Recipe: Coconut Poached Gurnard

Executive Chef Mick Smith recently produced this dish in front of an appreciative crowd at Truro Food Festival – it went down so well we thought we should share the recipe! It’s from Porthminster Beach Cafe – The Cook Book, and is one of our all-time favourite dishes here at the Cafe.

Gurnard can be a bit of a fiddly fish to work with, but it’s very pretty, highly sustainable and they catch a lot of it in Cornwall. You could use red mullet if you can’t get hold of gurnard.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 4 gurnards, filleted

– 4 cans of coconut cream

– Juice of a lime

– 4 kaffir lime leaves

– 4 star anise

– 2 long peppers

– 2 tbsp fish sauce

– 2 tbsp palm sugar

– 1 tbsp grated ginger

– 2 red chillies, finely sliced

– 2 garlic cloves, smashed

– 2 lemon grass sticks, smashed

To Serve

– 250g of Jasmine rice

– 2 tsp ground long or black pepper

– 1 tsp black sesame seeds

– Mixed leaves served with Thai salad dressing (see book for our own recipe)

– toasted coconut shavings

– lime wedges

Method:

Combine all the poaching ingredients and bring to the boil. Strain into another pan, submerge the gurnard fillets in the poaching mix, cover and poach on a very low heat for 10 minutes until cooked.
Cover the jasmine rice with twice as much boiling water and rapidly boil for 10 minutes before straining. Grind the long (or black) pepper and the black sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar and stir through the cooked rice.
Serve with wedges of lime, Thai-dressed salad and toasted coconut shavings.

Recipe: Halloumi Salad with Wild Sorrel

Wild Sorrel is a really useful herb which we use a lot here at Porthminster. It is especially great in salads and also compliments salty cheese and fish very well. It is similar to Wood Sorrel but has a stronger flavour. Look out for the red stems, as several other plants look similar!

The beetroot and citrus in this salad also work really well with the salty and rich halloumi cheese.

If you don’t have the time to cook beetroots from scratch, you can use the ready prepared ones (as long as they’re not in vinegar).

This will serve four as a starter, or two for lunch.

 

Ingredients:

4 small beetroots

4 sprigs of thyme

400 gms of halloumi

2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil

1 cup of sorrel, preferably wild common

1 orange

200 gms of mixed salad leaves

½ red onion, finely sliced

½ bulb of fennel, finely sliced

Balsamic vinegar and olive oil

1 teaspoon of sumac

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Clean the beetroots under cold water, taking care not to pierce the skin. Wrap them in foil with the thyme, a splash of the rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and cook them in the oven until they are soft, approximately 45 minutes.

When they have cooled a little, peel the beetroots and set to one side. While they are cooling, peel the orange, segment half of it and reserve these segments to add to the salad. Place the remaining segments in a blender, along with two beetroots and one tablespoon of rapeseed oil. Blend until smooth and then season with salt and pepper.

Cut the other two beetroots into the desired shapes for the salad. Wash the sorrel and mixed salad leaves and put them in a bowl with the beetroot, fennel, red onion and orange. Dress the salad with the balsamic dressing and the sumac.

Cut the halloumi into 1cm squares, add a splash of rapeseed oil to a hot frying pan and when it begins to smoke, add the halloumi and fry until golden, turning occasionally.

Finally smear the beetroot puree onto the plates, arrange the salad in the middle and serve with the halloumi on top.

Win A £100 Voucher

Do you have a favourite recipe from our cookbook?

If so we’d love to see your versions of our signature dishes, whether you stick to the recipe faithfully or give it your own twist!

Next time you cook your favourite take a quick pic and send it to us via email (pminster@btconnect.com) or social media (using the hashtag #MyPorthminster).

At the end of April our Executive Chef Michael Smith will choose his favourite entry – the prize is a £100 voucher to spend on food and drink here at the cafe. Happy snapping!

‘The New West Country Cook Book’ Launched

On Monday 2nd December, a ‘culinary collective’ of the South West’s top chefs gathered at Watergate Bay for the launch of photographer David Griffen’s The New West Country Cook Book.

The book aims “to showcase the region’s culinary talent and high quality produce through beautiful photography and home-cooked recipes.”

wccb-mick-smith-01David has been documenting the burgeoning food scene in the South West for over 10 years, becoming an influential figure in the industry himself along the way. “Working with David is always exciting and reassuring in equal measure,” said Porthminster Executive Chef Michael Smith. “He is knowledgeable and passionate about food. David’s work shows off each chef’s creativity and individuality, which is what makes this collection of images and recipes so exciting.”

