Do try this at home
Nathan Outlaw has a two-Michelin-star restaurant, was mentored by Rick Stein and has written four cookery books. So, you’d be forgiven for thinking that his style of cooking and the sort of thing you could hope to achieve after work at home would be wildly different.
In which case, his latest book, Home Kitchen, may come as a surprise. “I wanted to write a book that covered all the bases if you had no other cookery book – a book that had all the recipes you needed for life,” he explains.
It features some fish, of course, but is also packed with nostalgic classics like toad-in-the-hole, soups, risottos, how to do a proper Sunday roast, plus desserts – including his daughter’s sticky toffee pudding.
Throughout the writing process, he had his children (Jacob and Jessica) in mind, imagining the kind of cookbook they’ll need when, eventually, they go off to university or college. “If they took this one book,” he says, “there’d be enough in there for them to survive.”
“I was fortunate enough to have cookery lessons at school,” notes Nathan, who’s disappointed by the fact that many children tend to get just a term of Food Technology classes each year and are rarely taught basic kitchen skills in detail.
“We all have to eat to survive, so you need to eat well – it’s a no-brainer really – but it seems to be something that’s a little bit lost in schools now.”
Despite this, he believes that “people are far more educated about food – they seem to want to know more about what’s on the plate,” he explains. “When I started cooking, you had your usual meat and fish, but now people would know what gurnard was, for example, and they’re quite happy eating mackerel next to something like turbot or cod. They’re much more open.”
However, while people are more experimental ordering off a menu, “there’s a lot more work to be done at home. The more education they get and the more they see different things being cooked, the more we’ll start to see people eating other species of fish.”
Nathan Outlaw’s Home Kitchen by Nathan Outlaw, photography by David Loftus, is published in hardback by Quadrille, priced £20. Available now
Ready to start your piscine cookery education? Why not start with the sardines and find two further recipes on our Facebook page.
GRILLED SARDINES WITH PAPRIKA MAYONNAISE
8 whole sardines
2tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the pickled vegetables
300g of shallots
300g of carrots
300g of red pepper
150ml of white wine vinegar
150ml of white wine
150g of sugar
For the mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
1/2 lemon, juiced
200ml of olive oil
1 handful of French parsley (or flat leaf), finely chopped
1 handful of chives, finely chopped
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
1tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Pickled vegetables Thinly slice the shallots, carrots and red pepper (discarding the core and seeds). Combine the vinegar, white wine and sugar in a bowl, add 150ml of water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vegetables, mix well and set aside to marinate for one hour at least.
Mayonnaise Whisk together the egg yolks, two teaspoons of the lemon juice and some salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Add about two teaspoons of the oil and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Continue adding the oil very slowly in a thin stream, whisking continuously, until all the oil has been incorporated. Stir in the herbs and paprika to taste and set aside.
Sardines Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6, and heat a chargrill pan until very hot. Rub the sardines all over with the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the sardines for one minute on each side, or until browned, then transfer to a rack in the oven for a further four to five minutes, until cooked through. Alternatively, you could cook the sardines on the barbecue before finishing in the oven.
To serve Place two sardines on each serving plate. Drain the pickled vegetables and pile them on the plates next to the sardines. Finish with a dollop of smoked paprika mayonnaise and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs. For more inspiration, visit www.greatbritishchefs.com
Credit: Press Association, images PA Photo/David Loftus