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Courgettes, beetroot, grey mullet, pork

04 August 2005

Meat
There should be some balancing of prices on lamb in the coming weeks, with the more expensive cuts like racks and saddles coming down - albeit slightly. Given the quality of the meat this will be very good value.

Pork is also outstanding value, with free-range British meat showing exceptional quality. Meanwhile, calves' liver should continue to be cheap for a couple more weeks.

Source: Aubrey Allen 024 7642 2222 www.aubreyallen.co.uk

Fresh produce There is a good supply of courgettes (and courgette flowers), bunched carrots and runner beans. Other UK produce includes marrows and new-crop beetroot.

Stone fruits from Europe such as nectarines and apricots are also particularly good. The flat, mountain peaches are delicious. Look out for native Victoria plums soon.

Wild mushrooms such as trompettes, pieds de mouton, and cèpes will soon pick up, while some excellent girolles from Scotland are also now appearing. Morels and St George mushrooms have now finished, though.

Source: Chef's Connection 020 7627 4809 www.chefs-connection.com

Fish Supplies are going to be short this week thanks to difficult weather conditions and a national holiday in the Faroe Islands. The holiday has meant that most boats stayed in port, which in turn has put pressure on what are already short landings from other fisheries around Britain. Large cod will be particularly scarce, and lemon soles, plaice, halibut and native turbot will also be limited. Haddock and Dover soles are also fetching much higher prices than usual, with the small slip soles costing an incredible £13 per kilogram on the quayside.

Another scallop fishing area has been closed in Scotland due to algal toxins. Prices will be pushed up.

There is some good news, however. Grey mullet is appearing in bigger numbers, and there are some decent-sized sardines now being landed on the South Coast. Mackerel, herring, pollack, squid and coley should also all be available, and there are good supplies of native lobster (which is cheaper than the Canadian variety).

Source: M&J Seafood 01296 588221 www.mjseafoods.com

Seasonal recipe
Wild sea trout, Scottish girolles, Jersey Royals and chargrilled asparagus

Ingredients (Serves four)
400g Jersey Royals
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Fresh mint, about seven stalks
per 1½ litres of water
Salt
12 spears asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
200g Scottish girolles
Butter
1 clove garlic
A sprig of thyme
2-3tbs lemon juice
400ml seasoned vegetable nage
50g unsalted butter
Chervil, chopped
Chives, chopped
Lemon juice
4 x 150g fillets of wild sea trout

Method Scrub clean the Jersey Royals. Boil a pan of salted water (15g of salt for one litre) and infuse the garlic and mint in it for five minutes.

Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with the infused water.

Peel the asparagus, brush with olive oil, season and place on the chargrill. When grilled, keep warm. Clean the girolles and sautÄ in butter with garlic and thyme. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the mushrooms.

Bring the vegetable nage to the boil and emulsify with butter. Add the chopped herbs and the remaining lemon juice. Season.

Put the Jersey Royals in the sauce and warm through. Spoon into a bowl with asparagus and girolles. Pour the sauce over the top and finish with Parmesan shavings.

Season the wild sea trout and then pan-fry in olive oil skin side down. Cook in the oven until skin is crisp and flesh is pink. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve on top of the girolles and potatoes.

Jun Tanaka, head chef, Pearl, Chancery Court hotel, London

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