TURBOT WITH STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM (SERVES 4)
MICHELIN star chef Tommy’s first cookbook, Roots, includes his winning dish from last year’s BBC2 show Great British Menu.
This unusual turbot dish was designed as the fish course for a banquet celebrating the Wimbledon Tennis Championships – hence the strawberries and cream – but it’s also a great example of Tommy’s signature play on savoury and sweet. “While this dish is cutting edge in its combination, the technique is based on solid classical cookery,” Tommy says in the book. Just a warning though – in the difficulty rating, this is at the trickier end of the scale.
150g chives; 150ml grapeseed oil (available via Amazon); 150g green strawberries, cut into 2mm dice (if available, just use red ones if not); 150g red strawberries, cut into 2mm dice; 150g golden beetroot, cut into 2mm dice; 150g fennel bulb, cut into 2mm dice; 150g white turnip, cut into 2mm dice; 4 x 120g skinless turbot portions; knob of butter; sprinkle of fennel pollen (available via Amazon); sea salt
For the sauce: 2 shallots, sliced; 10g butter; 150ml dry white wine; 150ml vermouth; 300ml fish stock; 300ml double cream; sea salt For the elderflower vinegar: 20 ripe elderflower heads; 500ml chardonnay vinegar For the green herb oil: 500g green herb leaves (works best with strong, soft herbs like lovage or chives); 250ml grapeseed oil Equipment: Thermomix
METHOD 1. Make the green herb oil: Blitz the herbs in a food processor to a rough green slush. Tip this into a muslin cloth and work hard to squeeze out any water. Return the dry herb pulp to the blender.
2. Heat the oil to 70˚C and blitz with the herbs until thoroughly combined. If your blender has a heating element you don’t need to preheat the oil. Just blend the oil and herbs at 70˚C for five minutes.
3. Leave to marinate overnight before hanging oil in a muslin cloth over a bowl.
4. Make the elderflower vinegar: Check the elderflower for any bugs, then stuff them into a large jar and pour over the vinegar. Place the jar in a pan of water so the water covers the jar and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and allow the jar to cool in the water before storing in the fridge.
5. To make the sauce, sweat the shallots in the butter until they are soft but do not allow them to colour. Add the white wine and reduce over a medium heat until the wine is a syrup coating the shallots, then add the vermouth and reduce again.
6. Add the stock and reduce by half. Finally, add the cream and again reduce by half. Check the seasoning and reserve for later.
7. Put the chives in a food processor and blitz until they are a mush. Scrape the chives out of the bowl and onto a clean cloth. Squeeze the chive mush in the cloth to remove all the water – you should end up with a dry ball. Place the dry chives and the grapeseed oil in a Thermomix jug. Blitz for seven minutes at 70˚C then strain through a muslin cloth.
8. Season the diced strawberries and vegetables with salt and dress in one tablespoon of elderflower vinegar and one tablespoon of herb oil.
9. Roast the turbot in a pan with lots of foaming butter on a medium heat, placing it skin-side down, frying for one to two minutes on either side.
10. Heat up the cream sauce, add four dessert spoons of the chive oil and whisk it in – the white sauce should be marbled with bright green oil.
11. To serve, spoon the vegetable tartare (diced fruit and veg pieces) onto four plates, add the turbot and pour over the cream sauce. Sprinkle with fennel pollen to finish.