On the menu: turbot
This March, we’re celebrating the new season for turbot, which our sponsors Flying Fish Seafoods catch with their small dayboat fleet using gill nets. Last year, they landed one weighing a whopping 12kg (pictured)! Flying Fish Seafoods joined the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide, run by The Wildlife Trust, some five years ago. Since then, they have worked closely alongside one another to help promote sustainable Cornish seafood. Matt Slater, who runs the CGSG, works closely with them and their customers to encourage sounder, more ethical choices with seafood.
Their fish reaches kitchens within 48 hours of being landed and, from there, it’s over to the chefs to create exquisite dishes with the produce. Roux Scholar 2012 Adam Smith says he always has turbot on the menu as it’s his favourite fish. “I find it’s very versatile: it’s great steamed, grilled, or sautéed in the pan. By far my favourite is braised on the bone. At the moment, Adam has it on the menu at Coworth Park with stuffed mussels, cauliflower mushrooms, salted grapes and a champagne sauce, the latter being a nod to the dish he cooked in the 2012 Roux Scholarship final: Turbot Jubilee. In the final moments of the cook-off, Adam had the choice between serving his dish on time, or making sure it was cooked through and had had time to rest. He chose the latter and his dish was perfect – leading him to win. Sometimes, it pays to trust your instinct and take a gamble.
When Roux Scholar 1997 Steve Love achieved his Master of Culinary Arts in 2014, he too had to cook a whole turbot. It was filled with scallop mousse and three different garnishes and presented on a silver tray. He didn’t have time to do a full run through beforehand so was grateful for advice from Adam and Alain Roux. Meanwhile other scholars also have it on the menu. Richard Stuart recently created a ‘Supreme of line-caught turbot Le Havre with haggis, celeriac purée, melanosporum black truffle’, which was based on the classic combination of turbot, celery and clove, which he learned on his stage with Marc Meneau. “I tried to evolve it with haggis and, of course, truffle works well with celery.” Richard, who is assistant Vice President of Culinary at Galaxy Entertainment in Macau, says: “It’s the last chance to use truffles until the Australian produce comes in from Perth or Tasmania in mid-June.” He’s making the most of the flavour until then. “We make a velouté of truffle with Madeira, truffle juice, truffle trimmings and cream. We cook the turbot sous-vide at 54°C, then it’s placed in an emulsion of turbot stock and truffle butter for a few minutes. And the truffle trimmings from the passed sauce were incorporated into the haggis.”
And finally, Roux Scholar 2009 Hrishikesh Desai has another beautiful turbot dish on his menu at The Gilpin Hotel in the Lake District. He says: “We always pan fry the turbot and cook for three minutes at 180°C, then we finish with butter and lemon juice. We pair the turbot with a timbale of spaghetti, white crab meat and mussels, which is bound with salmon mousse. We serve it with a fragrant vermouth emulsion to which we add feta and avruga caviar. The turbot then sits on a bed of buttered iceberg with the timbale on the side, and the caviar sauce is drizzled over the fish.”
How are you cooking turbot? Post your pictures on Instagram and tag @roux_scholarship, and we’ll share in our Instagram stories.
Wellocks seasonal calendar
Also featured in our March newsletter is Wellocks’ seasonal calendar for April and May. We can’t wait to see how chefs use the following products in their creative and enticing menus.