Flying High With Fish – Simone Conti

I always encourage people to consume more fish in their weekly meals in order to achieve a more balanced diet. A meat based diet brings lots of health issue from blood high pressure, heart problems, body weight issues and so on. Every time I have a conversation about this with a friend or a guest in the restaurant I always hear the same excuse, fish take to long to prepare or it’s to expensive. With this recipe you have no excuse, around our beautiful village we can find some great smoked trout for a reasonable price. The recipe is easy to prepare and is an amazing option for a nice lunch on a hot summers day with some fresh brown bread, or you can use it as a starter for a lovely family summer dinner.

Chilled Smoked Trout with Yogurt and Orange Dressing – Serves 4

4 small smoked trout, skinned and filleted
Finely grated rind and the juice of 1 orange
150ml natural yogurt
5ml creamed horseradish
Finely shredded lettuce or chicory leaves to serve
Orange segments, to garnish

1. Cover the smoked trout fillets and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the orange rind, juice, yogurt and the horseradish together.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste (you can use black pepper if you want a more intense flavour or if you want to keep a delicate flavour we will use white pepper).
3. Now that our orange mix is ready chill it for a least 30 minutes with the smoked trout fillets.
4. Cover four small serving plates whit shredded lettuce or chicory. Carefully lay two fillets on each plate and spoon over the dressing.
5. Garnish with orange segments and serve immediately, enjoy!

Recommended Wine: Riesling (Austria)

This is another amazing and simple recipe, I love red mullets, they have such a delicate flavour. Specifically in this recipe, the healthy fats from the mullet will melts into the potatoes, giving them an outstanding flavour. If you can’t find a fennel bulb don’t worry you can do it without, I really hope we can start to differentiate our diets more and more especially if you have young kids. Try to have one day a week as your “fish day” but make it real fish, so no fried no fish fingers no reformed fish, we are blessed in Cranleigh to have a great fishmonger.

Roast Red Mullet Fillets – Serves 4

1 fennel bulbs
12 Charlotte potatoes, peeled
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 whole red mullets, scale and filleted (ask your fishmonger to do it, will avoid messing up you kitchen)
2 heaped tbsp pitted black olives
2 tbsp small capers in vinegar, drained
200g datterini or cherry tomatoes cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for about 10 minutes until just tender; drain and cut into 5mm slices. While the potatoes are cooking, cut the fennel bulb lengthways in half, then cut each half into 1cm half-moon slices. Cook the fennel in another pan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes until tender; drain.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan and fry the potato slice until they start to colour. Add the fennel and fry for a minute longer.
3. Season the mullet fillets with salt and pepper, then place, skin side up, on top of the potatoes and fennel. Scatter the olives, capers, parsley and tomatoes over the fish.
4. Transfer the pan to the oven and the roast for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and finish with a squeeze of lemon and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately, tuck in!

Recommended Wine: Chardonnay (France)

While technically not a real parfait, it’s close enough and it looks and tastes incredible. Fresh or frozen raspberries can be used and it can be made 2 days in advance. I got this recipe when I was working with Peter Gordon in London, I love his food and cooking style, the mixing of different ingredients from all around the world, an amazing chef and a great person to work for.

Frozen Amaretto, Fruit and Nut Parfait – Serves 4

100g sweet raisin
3 tbsp amaretto liqueur
800ml cream
200ml light runny honey, at room temperature
400g raspberries
100g flaked almond, lightly toasted
100g pistachios, hulled and lightly toasted
8 amaretti biscuits, roughly crushed

1. Soak raisins in Amaretto liqueur for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Line a large loaf tin with a double thickness of plastic wrap, making sure there is at least a 10cm (4 in) overhang on all sides. Place tin in the freezer.
2. Whip cream and honey together to form peaks, not too soft not too firm. Fold in the soaked raisins, liqueur, raspberries and nuts.
3. Pour into the loaf tin, then sprinkle with biscuits. Fold the plastic wrap over and gently press down to seal. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
4. To serve, cut the parfait into the slices and serve with mix fresh berries of your choice.

Recommended Wine: Sauterne (France)

Simone Conti

Enjoying these recipes? You can read more of Simone’s meals HERE.

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