Fish Tales…a cod piece of a story

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Well that is another month’s dinners done and dusted… Why fish tales we hear you ask – well it’s all a bit of a fishy story…

I started (to coin a phrase “this journey”) about a year ago and it continues to grow from strength to strength and once again we were filled with guests both new and old (some old ones commenting it’s now too hard to get in!)

I do however like to ensure those that have not tried us get the chance so please do make sure you follow our booking procedure and book early to ensure your place. I only allow tables to the next dinners to be booked once we have completed our dinners.

So as I said for this month we had yet again a full house with a wide range of guests eager to try our fish inspired menu. The idea was to showcase a range of cooking methods flavours and combinations in a balanced and I hope imaginative way.

The nibbles we served with a welcome glass of Kir Normande (French Cider with Crème de Cassis) were a rich dark black olive tapenade with the addition of anchovies, a smoked salmon roulade filled with cream cheese and finally a little shot glass with a delicate smoked haddock and leek velouté. They all seemed to go down well and one person commented on the tapenade in particular!

For the first course we served Skate Cheeks or what are sometimes known as  “Knobs” It seemed most guests had never tried this difficult to obtain cut of fish but I had decided to source my fish this month from Hastings so the day before the first dinner I had driven to Hastings to collect my order.

The three dozen knobs I required represented 18 fish and they ranged in size from golf ball sized to as big as my fist. I then removed the flesh from the two large bones and effectively made them into even sized pieces.

I had decided to keep it very simple by cooking them in a paper bag… Taking a rectangle of greaseproof paper/baking parchment and initially soaking it in water when placed on the work surface I added a little mound of vegetable julienne (thin matchstick pieces of blanched carrot, leek and fennel) Placing the skate on top of this with a splash of white wine and seasoning I then fold the package tight ensuring the fish is sealed in tightly. Baking the parcel in a very hot oven for about 6-7 minutes until the paper has dried and puffed as the steam enclosed within has cooked the fish. A very simple classical cooking process known as “en papillote” resulted in a delicate way to start the meal.

Next from my trip to Hastings I also had bought a stone (the old imperial weight still used by fishmongers) of day boat caught Cod Fillets. The boats are all raised onto the shingle beach and are the last remaining large fishing fleet to do this in the UK. I trimmed and prepped the fish and decided to serve it pan roasted on top of a bed of crushed new potatoes. The new potatoes were boiled and then added hot to a dressing of olive oil with the addition of chopped capers, roasted caramelised onions and chopped chives. The addition of the potatoes added whilst still hot makes them soak up the oil and gives the mix a lovely rich & deep flavour. I served our ubiquitous green beans and a light butter sauce and the final addition of some deep fried capers scattered around.

It all seemed to go down well and the plates came back clean – always a good sign.

I then served our much loved cheese boards with a selection of specially selected cheeses. Our local one called Winterdale Shaw (the award winning cheddar cheese). A French Tomme d’Ariege from the Pyrenees made with goat, sheep and cows milk. A soft French Pié d’Angloys and finally a Hari’s Button made a re-appearance. The porridge oat biscuits seemed to garner many compliments and these were devoured with gusto!

To complete the meal I then served a chocolate and hazelnut torte that was also “Gluten Free” as it was made like a baked chocolate mousse. The addition of a marmalade coulis and a dollop of Cornish clotted cream with a scattering of toasted chopped Kentish Cob Nuts was the final flourish that once again got devoured with shall we say contented gusto by guests…

It has been a very busy period for me, what with some private functions.  We also are now are just a few days away from cooking for our prizedraw winners at the fast looming Björn Again show in Tunbridge Wells and then another private at yourHome dinner for guests the next night!

So our next main event will be on Saturday April 30th and this time it will be back at Yalding Gardens. We will be once again hosting a special night to celebrate the forthcoming “Royal” marriage. Bookings are now open and we have a few places to fill so please do feel free to spread the word. We promise you it will be a fun filled night and you can check out the menu here  – we hope to see you there.

Cheers

Hari Covert…

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9 thoughts on “Fish Tales…a cod piece of a story”

  1. Well it was lovely to be back again and I have to say the food didn’t disappoint. With us both being lovers of fish it was a pleasure to trial this menu out. It was all finished off so nicely by that wonderful chocolate cake that just melted in your mouth. Another wonderful evening. Thanks so much and see you again.

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  2. Well we made it at last to savour Hari’s cuisine. The canapes were delicious, but I did find the cider and creme de cassis too sweet for my palate.
    This was followed by paper bags filled with hot skate cheeks and julienne veg cooked simply but effectively, quite novel.
    Then the piece de resisitance; melt in the mouth cod sitting on a wondrous potato concoction, crushed with caramelised onions, capers and parsley – best potato dish I’ve ever tasted.
    Cheese was served on individual boards and gave a pleasing variety and the porridge oats wafer thin biscuits were a tasty textured revelation.
    Flourless chocolate cake with a lip smacking orange coulis was really yummy, and I loved the dessert wine that was so thoughtfully given. Definitely want to repeat the performance.
    Thank you, Hari

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    1. Hi Sue
      Thank you for your lovely positive comments… I am pleased you enjoyed the “Fish Tales” dinner.
      I look forward to seeing you again at a future Hari dinner!!!
      Cheers
      HC

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  3. Via Twitter – taywell_online 11:06am via Web Had an absolutely fabulous meal courtesy of @MrHariCovert on Friday night. Delicious meal, good company and all wonderfully ‘secret’.

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  4. Thanks for a wonderful evening. Andrew and I enjoyed your food and hospitality very much. The food was of such a high quality, presented beautifully, and plentiful! Thank you for a really great night.

    I’m looking forward to visiting again soon. I’ll just have to be quick off the mark with the booking, as you get booked up so quickly!!

    Mary

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  5. We once again had a thoroughly enjoyable meal on Saturday. From the moment we booked we were looking forward to the meal and were not disappointed in the least. From the nibbles to the desert – all delicious. The skate cheeks were a first for us and surprised at the firmness of the flesh – it was very ‘plain’ but at least you could savour the taste of the fish. Look forward to another experience in the not too distant furture.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it.. good to see you again…

      The Skate cheeks are something I love and keeping it plain I hope ensured you got their true flavour…

      See you again soon I hope..

      Cheers – HC

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