranean dab

Dab is from the beautiful flatfish family – it’s flaky, sweet, juicy and delicious and is similar to lemon sole. Virtually all dab caught – around 96% – gets thrown back into the sea, dead. I think that’s an unforgivable waste. If we could all start eating dab now and then, it would really help ease the pressure currently on the big five: cod, haddock, prawns, salmon and tuna. But unfortunately, it’s not easy to get at the moment because it’s all being thrown back, so we need to start asking for it. Let’s create a demand and get it in the shops!


2 x whole dab, skin on and gutted
Olive oil

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford
1 tablespoon pine nuts
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon
8 cherry tomatoes, on the vine, halved or quartered
a small handful of black olives, stone in
2 large handfuls of interesting salad leaves, such as rocket, radicchio and chicory, washed and spun dry
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil


Don’t be nervous about cooking fish on the bone. It makes the flesh juicer and more succulent, and gives it another dimension of flavour you just can’t get with fillets. 

Use a small sharp knife to score the dab at 2cm intervals on both sides. Add a splash of olive oil to a large pan on a high heat. Add the bacon and pine nuts and cook for a couple of minutes, or until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, scatter a pinch of salt and pepper over the fish. Sprinkle over a little of the chopped parsley and finely grate over the zest of ½ a lemon. Rub that flavouring into the fish, making sure you get it into all the cuts. Repeat on the other side.

Tip the bacon and pine nuts onto a plate, add another splash of oil to the pan if you need to, followed by the dab, skin-side down. You may need to cook them in 2 batches or use 2 pans. After a couple of minutes, check to see if the fish are turning golden, and once they are, flip them over. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the olives and remaining parsley. Give the pan a good shake, then add the bacon and pine nuts.

Quickly dress your salad leaves with a lug of balsamic, the juice of ½ a lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper and a couple of lugs of extra virgin olive oil. Use your clean fingers to toss it all together.

Cook the fish for about 6 or 7 minutes in total. To tell if it’s cooked, put your fork into the plumpest part of the flesh and if you can easily pull it away from the bone, it’s ready. Squeeze over the juice from your remaining lemon half, give the pan one last quick shake then take off the heat and serve with the salad on the side. You could have it with new 
potatoes too, if you like.

Served at Cornish Fish Lunch   Launceston, June 2011

Smoked trout paté rolled with roasted hazelnuts, walnuts & parsley

Serves 4-6


2 pk or 4 fillets of smoked trout (or smoked fish of your choice)
1oz finely chopped hazelnuts
1oz finely chopped walnuts
1oz mixed nuts
Chopped fresh parsley
2oz double cream


Retain ¼ of trout fillet strips for centre of roll.

Mix or chop remainder of smoked trout.  Season with  black pepper.

Place mixture onto board.  Make well in centre. 

Add whisked cream to centre well.
Mix together by hand to form a dough-like consistency, or mix together in a bowl.

Flatten mixture and place whole fillets in the centre.  Form into a roll.
Spread chopped parsley (chopped into a cup with scissors) mixed with chopped nuts on a large piece of greaseproof paper and then roll fish into this.

Twist up ends of greaseproof paper to keep the roll tight and chill in the fridge for ½ to 1 hour.
Slice and serve as required.

*To slice thinly place in freezer for 10-20 minutes prior to slicing.


Makes good starters – fatter roll , thick slice or thin longer roll sliced thinly for canapés on small biscuits.

Served at Cornish Fish Lunch   Launceston, June 2011

Home made crabcakes with a hot blackened salsa

Serves 6

Crab is an incredible and completely underrated shellfish and in the UK you can buy blue, snow, spider and brown crabs in supermarkets and fishmongers.  You can either buy crab live, picked or picked and then cooked in lovely little shells.  When you’re cooking, it’s great to have a mixture of the white and the brown meat – the white meat gives you a texture and sweetness and you get good attitude and a nice roundness of flavour from the brown.


500g potatoes, peeled and larger ones halved
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
500g mixed white and brown crab meat (2:1 brown to white)
2 lemons
A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ a fresh red chilli
3 spring onions, trimmed


For the salsa .....
1 red pepper, quartered and deseeded
10 cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 fresh red chilli, halved lengthways and deseeded
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A few sprigs of fresh basil


Add the potatoes to a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.  Meanwhile, blacken the pepper, tomatoes and chilli in a large frying pan on a high heat with a small splash of olive oil then leave to cool.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave to steam dry for a few minutes then return to the pan.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the crab meat then mash with a potato masher.  Finely grate the zest of a lemon onto a board, add the parsley, chilli and spring onions and chop it all together, mixing it as you go, until fine.  Scrape this into the pan of crab mixture and mash again until well combined.  Divide into 12 portions then shape, pat and hug each one into a patty.  Pop into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight, to firm up.

