I Love British seaside traditions: eating fish and chips, setting up camp on a pebble beach, setting up a striped windbreaker, jumping in and out of the cool waters. I think I love them so much because they’re so different from what I grew up on the Mediterranean coast: eating chopped salad and actually swimming In the water because, well, it’s med. These days, I have the best of both worlds: I can surprise my kids by jumping in and out of cold seas, while I focus on the fish-chips-ice cream-pretty side of most things.
Marmite Fish Sub with Mary Rose Sauce (pictured top)
This sandwich takes inspiration from both the Mexican Baja Fish Taco and the New Orleans Po’ Boy, but with very British additions of Marmite and Mary Rose sauce.
to submit Ten minutes
cook 30 minutes
300 g hake filletor pollock or durable cod, skinned
salt and pepper
350 ml vegetable oil
4 soft white hotdog bunsor torpedo roll
For Cabbage Salad
100 grams white cabbagethinly sliced, ideally with a mandoline
1 red chiliThe stem is removed, the rest is cut into thin rounds, seeds and all
For the Marie Rose Sauce
50 g tomato ketchup
50 g mayonnaise
20 grams English mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons brandy or vodka
10 grams dill leavesroughly chopped
50 grams cucumberfinely chopped, plus 1 tsp salted cucumber for cabbage salad
for the batter
1 tbsp Marmite
150 ml sparkling water
1 tablespoon brandy or vodka
175 g plain flour
100 grams coarse polenta
1 tsp baking powder
Place the fish on the oven tray, sprinkle evenly with a quarter teaspoon salt, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss cabbage and peppers in a medium bowl with eight teaspoons salt and the gherkin brine. Use your hands to mix everything together so that the cabbage softens, then set aside.
After that make the sauce. In a medium bowl, combine first six ingredients with half the dill and all of the cucumber, and set aside.
Now for the batter. In a large bowl, whisk the Marmite and sparkling water, then add the brandy, 125 grams of flour, 50 grams of polenta, and all of the baking powder, and whisk until loose and porridge-like in texture. In another large bowl, mix remaining 50 grams of flour and polenta.
Take the fish out of the fridge, pat it dry with a kitchen towel to remove any moisture, then cut into 2-cm-wide slices.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 170C (or when a drop of batter is immediately drizzled). Coat the fish by dipping it in the dry flour and polenta mixture, then pouring half of it into the wet batter and turning to coat evenly. Carefully drop the fish pieces one by one into the hot oil and fry for three minutes, once halved. Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen towels to drain, then pierce each piece of fish with a knife to allow steam to escape: this will help it stay crisp. Repeat with remaining fish and batter.
To serve, cut each bun along its length, being careful not to cut completely. Liberally spread the insides with the sauce and top with some of the fried fish. Add the remaining dill to the cabbage salad, pile a little on top and serve.
Strawberry and Mascarpone Sunday
One of its many joys is that it’s made without an ice cream machine. All the work is done in a food processor (and in the freezer and time wise), making homemade ice cream something everyone can make. Both the ice cream, like the sauce and the banana slices, will be safe for up to a month. Like all ice cream, use the best quality eggs you can.
to submit Twenty minutes
cook 70 minutes
freeze 24 hour
For Mascarpone Ice Cream
125 grams castor sugar
225 g single cream
225 grams mascarpone
25 ml brandy or rum
60 ml honey
for strawberry ice cream
150 grams caster sugar
450 ml double cream
450 grams Strawberrieshull and half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
For the Strawberry Sauce
200 grams Strawberrieshull and half
100 grams castor sugar
50 ml red-wine vinegar
for the banana chips
100 g sweet banana chips
25 grams unsalted buttermolten
tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp castor sugar
For the mascarpone ice cream, put the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk on medium-high speed for five minutes, until doubled in volume, pale and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the cream, mascarpone, brandy, and honey by hand for one minute until slightly mushy. Turn the mixer speed down to the lowest setting, then gently fold in the cream mixture. Pour into a container, cover and freeze overnight.
Now for the strawberry ice cream. Put sugar and 200 ml of cream in a medium saucepan. Whisk well, then set over medium-high heat and cook for four minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and chunks of steam appear. Meanwhile, put all remaining strawberry ice cream ingredients, including the remaining 250 ml of double cream, in a blender, pour into the hot cream mixture, then leave to cool for five minutes. Blitz for one minute, until very smooth, then pour into a container, cover and freeze overnight.
Put all ingredients for strawberry sauce in a medium saucepan, and press down with the back of a fork to slightly burst fruit. Bring to a boil, then bring to a boil and cook for five minutes, until slightly reduced and syrupy.
Set a small colander over a small bowl and cover it with a clean tea towel. Pour the strawberry mixture into the center of the towel, then pinch the two corners together and gently weigh the ingredients with a tin. Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/Gas. In a food processor, coarsely grind banana chips. Pour into a large bowl and toss with the melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, and teaspoon salt. Line an oven tray with baking paper and spread the banana chip mixture evenly on top. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until it is deep golden brown, then remove, leave to cool, tip over and seal in an airtight container.
Once the mascarpone ice cream is frozen, working quickly, take it out of its container and place it on a board, and cut into 5cm cubes. Put these in the food processor and blitz for three or four minutes, until the mixture is slightly melted and has the consistency of smooth peanut butter. Return to container, cover and freeze again. Repeat with strawberry ice cream. After six to eight hours, both ice creams will be ready.
To finish the strawberry sauce, remove the pulp and pour the strained liquid into a small jug. To serve, scoop a ball of each ice cream into a small bowl or tumbler, pour over some of the sauce and sprinkle liberally with chunks of banana chips.
White Sangria with Elderflowers, Lemongrass and Kiwi
It’s a portable and not so messy way to wake up to a glass of wine or bubbly at the beach. Simply pour the syrup into a flask or old jam jar and take it with you, ready to top it off with your wine of choice.
to submit 5 minutes
cook 5 minutes
cold 40 minutes
2 lemongrass stalksground and thinly sliced
1 tsp black pepper
1 lemon To make 6 thin strips of peel, cut the fruit into thin rounds
100 ml elderflower cordial
2 tablespoons castor sugar
750 ml dry white wine (ie, a standard bottle), such as Albario or Sauvignon Blancu
3 tablespoons Cointreau (or other fruity liqueur such as Grand Marnier)
1 kiwi fruitcut into thin rounds, skin and all
Combine lemongrass, peppercorns, lemon peel, cordial, sugar and 100 ml wine in a small saucepan and whisk with fork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn off the heat and set aside to cool completely – this will take about 40 minutes.
Pour the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve and into a jar or flask you have a lid for. Add Cointreau and seal. Either pack up the syrup and take it to the beach to mix with more wine, or enjoy it immediately by doing the following.
Pour sugar syrup and remaining 650ml wine into a large glass jug, add lemon and kiwi balls, top with lots of ice, and serve chilled.