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Richard Hughes takes a clas­sic and gives it a twist to cre­ate a spe­cial baked cod with Nor­folk rarebit

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Richard Hughes has a crack­ing cod recipe

This month’s recipe is a clas­sic from the mid 90s. It was a re­ally ex­cit­ing time for me, with lots of ex­cit­ing young chefs mak­ing a real name for them­selves, and I, hav­ing bed­ded into my very first restau­rant at Num­ber Twenty Four in Wy­mond­ham, (still a great restau­rant by the way,) was fi­nally re­al­is­ing an am­bi­tion to run my own busi­ness.

This dish be­came some­thing of a sig­na­ture plate for Gary Rhodes, who, though fa­mous for his out-of-vogue spiky hair­cut, was re­ally at the fore­front of the re­vival of Great Bri­tish clas­sics on ‘fine din­ing’ menus and a great cook to boot. Fun­nily enough this rarebit has now be­come as­so­ci­ated with my­self, hav­ing put it on ev­ery sin­gle menu I’ve ever been in­volved in, and in­deed it was whilst teach­ing this ‘posh cheese on toast’ at a cook­ery les­son some years back that I very first met the for­mi­da­ble lady that is now my wife! So you can see its holds a very spe­cial place in my reper­toire. The food of love comes in many guises!

I know my level. Paul Bo­cuse is known for his Bresse chicken, steamed in a pig’s blad­der with truf­fles and morels, Gor­don Ramsey for sea bass and vanilla but­ter, He­ston for his snail por­ridge, Pierre Koff­man for stuffed braised pig trot­ters. I’m as­so­ci­ated with cheese on toast.

Of course we’ve turned this into a Nor­folk rarebit, us­ing lo­cal ale, mus­tard, smoked Dap­ple, and it’s equally at home on a spank­ing fresh piece of fish, on crum­pets, to glaze a steak, or on a cheese scone. Try it, who knows where it will lead you!

ABOVE:Baked cod with Nor­folk rarebit – the real food of love?

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