Hello and welcome to the blog for early March!
We have started to see the morning and nights becoming brighter and after a very mild winter the birds and starting to sing and the feeling of spring is just around the corner!
At the end of last week I took the team on a visit to the farms at Easter Kellie Farm, Anstruther. We have been developing over the winter a new concept for the Road Hole Restaurant with a Scottish theme, using predominantly foods from Fife when they are at their best. As part of the steering team on Fife Food Network, working with Toby, Jimmy and Viv, we have set up a co operative of local suppliers we are working with to get the best ingredients with as few food miles as possible to use on our menus. Part of the education for our staff front of house and kitchen, is to develop their knowledge of the produce we use and have a greater understanding of how the cattle are reared, the vegetables are grown and production of what we use in our dishes. We were fortunate to be hosted by Toby Anstruther who with his staff Sam and Dave gave us a real insight into their day to day business and how hard you have to work and plan to get the best produce for us.
I also felt it was a great exercise as it takes you into another part of the community you don’t see or know anything about and how, working together, we can do so much to help the area and region benefit and get on the map for the quality of it’s ingredients and ultimately what we produce on the plate for our customers. We can then take this to younger children through such wonderful organizations as FutureChef and inspire them to use ingredients on their door steps as they move forward in their careers.
So we are starting to get into the exciting spring season, the first of the purple sprouting broccoli, wild garlic leaves and diver caught scallops come into season. This time of the year can be so exciting, shellfish has had the cold months to fatten in the sea, the animals have their thick coats and layers of fat which helps the meat marble and improves the flavor on cooking and the flowers start to push through.
Diver scallops are great; they come in their shells, tightly closed and fresh still alive and bursting with freshness. We prefer to get them alive and in the shell. We then, just before service, shock them out of the shell, sliding in a plate knife, close to the flat shell, keeping the knife as close to the shell as possible. Repeat the action on the half rounded side of the shell, remove the muscle and membrane and the white meat is ready to use. Fresh and bursting with a unique delicate flavour.
The purple broccoli is excellent passed through a beer batter and deep fried- yes not recommended by the doctor!!! The florets have lots of flavor and the colour can brighten any plate. Ideal gently steamed with a delicate fish or stir-fried with ginger, garlic and a little chili they can add to a meat dish.
The spring menu for Sands Grill is now live on the website along with seasonal menus coming up later in the year. With three courses for just £18.00 and delicious dishes from Perthshire lamb and North Sea trout to gingernut parfait and lemon and raspberry cheesecake…. mmm, is it lunch time yet?!
I have a nice and spicy recipe for your to try – a main with chorizo mash – enjoy! Please do share any of your super spring menus too!
The team are looking forward to preparing dinners for our competitors in our first pre-season opener The Belhaven Best Spring Cup, which is played over The Duke’s and Kingsbarns. We’ll have some traditional and hearty pub grub in The Jigger Inn and a stunning feast for the prize giving dinner in the Road Hole Restaurant, overlooking the world-famous Old Course, a golfers dream dining location! We’ll update you next time on the competition and winning team and this sounds like a great weekend of golf to you, there’s still time to book a team and compete!
Happy cooking until next time.
Diver Scallops and Chorizo Mash
Scallops – 3 each
Salt – 1g
Pepper – 1g
Nutmeg – ½g
Fish Stock – 2dcl
Mashed Potatoes – 30g
Scallion - ½ roughly chopped
Rosemary Chopped – 1g
Chorizo Sauce - ½ dried, ½ deep fried circles
1) Sear Scallops
2) Make Mash
3) Make Scallion Sauce; boil ½ onions, cream and fish stock season and blend to form sauce.
4) Use circles of chorizo to garnish dish.
5) Place Quenelle of mash, Spinach, Scallops in shells x3
6) Pour sauce over and garnish with deep fried chorizo.