Notes from a Kitchen Garden: The Ickworth Chef Cooks with Artichokes from a Local School Allotment
For this month's foodie blog, we asked Simon, head chef at The Ickworth Hotel, for his favourite recipe using local ingredients. His pick, pan-roasted gilt-head bream with parmentier potatoes, includes a confit of Jerusalem artichokes that are supplied by nearby Ickworth Park Primary School, which has its own organic allotment. The link is part of the Food for Life Partnership working to transform food culture in schools and communities. Read on for Simon's recipe…
Pan-roasted Gilt-head Bream with Parmentier Potatoes, Confit of Jerusalem Artichokes, Tomato and Pesto Minestrone and Samphire
Serves 4 people
Bream fillets x 4
1kg Jerusalem artichoke
1kg clarified butter (melt butter until it separates, keeping only the clear liquid)
2 cloves garlic, minced until smooth
30g fresh rosemary and thyme
2 large potatoes, diced (about 1.2cm squared)
Fish stock (use a stock cube)
4tbsp basil pesto
4tbsp sun-blushed tomato pesto
Small bag of broad beans
1 courgette, diced into small pieces
Small bunch of samphire
2 shallots, finely diced
• First make the confit. Peel the Jerusalem artichoke, ensuring all the dark leaves are removed, as these are very bitter, and cut in half. Put the clarified butter in a pan with the artichokes and bring to the boil. Slow to a simmer and then cook for 15 minutes until soft. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
• Prepare your parmentier potatoes. Place diced potatoes into salt and lemon water and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft.
• Make your minestrone. Take a pan with a little heated oil and sauté shallots, garlic, rosemary and thyme. When the shallots become transparent, add the courgette and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the fish stock, broad beans, parmentier potatoes and sun-blushed pesto.
• Prepare your bream. Cut each fillet in half. Get another pan very hot with a little bit of oil, and just before the oil starts to smoke, add the bream, skin-down, then place under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes. When the bream is firm to the touch, add a little butter, moving it around the pan. Very carefully, with a knife, turn the bream over.
• Put the samphire in some boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and serve with some melted butter.
• Plate your dish: take a bowl and add your minestrone, top with the bream, skin-side up, then top with samphire and add the confit.