Three Chefs, Three Ingredients
THE INGREDIENT: Scallops
“Scallops are one of the tastiest shellfish species, sweet juicy and they can handle a lot of flavours, from butter to sweet, salty and savoury. They also taste great grilled, poached, barbecued, blow-torched and even raw. Make them Asian-style, with chilli and lime and some kefir lime leaves; or go British with crushed minted peas or French with lots of truffle and a beurre noisette. Whatever the flavour, the scallop can handle – just don’t overcook them and be sure to finish them with some zing, be it lemon or lime or something piquant. The dish below is the simplest and best – just bake on an open fire or in the oven with butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then cook for around 3-4 minutes.”
THE RECIPE: Baked Scallops With Garlic & Thyme
THE INGREDIENT: Flour
“Flour has to be one of the most important ingredients in my kitchen – it’s so versatile. In lockdown we saw the whole of the UK take up baking, cake making, bread making, tray bakes, dessert making… we almost consumed double the amount of flour in the last year. The one thing that I’ve always loved making is bread, and in particular sourdough. There is something truly comforting, rhythmic, almost hypnotic about making it. You never become a complete master at it, as you are always learning, no matter what. The texture can change, as can the taste, crumb, moisture and crust all due to the flour that you bake with. Think about how many different loaves of bread you can make with all the different flours out there.”
THE RECIPE: Sourdough
Next, mix the 50g of water and salt together, then add the saltwater mix into the dough and place in the machine for 4-5minutes on a low speed till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The gluten should have started to develop well by now. If done by hand, tip the water and salt mix on top of the bread and turn the bowl as you knead the dough in the bowl, turning and kneading at the same time, until the dough becomes smooth, and all the liquid is incorporated.
Afterwards, tip out on to the work surface and divide the dough gently into two, dividing with a dough cutter/scraper.
Preheat the oven and cast-iron pan at 235°C. Flip the loaf out of the basket into the lid of the pan then slash the top and add the lid.
Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 2-3 minutes until you get the desired colour. Place on a wire rack to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting.
THE INGREDIENT: Lemon
“As a chef, a drop of lemon juice into a sauce or vinaigrette or onto a piece of cooked fish can make a huge difference. Always go for unwaxed lemons – knobbly lemons are the best, and Amalfi and Sicilian lemons are in season right now. Marinating fish or meat with the juice and zest – alongside a little olive oil or yogurt can add extra flavour to your dishes. For a very simple dressing use a great olive oil, the juice and zest of a lemon, some Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper –whisk well and add a little honey to sweeten if you like. As well as my signature lemon tart – see below – the most delicious treat is a lemon drizzle cake that my daughters love. I also like using them to make a simple lemon syrup by boiling the juice, grated zest and sugar – just drizzle over homemade pancakes and waffles. Or for just a simple whipped cream, add lemon juice and zest with a little icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Whip until semi thick and dollop onto strawberries.”
THE RECIPE: Lemon Tart
Greg Marchand: Frenchie Covent Garden and Frenchie Paris
THE INGREDIENT: Bacon
“I love bacon, and I love using it in alternative way, such as making scones with it or smoked bacon ice-cream (trust me, it's delicious). Bacon scones are one of Frenchie’s signature dishes. The savoury-sweet-smokey balance is perfect and makes these little scones incredibly addictive.”
THE RECIPE: Smoked Bacon & Maple Syrup Scones
THE INGREDIENT: Sweetcorn
“Corn is a great vegetable to use in different ways. For summer, it's perfect at BBQs as a side dish to accompany any meat or fish, or even on its own with some delicious spices or sauce. You can get it pretty much all year round, although when it's in season in the autumn, I always have it on the menu and love to make a chowder.”
THE RECIPE: Corn on the Cob
THE INGREDIENT: Chocolate
“Who doesn't love chocolate? My kids absolutely love everything chocolate – and it brings so many people so much joy, which is what cooking is all about at the end of the day. So, I’m sharing one of my – and my kids’ – favourite chocolate recipes. I like big cookies that are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. They remind me of the ones found at one of my favourite places in New York, Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side. Their cookies are humongous. These don’t last long in our house…”
THE RECIPE: Chocolate & Peanut Cookies
THE INGREDIENT: Aubergine
“Aubergines are fantastic – they hide so much potential and are fantastic vessels for carrying a range of flavours. I nearly always BBQ them to give them a deep smoke-y flavour and then glaze them in brown sugar and tamarind, finished with some crispy onions, pickles raisins and spiced lentils. It's a humble vegetable, not to be overlooked.”
THE RECIPE: Tamarind-Glazed Aubergine
THE INGREDIENT: Blue Cheese
“My favourite blue cheese is Perl Las: being a proud Welshman, I had to choose a cheese from my home nation. When buying blue cheese, you need to look for the ripest specimens. Always feel it to see how soft it is and give it a good sniff (don't take any notice of everyone else in the shop giving you funny looks). My favourite way to use it is to simply cut a slice and leave it to melt on top of a nice medium-rare ribeye steak, but this is a mean blue cheese sauce which you can use on so many things: top toast with it, drizzle it over a salad or serve with BBQed meat.”
THE RECIPE: Versatile Blue Cheese Sauce
THE INGREDIENT: Mackerel
“One of my fondest memories of mackerel comes from being on holiday in Tenby as a child. My dad always used to take me out fishing, and I can still remember the feeling the first time I pulled in six thrashing mackerel on a small hand line in the middle of the sea. We then returned to the caravan to cook them on a small disposable BBQ. This is still my favourite way of cooking them, however I've upgraded my kit a little to a coal fired robatayaki grill now. When buying fresh fish, always look for clear and bulbous eyes, bright red gills and a nice shine on the skin.”
THE RECIPE: Smoked Mackerel Pâté & Sourdough
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