On the menu: The Hay-Man’s Bream

Prog - - Limelight - JK

“I got into cook­ing about 10 years ago af­ter be­ing chal­lenged by my wife to come up with some­thing ex­cit­ing to eat on a Satur­day night. I’m a big fan of the new wave of Bri­tish chefs and the way they take clas­sic in­gre­di­ents and give them a con­tem­po­rary and pro­gres­sive flavour. I guess it’s very much like my ap­proach to writ­ing mu­sic…”

In­gre­di­ents (serves 2):

Sea Bream Fil­lets, 100g fresh peas, 100g French beans, 100g pota­toes, 1 egg yolk, 200ml olive oil, 1 tsp cider vine­gar, 1 tbsp whole­grain mus­tard, 100ml veg­etable stock, 50ml dou­ble cream, 1 tbsp tar­ragon leaves, 25g but­ter, salt and pep­per


“Peel the potato and dice into 1cm cubes then add to boil­ing wa­ter. Cook un­til ten­der, driz­zle with a lit­tle olive oil, sprin­kle with salt and roast for 20 min­utes at 210°C (Gas Mark 7). Whisk the egg yolk, vine­gar and mus­tard to­gether in a bowl for one minute, then slowly add the olive oil to make a may­on­naise – don’t add the oil too quickly, oth­er­wise the mix­ture will split. Sea­son with salt.

Gen­tly heat the stock in a saucepan. Stir the cream into the may­on­naise then whisk in the stock a lit­tle at a time and set aside.

To cook the fish, oil a medium fry­ing pan with olive oil, sea­son the bream fil­lets and lay them skin side down. Fry while adding the but­ter cubes and baste to coat the flesh of the fish. I like to blacken the but­ter and crisp the skin and edges of the fish for ex­tra crunch. Mean­while, bring a pan of salted wa­ter to the boil. Peel the as­para­gus spears and blanch them with the peas and trimmed French beans for two to three min­utes. To fin­ish the sauce, add the tar­ragon, re­heat and serve in warmed bowls with the potato cubes, peas and as­para­gus. Lay the fish on top.

Sea bream is my favourite fish and I call this recipe ‘The Hay-Man’s Bream’ af­ter my lat­est al­bum, The Hay-Man Dreams. The sauce is very prog, and can be a chal­lenge to get it per­fect!”

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