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Jersey Royals, Wild Salmon, Venison

06 June 2007
Jersey Royals, Wild Salmon, Venison

Fresh Produce

The main crop of Jersey Royals has started now so the price will be down. Nettles and spring greens are also still around and English microcress - rocket microcress, beetroot microcress - is also available. There is good-quality wet garlic, bunched baby onions, silver skin button onions, the first elderberries, fresh apricots, golden raspberries and white and yellow nectarines available. Rain in France has caused spinach prices to increase, while apples and pears will go up in price temporarily as supply moves to the southern hemisphere.

Source: Fresh Direct 01869 365600 www.freshdirect.co.uk

Fish

Fish were scarce last week and the outlook isn't great for the next few days. There is excellent line-caught bass and the Cornish mackerel season is also well under way. The English sea trout season has started, so there is plenty around. Wild salmon is expensive but excellent quality, there are good supplies of shellfish and lobster prices have now come down. There are plenty of langoustines around but the supply of scallops is sporadic. There is very little squid around and what is available is expensive. Red mullet, brill and Dover sole are all also scarce.

Source: Chef Direct 01275 474707 www.chefclubdirect.co.uk

Meat

The rule of thumb after the recent good weather is that if it can be barbecued then it's expensive. Everything else has slumped price-wise. Pork is cheap, especially whole pigs. Legs of pork are 40% cheaper then in February, shoulders are also good value but loin chops and belly are fairly expensive. Lamb roasting meats are cheap, but, again, the barbecue cuts are pricey, with many legs being turned into steaks. A good cheap option is called lamb Henrys - a shoulder cut into five pieces, which can be treated exactly like shanks but are cheaper and have more meat. Beef forequarter is as cheap as it will ever be - £1 per lb. Venison is popular but expensive, with people keen to barbecue steaks and burgers.

Source: The Ginger Pig 020 7935 7788

Seasonal recipe

Sea trout with nettle velouté, asparagus and Jersey Royals

Ingredients (Serves four)

20 spears of asparagus
20 small Jersey Royals, scrubbed
Sprig of mint
200g washed nettles
Salt
50ml white wine
100ml light fish stock
100ml double cream
4 fillets (about 180g) of wild or sea-reared sea trout, (skin on but scales removed)
4tbs olive oil
50g unsalted butter

Method

Trim, peel and cook asparagus in salted water for three minutes, or until tender, and refresh. Cook Jersey Royals in salted water with a sprig of mint for 15 minutes.

To make the sauce, blanch and refresh nettles, purée with a little water and reserve. In another pan reduce wine by half, add the fish stock and reduce by half again then add the cream. Reduce to a light sauce consistency and reserve.

Pan-fry sea trout skin side down in a hot pan with olive oil for four minutes, turn and cook other side for two minutes. Add nettle purée and butter to sauce and season. Reheat asparagus and Jersey Royals.

To plate, arrange a pile of five potatoes on each plate and five spears of asparagus. Place sea trout on top and spoon sauce around.

Mike North, chef-proprietor, The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott

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