Book review: Fish by Mat Follas

15 May 2015
Book review: Fish by Mat Follas


By Mat Follas

Ryland, Peters & Small, £19.99

Mat Follas, winner of the 2008 series of the BBC TV series MasterChef, describes the 60 or so recipes that appear in this, his first book, as being quick and easy to prepare and encourages the reader to enjoy them at home.

for more grandiose dishes.

With careful sourcing of the most sustainable and fresh fish and seafood - which Follas always advises - simplicity is often, in the right setting, the most appropriate
way to go.

The book is organised by fish type: salmon and tuna, freshwater, small, round, flat, exotic, shellfish and crustaceans, and squid and octopus, with Follas advising that it is easy to interchange the fish used, so long as the alternative is of the same type.

For fans of MasterChef, there are recipes here for several of the dishes Follas cooked on the show, including a scallop chowder inspired by a dish he first enjoyed
in San Francisco 20 years ago, clams with caper mayonnaise and crab thermidor - made with cream rather than a traditional flour-based roux.

Other dishes have appeared on the menus of his two restaurants, Wild Garlic, which Follas opened, after his MasterChef success, in Beaminster, Dorset, before relocating
to Dorchester, where his new eaterie - Mat Follas at the Casterbridge - opens on just Friday and Saturday evenings. One such dish, halibut steak with cider cream sauce, crackling and mash, is described by Follas as "a crowd pleaser", with the crunch of pork belly skin adding texture and saltiness to the meaty halibut steak and sharp-flavoured sauce.

The beauty of this book is that it is all about giving the reader and the diner a good time. It is full of dishes that fish lovers everywhere will want to tuck into and enjoy;
there is nothing pretentious or prissy about any of them. What's not to like, for instance, about Follas's version of one his favourite seafood dishes, bouillabaisse enhanced with what he describes as his secret ingredient, a blackened pepper, which adds sweetness to balance the sharpness of the tomatoes? I, for one, intend to enjoy this and many more of the recipes within.

By Janet Harmer

If you like this, you may enjoy these

Fish & Shellfish Rick Stein

Fish Easy Mitchell Tonks

Nathan Outlaw's Fish Kitchen Nathan Outlaw

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