When you’re ready to cook, add a splash of olive oil to a large frying pan on a high heat.  Add half of the patties and cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway or until golden, crisp and cooked through – then repeat with the second batch. 

Meanwhile, chop the blackened veg with the sliced spring onion as coarsely or as finely as you like.  Have a taste then add a pinch of salt or pepper, the extra virgin olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon.  Pick and add the basil leaves, discarding the stalks.  Chop again until you are happy with the consistency.

To serve, lay the crab cakes out on a platter and top with tha delicious salsa.  Serve with a simple lemony dressed rocket salad and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Served at Cornish Fish Lunch   Launceston, June 2011

Stuffed Trout

Serves 4-6

This has been recognised by English experts as a New Zealand speciality – perhaps because our trout reach a much larger size and so are more suitable for this kind of treatment!

While the phrase ‘The Angler’s Eldorado’ (coined by the American writer Zane Grey) may have become rather worn out in recent years, New Zealand still fits the description.  Many lakes and rivers, most notably Lake Taupo, are internationally famous for their brown and rainbow trout.  Quinnat salmon are also present in some South Island waters and although not abundant in the wild, they are becoming more available through being farmed.  All these fish were introduced last century from the northern hemisphere.  New Zealand boasts the southern hemisphere’s only wild salmon stock.

Both trout and salmon are rich fish with beautifully pink to orange flesh, suitable for all types of cooking.  Trout smoked with manuka (tea tree) sawdust is a New Zealand classic.  Salmon too is excellent smoked.  Salmon has a stronger flavour and more dense texture than trout.


1 large trout, about 2kg or 2lb trout
½ C Sherry
2 T butter
1 small onion, finely diced
90gm fresh breadcrumbs
½ 1 salt
Pinch pepper
½ T chopped parsley
Pinch thyme
Pinch sage
½ C milk


Make a small incision along the belly of the trout and remove entrails.  Wash and dry fish, place in a plastic bag and pour in sherry.  Tie up bag and leave in refrigerator overnight.

Bone trout before stuffing.

Melt butter and fry onion until soft but not brown.  Combine with breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme and sage.  Add 2 T of the sherry used to marinate the trout.  Stuff the gut cavity with this mixture and secure with skewers if you wish (this is not usually necessary).

Pour milk over the fish and bake in a covered oven dish (or in tinfoil) at 180 deg C (350 deg F) for 50-60 minutes.  Serve hot or cold.

Served at Cornish Fish Lunch   Launceston, June 2011


In a traditional bouillabaisse, the fish is drained and then the broth and fish are served separately.  This simplified version serves the whole lot in a bowl, keeping the flavours intensely mingled.  Spoon aїoli or rouille (or broth) on to the toast for floating on the soup and absorbing all the fabulous flavours.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Serves 4-6


1kg (2lb) mixed fish fillets (such as monkfish, haddock, cod, hake, mullet, bream, gurnard and conger eel)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 small leeks, sliced
2 pared strips orange rind
2 celery sticks, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons Pernod (optional)
400g (13oz) tomatoes, skinned and chopped
8 shelled scallops
250g (8oz) whole raw prawns, crayfish or langoustines
Salt and pepper

To serve:

Toasted baguette slices
Aїoli or Rouille


Cut the fish into small portions.  The skin can be removed from the white fish but leave it on red mullet (if used) for colour.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and leeks for 5 minutes.

Add the orange rind, celery and garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.  Stir in the saffron and Pernod (if used) and cover with 1.5 litres (2½ pints) water.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Lower the fish and tomatoes into the pan and cook briefly until opaque.  Add the scallops and shellfish and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Use a large slotted spoon to ladle the fish and vegetables into warm soup bowls.  Boil the broth to reduce it slightly, season to taste and ladle it over the fish.  Serve with the toasted baguette slices topped with Aїoli or Rouille.


