Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Samphire and spaetzle with chilli and red mullet, by Arthur Potts Dawson

13 July 2012
Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Samphire and spaetzle with chilli and red mullet, by Arthur Potts Dawson

(Serves six)

450g samphire
3tbs olive oil
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
Lemon juice, to taste
12 red mullet fillets
Salt and pepper
6 lemon cheeks, to serve

For the spaetzle
400g plain flour
4 free-range eggs
200ml double cream
Salt and pepper

First make the spaetzle. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and mix, using a stiff whisk, until the mixture becomes too thick to whisk. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and continue whisking until smooth and elastic - the consistency should be like a thick pancake batter. Put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil.

Now tip the mixture on to a lightweight board. Using a palette knife, start cutting the dough into very small strips and dropping them into the boiling water. They will instantly sink to the bottom, but float to the surface when cooked. Continue cutting and adding strips to the pan until there is no room left. When all the spaetzle have floated to the surface, after about two minutes, lift out with a small sieve and drop them into iced water. Repeat this process until the dough is used up.

Prepare the samphire just before cooking it by picking off any hard pieces at the base of the stalks, then wash in cold water and drain. Blanch immediately in a pan of boiling water for two minutes, then refresh it in cold water and drain again.

Drain the spaetzle well and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 2tbs of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the spaetzle and cook over a medium-high heat for six to eight minutes, until golden brown and crisp, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the samphire, mix for a minute to heat it through, then add the chilli, lemon juice and seasoning. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a separate frying pan, add the red mullet fillets skin-side down, and cook for four minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further two minutes - no more, as red mullet very easily overcooks.

Samphire and spaetzle
Samphire and spaetzle
From Eat Your Veg," target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">see book review **


Ronan Sayburn
Ronan Sayburn
"This dish has real flavours of the sea, red mullet is a beautiful fish with deep flavours paired with the samphire it really needs a wine with bright and fresh acidity and an almost saline quality of fruit. I would choose an Albarino from the Rias Baixas area on Spain's west coast. This wine is made to go with seafood. It's very clean, fresh and citrus flavoured."
Ronan Sayburn MS, director of wine and spirits, Hotel du Vin

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