Scottish Lobster with mussels by Jeff Bland
I’ve been lobster fishing off the Hebridean
island of Tiree and it’s fantastic to see the creatures from the moment they come out of the water — they are incredibly beautiful, shiny and black. I truly believe that Scottish lobsters are the best in the world due to the extremely low temperatures, and with them being so delicious, you can enhance the flavours in the kitchen with some simple ingredients. Serves 2.
1 kg Scottish lobster
500g mussels (I use Loch Fyne)
250g wild or cultivated mushrooms
10 Ayrshire potatoes
1 glass white wine
¼ l fish stock
50g chopped shallots
Remove the coral from the head of the lobster. Cook lobster in boiling salted water for eight minutes, then remove from shell.
Steam mussels in the shell with shallots, white wine and fish stock; then sieve the juice from mussels, and remove shells.
Poach the potatoes for 15 minutes. Cut leek into strips and half the mushrooms or break into smaller pieces. Then fry off mushrooms and leeks, adding stock from the mussels. Cook until tender, then add mussels and lobster. Thicken stock with coral and butter mixed together.
The lobster can be served in the shell or out, whichever is your preference. Surround with new potatoes.
Jeff’s name might be Bland but his food is anything but.
Jonathan Ray’s Wine Match
2008 Vondeling Chardonnay 13.5% vol, South Africa (£12.25; Trout Wines).
A glorious, subtly oaked Chardonnay from Paarl, with soft, supple, rounded passion fruit and lime flavours and a long dry finish.
Grilled Atlantic Sea Bass, Preserved Lemon Dressing by Daniel Boulud
4 (5 oz) portions Loup de Mer (Atlantic Sea Bass) fillet, skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed
5 sprigs thyme
Salt and ground white pepper
Fresh lemon juice
In a shallow container, marinate the fish fillets in the olive oil, garlic and thyme and chill for two hours. When ready to cook, remove fish from marinade, brush off excess oil and season fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat. Grill fish skin-side down, turning 90 degrees after about a minute to make cross-hatch grill marks. Once almost cooked, flip the fish and complete cooking on the flesh side. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve hot.
1 1/2 lbs maris piper potatoes
3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp fresh chopped chive
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with kosher salt and place potatoes on top. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, flipping the potatoes halfway through. Once fork tender, remove from oven, split the potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a bowl while still hot. Using a fork, crush potatoes with the parsley, chive, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. The potatoes should be well tossed but still have large pieces throughout. Keep warm.
2 bulbs fennel
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Cut one of the fennel in half and shave one half thinly on a Japanese mandolin into ice water; set aside. Finely chop the remaining fennel into a medium skillet with olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and fennel seed with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until translucent. Add fennel and continue to cook, stirring until tender. Add chicken stock and cream, and simmer until reduced by half. Transfer contents to a blender and purée until smooth; adjust seasoning if necessary. Pass through a fine meshed sieve and reserve, hot.
Preserved lemon dressing
1/4 cup finely chopped preserved lemon rind
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh sliced chive
In a small bowl, toss all ingredients to combine; reserve chilled.
1/2 jar sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, roughly chopped
For each serving, spoon a line of fennel purée on one side of a heated dinner plate; arrange a few pieces of tomato confit around. Place a spoonful of crushed potato on the other side and top with the grilled fish. Top fish with a spoonful of preserved lemon dressing and some shaved fennel to garnish. Serve hot.
Daniel is the most French of New Yorkers and the New Yorkest of Frenchmen, and now sometimes a Londoner too
Jonathan Ray’s Wine Match
2008 Craggy Range Otago Station Riesling, 12.5% vol, NZ (£15.99; winedirect.co.uk).
From Craggy Range’s Waitaki Valley vineyards, a crisp, zesty Riesling of real style, full of juicy apple and citrus.
Another classic at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which is also served at Brasserie Blanc. The refreshing taste of red fruits steeped in Monbazillac with minty, peppery and citrus flavours makes a delightful simple dessert for a warm summer’s day. This dish can be prepared 4-6 hours in advance. Serves 4.
For the wine mixture:
250ml Monbazillac or
90ml red wine (Cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
40g caster sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
10ml / 2 tsp top quality vanilla essence
100g cold water
For macerating the fruit
230g raspberries, washed (Glen Doll, Glen Ample and Autumn Bliss) (*3)
160g strawberries, stemmed, halved, and quartered
Summer Fruits Steeped In Red Wine, Monbazillac, Basil And Mint by Raymond Blanc
20g caster sugar
12 leaves spearmint
6 leaves fresh basil
6 leaves Vietnamese coriander or lemon verbena (*4)
(all macerated together for
½ Charentais melon, scooped into 12 balls
100ml chilled pink champagne
Spun sugar sheet with dried zests and chopped herbs
100g cold water
300g caster sugar
Pinch of lemon, lime and orange zest
Pinch of finely julienne herbs – mint, basil, lemon verbena.
Pinch of dried raspberries, and/or strawberries, finely chopped (to dry, slice and place overnight on greaseproof in a 60 degree oven)
For the red fruit soup:
In a small saucepan mix the Monbazillac wine; the Cabernet Sauvignon (no need to use expensive wine for cooking. What you are looking for is a deep rich colour); sugar; and vanilla purée.
Bring to the boil for 1 minute, turn off the gas and add the cold water. Cool down to approx 40°C (if the soup is too hot it will cook the fruits).
Add the cooled wine mixture to the macerated fruit, add the melon and cover, refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to a day.
To make the spun sugar threads: pour 100g of water in to an 18cm sauce pan, add the sugar and let it absorb the water. Over a medium heat, bring to a boil. Cook the sugar and water till it reaches a blond colour. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the caramel to cool down and thicken a little. Using a fork, thread the caramel on to your greaseproof paper, using a back and forth motion. Sprinkle your citrus zest, herbs and chopped dried fruit evenly over the threads. Thread over again, creating a lattice work. You could also thread this caramel over the back of a ladle to create a lovely dome. Note though that these sugar threads will only keep for one hour, so they must be made at the last minute or kept in an airtight container with silica gel crystals.
To serve: Place the soup and fruit into a large glass serving bowl, or four individual glass bowls. Pour a little pink champagne into each of the individual bowls and add the sprig of mint and spun sugar with dried zests, chopped herbs etc. When the dry champagne is added to the sweet fruit and juice it will create a very festive foam which will finish this dish beautifully, adding a little drama and extra flavour to the dish.
The secret to this dish is to use the freshest, ripest fruit you can find, to bring full flavours to your soup. In Britain, we have some of the most extraordinary varieties of summer berries that beg to be used. Many other fruits can be used than the ones listed here, such as wild strawberries, blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and peaches. If the fruit is not ripe enough you can marinade them in a little sugar for 1 hour.
Raymond would like to let you in on more of his Kitchen Secrets (Bloomsbury, 2011).
Jonathan Ray’s Wine Match
2006 Ch Les Sablines Monbazillac, 12.5%vol, France (£8.69 per 50cl; Waitrose).
A gloriously rich and honeyed sweet wine from Bordeaux that would give many a far pricier Sauternes a run for its money.