Served at Appledore Summer Festival workshop/supper June 2011

Clam chowder

A kilo of clams provides surprisingly little meat but the pronounced flavour, combined with the salt pork, makes a rich hearty soup that’s good as a starter – or, in larger portions, as a main course.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves 4


1kg (2lb) clams, cleaned
200g (7oz) salt pork, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
15g (½oz) butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
350g (11½oz) potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
150ml (¼ pint) single cream


Bring 150ml (¼ pint) water to the boil in a saucepan.  Add the clams, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the shells have opened.   Drain, reserving the cooking juices and discard any that remain closed.  Remove the flesh from the shells and chop it into small pieces.

Put the pork and onion in a large saucepan with a knob of butter and fry gently for 10 minutes or until browned.  Stir in the remaining butter until melted.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the clam cooking juices and 450ml (¾ pint) water, the tomatoes, potatoes and bay leaves.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and cook very gently for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in the clams and parsley and cook very gently for a further 2 minutes.  Add the Tabasco sauce and cream, heat through and serve.

Served at Appledore Summer Festival workshop/supper June 2011

Shellfish Laksa

A laksa is an Asian one-pot dish of seafood and noodles in a spicy coconut broth.  This version makes a great supper dish – or you can serve smaller portions as an appetite-stimulating starter.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 4


1 hot red chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 stalk of lemon grass, thinly sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
50g (2oz) fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
50g (2oz) unsalted roasted peanuts
4 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons groundnut oil or mild olive oil
8 shelled scallops, halved if large
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
600ml (1 pint) fish stock
400ml (14 fl oz) can coconut milk
150g (5oz) dried egg noodles
200g (7oz) raw peeled prawns
150g (5oz) white crabmeat
150g (5oz) bean sprouts
15g (½oz) fresh coriander, chopped


Put the chilli, lemon grass, onion, ginger, peanuts and fish sauce in a food processor and blend to a thick paste.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the scallops until they are seared on all sides.  Drain with a slotted spoon.  Add the paste to the pan and fry gently, stirring for 5 minutes.  Add the turmeric, stock and coconut milk and bring slowly to a simmer.

Cook the noodles in a separate saucepan until they are tender, following the instructions on the packet.

Meanwhile, stir the prawns and scallops into the broth and cook gently for 3 minutes or until the prawns have turned pink.  Stir in the crabmeat, bean sprouts and coriander and cook for 1 minute.

Drain the noodles, pile them into serving bowls, top with the laksa and serve.


Served at Appledore Summer Festival workshop/supper June 2011

Smoked fish paté with horseradish cream

This is lovely if made with Buckling (smoked whole herring), but it’s often difficult to find so you can use Smoked Mackerel.

Serves 4


2 large buckling or smoked mackerel fillets
4 tbsp double cream
2-3 tsp lemon juice
2 rounded tsp grated horseradish – if you can’t get fresh horseradish then use ready made horseradish sauce, but up the quantity a bit
1 tsp tarragon vinegar
Salt and black pepper
Caster sugar
Lemon and cucumber for garnish


Fillet each buckling into two halves removing the roe, skin and bones. Break fillets into bite-sized pieces. If using smoked mackerel flake the fillets.

Blend the cream with the lemon juice, horseradish and vinegar and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

Mix the fish into the dressing and serve garnished with lemon slices and cucumber slices.

Serve with brown bread and butter.


Admiral Sir Donald Gibson's salmon pie

(Christmas Salmon en Croute)


1 whole or tail piece of salmon or 2 tail fillets.   1lb-3lbs

Stuffing -

2/3 oz butter
2/3 inches of fresh ginger (grated)
1 lemon zest and juice
2/3 oz sultanas
1lb puff pastry os x ready rolled pastry
Beaten egg for glaze


Cook at 220 degC for 20 minutes in centre of oven then 200 degC for 10-20 minutes depending on salmon weight

Mushroom and Champagne Sauce -

4 oz button mushrooms

1 oz butter

Cream or creme fraiche

Champagne or sparkling wine - 2 large glasses

For stuffing -

Melt butter, mix all stuffing ingredients

Roll out pastry in rectangle oval shape

Put 1 tail fillet in centre of pastry

Spread 3/4 of stuffing on top and cover with second fillet

Cut pastry into 1" (25mm) strips, starting from marking out the tail on thin end of fillets and working up to thick end

Fold over and secure with beaten egg from tail end in sequence

Fill pastry at head end with either trimmed salmon or extra stuffing and peeled prawns if desired

Fold over to make head shape and secure with beaten egg

Cut pastry at tail end to form tail and secure with beaten egg and score to make tail

Make eye with pastry and fix in place with egg yolk


Then give the fish a big smile!

Serve with the champagne and mushroom sauce