David explained how he first dreamed up the idea of bringing the culinary talent of the South West together. “The idea for the book came from watching the chefs working together at festivals and demonstrations; in quiet moments backstage they were talking as a group and to each other and sharing ideas and experiences – there was a real sense of mutual support.”

The book features recipes from 17 chefs including Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Caines, Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix, Tom Kerridge, Chris Eden and Porthminster’s Michael Smith.

Focusing on key ingredients that can be found or foraged locally, the recipes emphasise the flavours of food in a uniquely West Country style, all of which is captured through stunning photography.

wccb-mick-smith-02Nathan Outlaw, who has won two Michelin stars for his restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, said: “Over the last ten years the camaraderie amongst the chefs of the South West has increased. I enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking with other chefs, and I think it is good for the chefs who work with me to see other styles. It’s great to have these extra influences in the kitchen.”

David added: “The brief given to each chef was the same – no fancy techniques, just honest home cooking, with a focus on the region’s produce.”

Tom Kerridge, who grew up in Gloustershire and runs the two Michelin starred Hand Flowers in Marlow said: “The standard of cooking in the South West over the last few years has risen dramatically, with the increase of a number of home grown South Western chefs opening their own places or becoming head chefs in their own right in some fantastic venues.”

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 The New West Country Cookbook is now available to buy at Porthminster Beach Cafe, alongside our very own cookbook.

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is coming and at Porthminster we’re looking forward to the busy festive season. Our Christmas and New Year opening times can be found here (please book early to avoid disappointment!).

If you can’t visit us to make merry, why not order a copy of Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book?

More than just a recipe book, you will find inspiring images and ideas to help you recreate the fresh flavours of Porthminster at home.

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We wanted the book to capture the joy of cooking and living in such a remarkable location.

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Look out for foraging tips and a tour of our much-loved garden, which sits just next to the Café.

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We parted with some recipes for iconic dishes, including our famous Monkfish Curry, Tempura Courgette Flowers and Sticky Asian Pork.

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Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book has fast become an emblem of Cornwall’s rich and diverse food culture. To buy online click here.

The book is also available to purchase at the restaurant.

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Autumn Cocktail – ‘The Ginger Tonka’

A recipe finely-tuned through the collaborative efforts of our own cocktail maestro Rowan (pictured below) and Exec Chef Michael Smith. The following is a great tipple to warm you from head to toe as the dark nights draw in.

*Tonka beans are an exotic seed. They are firm but a little wrinkley, and have a flavour similar to vanilla with subtle hints of spice and fruit. They are used sparingly to add unique undertones of flavour to dishes and drinks. You can buy the beans online or in good health food stores.

1. You’ll need to start by making an easy, flavoured sugar syrup. Add chopped ginger, a chopped chilli and a sprinkling of tonka beans to a warm solution of sugar and water. Leave this to infuse for 24 hours and then drain. Keep in the fridge.

2. When you’re ready to make the cocktail, pour 50ml of your syrup into a tall glass with lots of ice. Add 50ml whiskey, a dash of Cornish Orchards Cider and garnish with a slice of apple.

And that’s it – a brilliant seasonal cocktail with a unique flavour.

Do you have a winter cocktail for us to try? If you’ve created your own (and it tastes good) let us know and we’ll ask Rowan to road test it for the blog!

Rowan

Autumn Recipe – Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

This is a fantastic recipe for when the nights start to draw in, with its warming earthy flavours of cider, Jerusalem artichoke and truffle. The following serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course.

Ingredients

400g Pork Cheeks – fat removed (you can ask you butcher to do this)

200ml local cider

Good quality apple juice, to cover

1/2 apple

1/4 fennel bulb

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp toasted pine nuts

 

(Jerusalem Artichoke Puree)

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

25g butter

150ml cider sauce (see above)

10 small Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and diced

25ml double cream

A splash of truffle oil

1 tsp toasted pine nuts

Fresh oregano

Method

Add all the ingredients for the pork cheeks to a sauce pan, making sure the meat is well covered. Cover with a lid. Place on a very low heat and simmer for approximately one hour or until the meat is tender, keeping the lid slightly ajar.

Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside for later. Strain the liquid through a sieve, return to the pan and reduce until it lightly coats the back of a spoon.

For the puree, melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the shallot and garlic until soft. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, coat in the butter, and add 150ml of the cider sauce. Cook out the liquid until the artichokes are soft and then blitz them to a fine consistency. Add a splash of truffle oil and the cream, stirring well. Season to taste.

Place a small portion of the puree on each plate, top with the pork cheeks (slice if you prefer) and garnish with the toasted pine nuts and oregano leaves.

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks