Three wise chefs give us their perfect Christmas dinner!
If you are looking to add a little sparkle into this years festive fayre, we have asked three of Plymouth’s most respected Head Chefs to come up with some perfect recipes to impress family and friends alike.
Paul Doidge’s Blue Cheese Tart
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Although we make our tarts individually at the Mission, using this recipe is a great way of sharing with friends and family
Plain flour for dusting
500g all-butter pastry
Butter for greasing
3 tbsp olive oil
4 red onions, finely sliced
½ tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200g creamy blue cheese thinly sliced
30g walnut pieces, lightly toasted
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a thin 30cm x 38cm rectangle. Carefully lift it onto a lightly buttered baking sheet, then prick all over with a fork. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onions and salt. Fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Sprinkle over the sugar, and add the balsamic vinegar then continue to cook, stirring more regularly as they become softer, allowing them to catch slightly on the base of the pan before stirring, until they are richly caramelised. Season to taste, then set aside.
Bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Remove, carefully flip, then bake for 5 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven again, then flip the pastry back over and set it aside for a few minutes until it deflates slightly.
Spread the pastry base with the onions, leaving a 2-3cm border around the edges. Top with the cheese, then bake for 5 minutes until the cheese has just melted.
Remove the tart from the oven and slide it onto a large wooden board. Scatter over the watercress and toasted walnuts, then slice the tart and serve straightaway, while the pastry is still warm and crisp.
Paul Doidge is Executive Chef for the New Continental Group
Mitch Tonks’ Roast Turbot with Hollandaise
For 2 people
Turbot is the king of all flatfish, its texture is firm and it has a particular stickiness that comes from the natural fat and membrane between the thick flakes of fish which render whilst cooking. The bigger the fish, the simpler the cooking is the rule we apply to turbot; we try to buy fish 5kg and upwards in weight, and if possible sell the fish whole or in half to the whole table. At The Seahorse we can roast it on the bone and cut the fish tableside, and our guests get to enjoy the whole turbot experience!
2 turbot steaks about 300g each
1 tbsp olive oil
2 egg yolks
ó tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp water
150g unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Heat the oven to 220C. Season the turbot with salt and rub with olive oil before roasting on a tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
To make the Hollandaise sauce put the egg yolks, mustard and water into a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the eggs have doubled in volume and thickened. Whilst still whisking, gradually pour in the melted butter and combine to a smooth and thick sauce.
Remove from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon, a little salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper to serve.
Jake Westlake’s Moorland Garden Hotel Millionaire Mousse
Makes 6 – 8 portions
150g digestive biscuits (blitzed)
Salted caramel mousse
1 tin caramel condensed milk
125g golden syrup
2 gelatine leaves
300g double cream
30g cocoa powder
2 and a half gelatine leaves
Grease and line with parchment paper a springform cake tin.
For the base: melt the butter for the biscuit base and add to the blitzed biscuits. Mix together and place in the lined tray. Leave to set.
To make the mousse: In a bain marie melt the butter, golden syrup and caramel condensed milk together. Soak the gelatine separately and add to the mix when it has softened, then leave to cool.
Once cool, whisk the double cream until it shows soft peaks then fold through the mixture and once mixed, add to the top of the biscuit base.
For the jelly: soak the gelatine. In a pan, carefully bring the water and sugar to the boil, quickly add the cocoa powder and reduce to a simmer on low for 4-5 minutes until it shows a shine, keep a watchful eye or it can catch on the sides. Whisk in the gelatine and leave to go cold before placing it on top of the mousse.
Leave to set together for a minimum of two hours. Enjoy!
Moorland Garden Hotel’s Head Chef, Jake Westlake