Late summer feast
PUBLISHED: 12:39 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:51 20 February 2013
Seasonal flavours from Susie Carter of Hampshire Fare and Simon Evans chooses the wine. Photography by Peter Dawes...
Roasted cod with aioli and a mussel, cider and saffron cream - serves 6
Serving cod with aioli is typically Provencal fare and the mussels with cider often eaten in Normandy, but there's no reason why Hampshire can't adopt these recipes.
Approximately 36 mussels, scrubbed
1 clove garlic, crushed
284ml double cream
Big pinch saffron
4tbsp olive oil
6 thick slices of cod fillet
For the aioli:
1 egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
juice 1 lemon
tsp English mustard
100ml flavourless oil
50ml olive oil
To make the aioli, whisk together the egg yolk, garlic, half the lemon juice, the mustard powder and a pinch of salt and white pepper until thick.
With the blades still running, add the oils a few drops at a time until it is all incorporated and the mixture is thick and gelatinous. Check for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper or lemon.
Chill until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 190C/GM5. Check the mussels discarding any that are broken or don't close tight when you tap them. In a medium saucepan fry the garlic in a knob of butter for one minute. Add half the cider and bring to the boil, tip in the mussels and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Steam for three to four minutes or until they open, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the rest of the cider to the pan with the cream and saffron and boil until reduced by half. Taste the sauce and add salt and white pepper as necessary.
Heat four tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof frying pan. Season the cod with salt and pepper, then add to the hot pan skin-side-down. Fry for four minutes, then add a knob of butter, turn the fillets over and put in the oven for five minutes, basting half way through. The fish is ready when the skin is crisp, but the inside still moist.
While the cod is in the oven, add the mussels to the sauce and heat through.
Serve each cod fillet in a pool of sauce with the mussels dotted round and a spoonful of aioli on top. Serve with seasonal greens such as haricot vert or mangetout and crusty white bread.
Plum, thyme and almond meringue gateaux - serves 6-8
4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
75g flaked almonds
2 tbsp thyme leaves, plus flowers to decorate
584ml double cream
Preheat oven to 190C/GM5 and line three 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites in a scrupulously clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Continue to whisk as you add the sugar a tablespoonful at a time, then fold in the ground almonds and with a large metal spoon.
Divide the mixture between the tins, level the tops and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then leave to cool in the tins.
Meanwhile, cut the plums in half and remove the stones, then put cut-side-up in a large roasting tin. Add a small disk of marzipan to the top of each plum, then sprinkle over the thyme leaves and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until soft and golden brown. Leave to cool.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then assemble the gateaux starting with a layer of meringue, then a layer of cream topped with plums.
Repeat, finishing with the last meringue layer; sprinkle with thyme flowers. n
THIS MONTH'S PRODUCE:
Mr Whitehead makes traditional award-winning ciders and perries made from local fruit. Available at farmers' markets and events throughout the south or visit the farm shop between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Mr Whitehead's Cider Company, Hartley Park Farm, Selborne, near Alton, GU34 3HS, tel: 01420 511733 or visit: www.mr-whiteheads-cider.co.uk
Cod and mussels
Tony's Fresh Fish is a good old-fashioned fishmonger supplying fresh fish and a wealth of knowledge on the subject!
Tony's Fresh Fish, 143 Stoke Road, Gosport, PO12 1SE, tel: 02392 582073.
Blackmoor are local producers of apples, pears, plums and strawberries, with lots of other fresh local produce available at their farm shop.
Blackmoor Farm Shop, Blackmoor Estate Ltd, Honey Lane, Blackmoor, GU33 6BS, tel: 01420 473782 or visit: www.blackmoorestate.co.uk
For more information about Hampshire's producers, visit www.hampshirefare.co.uk
Crockery (pictured) supplied by Dinghams Cookware, The Square, Winchester SO23 9ES,
tel: 01962 863333 or visit: www.dinghams.co.uk
Photography by Peter Dawes, tel: 01962 714714 or visit: www.pdpix.co.uk
What to pour:
Among the current debates of the wine world, such as is rose pass and screw cap versus cork, there is increasing focus on biodynamic wines. Above and beyond organic practices, their production involves an understanding of compost and the cycles of the sun and moon are used to determine harvest times and vineyard practices. This is a quickly expanding area and these wines are both modern and profoundly aged at the same time. We have found some wine makers using only minimal sulphur dioxide (perfectly legal, it keeps your wine fresh) and many of the styles of wine made are just like ones from decades and centuries ago.
This perfumed honest open style of wine is a pleasure to drink, often laden with many different layers of taste and aroma. Try the Les Penitents Chardonnay 2006 from Coteaux Charitois, Loire Valley in France, 9.99 per bottle. It has a rich slightly salty palate, a pure supple long-flavoured wine that's great with the cod and mussels.
For the dessert it has to the Danny Schuster Late Harvest Riesling from New Zealand, 14.99 per 375ml bottle! Luscious wonderful marmalade fruits with a superb racy sultana freshness.
A real treat. If you can't get to us at The Naked Grape in Alresford, but are interested in wines made in the organic and biodynamic way, look out for the Demeter name and logo. Enjoy!
In season now:
Vegetables: salad leaves, sweetcorn, tomatoes, wild mushrooms, new season beetroot, cauliflower, carrots.
Fruit and nuts: greengages, plums, figs, blackberries, first English apples, sloes, elderberries.
Game: mallard, partridge, teal, pigeon, venison, grouse.
Fish & seafood: clams, cod, oysters, mussels, pilchards, plaice, prawns, sea bass, skate, turbot, dover sole.
September Hampshire Farmers' Markets
Sunday 2: Petersfield and Romsey
Saturday 8: Alton and Southampton
Sunday 9: Winchester
Saturday 15: Hartley Wintney
Sunday 16: Southsea and Andover
Sunday 23: New Milton
Saturday 29: Cosham
Sunday 30: Winchester