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A Flavour of Start Bay

PUBLISHED: 16:25 26 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:16 20 February 2013

A Flavour of Start Bay

A Flavour of Start Bay

Ally Wray, Head Chef at Whitehouse, makes the most of the fresh food on her doorstep. Photography by Martyn Norsworthy

June is a good time to celebrate some of the superlative seafood that comes from the beautiful Start Bay, which, luckily for me, is on my doorstep. So here is a super and simple Whitehouse supper which shows off all that is good about our locality here at Start Bay.


Crab Salad with Basil, Parsley and Chives, with a Lemon Vinaigrette


400g fresh white crab meat


2 tbsp basil, finely shredded


2 tbsp each flat leaf parsley and chives, finely chopped


A few whole chives to decorate



For the vinaigrette:


1 tbsp lemon juice


1 tsp Dijon mustard


4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Mix together the lemon juice and mustard, then gradually whisk in the oil, tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper


2 Just before serving, stir the vinaigrette into the crab meat with the chopped herbs, then check the seasoning and finish with a few whole chives.



Whole Start Bay Wild Sea Bass


Roasted over lemon and oregano potatoes, with oregano, garlic and olive oil sauce



8 large yellow waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered


2 garlic cloves, peeled


2 lemons (1 cut into 1cm pieces with the skin left on, 1 finely sliced)


3 or 4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked from half


Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Extra virgin olive oil


1 2kg sea bass, gutted and scaled (ask your fishmonger)


150ml dry white wine



1 Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.


2 Bring a pan of water to the boil and add salt. Add the potatoes and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, drain and place in a bowl.


3 Add the lemon pieces and most of the oregano leaves to the potatoes, season, add 3 tbsp of olive oil and mix well.


4 Put the potatoes into a large oval ovenproof dish, big enough to hold the fish.


5 Stuff the fish with the remaining whole oregano sprigs and slices of lemon, then season inside and out.


6 Place the fish on top of the potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.


7 Add the wine and stir the potatoes around in the juices, then roast for a further 5-10 minutes or until the fish and potatoes are cooked.


8 To garnish, sprinkle the rest of the oregano leaves over the fish.



To make the sauce:


In a pestle and mortar, smash up 1 large clove of garlic and a generous handful of fresh oregano with tsp sea salt until well broken down. Next, to thicken slightly, whisk in approximately 100ml extra virgin olive oil, then add a good grind of black pepper. Drizzle the sauce over the fish when cooked, or serve on the side. You can use all sorts of different herbs like this, and they are good with meat as well as fish.


Gorgonzola with White Truffle Honey and Oaty Biscuits


(You could use runny honey here, but white truffle honey with any blue cheese is a bit of Italian heaven on a plate!)



For the oaty biscuits:


2 cups of rolled oats


250g cold butter, diced


125g wholemeal flour


125g white flour


tsp bicarbonate of soda


1 tsp salt


1 tbsp sugar


160ml egg whites (use about 5 large eggs)



1 Lightly flour two large sheets of baking paper.


2 Pulse rolled oats in a processor until coarse. Remove cup of the oats and reserve.


3 Add all the ingredients (except egg whites and reserved rolled oats) to a food processor and process briefly.


4 Next, with the motor running, add the egg whites. The dough will form a ball and may seem a little wet, but it will firm up quickly so dont be tempted to add more flour!


5 Divide the dough in half and roll each piece between the floured baking paper to a thickness of about 4mm, then transfer the dough to a tray and chill for 30 minutes.


6 Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.


7 Cut the chilled dough into rounds or rectangles.


8 Line baking trays with fresh baking paper and scatter over the reserved oats. Put the biscuits on the trays and bake for about 12 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.



Fresh Mint Pannacotta with Local Honey


(Pannacottas will need a setting time of four hours)



3 gelatine leaves


250ml double cream


250ml milk


25g caster sugar


10 fresh mint leaves finely chopped


A couple of drops of vanilla extract


4 tbsp local runny honey



1 Put gelatine in a bowl of cold water and soak for 5 minutes.


2 Put cream, milk, sugar, mint and vanilla into a small saucepan and bring gently to the boil.


3 As soon as it begins to bubble, cover with a lid and rest for 5 minutes.


4 Strain through a fine sieve and discard the mint.


5 Drain the gelatine and squeeze out the excess water. Add the gelatine to the cream mixture and stir well, making sure the gelatine dissolves.


6 Pour the mixture into 4 ramekin or dariole moulds and refrigerate immediately. Leave for at least four hours to set.


7 To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of each pannacotta and turn the moulds upside down onto individual serving plates.


8 Drizzle the pannacottas with runny honey and serve immediately.


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