The Food

Recipe #7

Turbot, toasted cucumber, mushrooms and radishes, Tom Kerridge (Proper pub food)

Sadly, I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with this recipe book. The last two recipes I used from it (a pot-roasted pollack with chorizo, and a baked egg custard with crispy ham) were both very much too salty, and this recipe seemed to suffer from strange quantities, not to mention cooking times. Whilst I’m all for using one’s instinct in the kitchen, one would hope that following a recipe would give a decent starting result that could be improved upon.

I couldn’t get turbot, so substituted sword fish. Neither of these is cheap, and I found myself rather resentful of the £10 I’d spent on the fish for this recipe. There was too much shallot in the cooking sauce and the splash of red wine vinegar seemed to permeate the dish. The cucumber is sliced in half and then pan-fried with a weight on top – apparently the seeds are supposed to end up with a popcorn-like texture. It didn’t.

The fish went into the oven, wrapped in an aluminium foil parcel, with a huge amount of butter “dabbed on top”. 12 minutes later (the prescribed cooking time), the butter hadn’t even melted, let alone the fish having cooked. It ended up taking about 25 minutes, by which stage any freshness the cucumber or radish might have had was rather past its peak.

I’ve been to Kerridge’s pub/restaurant, before it was well-known, and the food was excellent. I’ve always enjoyed his cooking on various TV shows. This recipe book, however, is disappointing thus far – here’s hoping for a better hit rate in the future!

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