Our new columnist shares three of his favourite Sunday dishes...
Starter: Marinated sardines with heritage tomatoes
This is a perfect starter. Light but full of the flavours of summer.
- 5 sardines, filleted and scales removed
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- ¼ tsp toasted cumin seeds
- 5 tbsp good olive oil
For the salad
- 300g heritage tomatoes, sliced or cut into different shapes
- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp capers in brine, drained
- 1 salted anchovy, chopped
- 4 tbsp best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 black olives, pittedif necessary and cut in half
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 slices Iberico ham
- 10 almonds, lightly toasted and crushed
- Lay the sardine fillets skin-side up in a shallow heatproof dish. Scatter over the sliced garlic, rosemary and cumin seeds. Pour over the olive oil, then season with a little salt and pop in the fridge for an hour.
- Meanwhile, make the salad. To a large mixing bowl add the tomatoes, salt, onion, garlic, capers, anchovy and olive oil, and give everything a good stir. Set the bowl aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or so.
- When the sardines have marinated, remove from the fridge.
- Using a kitchen blowtorch, cook and char the fillets until the skin of the fish is fully charred, then leave them to rest for a minute or so. You could do this under a very hot grill, but you need to make sure that the heat is intense enough to cook the sardines quickly.
- Stir the olives and parsley through the salad and transfer it to a shallow serving bowl.
- Lay the slices of ham on top and give them a little blast of heat from the blowtorch. Carefully lay the sardines on top, sprinkle over the crushed almonds and serve.
Main course: Spiced crown of chicken with sweetcorn fritters and pickled chillies
- 1 crown free-range chicken
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp dried onion powder
- 2 tbsp American mustard
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ head of garlic
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- Sour cream, to serve
For the fritters
- 1 sweetcorn cob, boiled in salted water
- for 8 minutes
- 100g gram flour
- 20g cornflour
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 small green chilli, deseeded, finely diced
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 100ml fizzy water
- Oil, for deep-frying
For the quick-pickled chillies
- 200ml white wine vinegar
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 6 medium-hot green chillies
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- Place the chicken in a roasting tin. Whisk together one teaspoon of salt with the paprika, cayenne, dried onion powder, mustard and thyme. Spread the paste all over the crown, until well covered. Push the garlic and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the sweetcorn cob and place in a bowl with the gram flour, cornflour, spring onion, garlic and coriander. Beat in the fizzy water. You should have a thick batter.
- Heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. Carefully drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil (the bigger the spoon the better) and cook the fritters in batches for two minutes or so, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, set on kitchen paper, and season. Keep warm.
- For the chillies, place the vinegar, sugar and spices in a saucepan, bring up to a boil then drop in the chillies and simmer for five minutes. Pull off the heat and leave to cool.
- Once the chicken time is up, press a digital temperature probe into the thickest part of the crown. It should read over 72C. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Carve and serve with the fritters, pickled chillies and sour cream.
Dessert: Peach and raspberry champagne fool
For the purée
- 450g peaches, stones removed and flesh diced
- 200ml champagne
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out (keep the pod)
For the custard
- 300ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
- 40g caster sugar
- 8 large egg yolks
- 100g raspberries
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 100ml double cream, whipped to soft peaks
- 1 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
- To make the purée, place the diced peaches, champagne, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes then discard the vanilla pod and pour the stewed fruit into a food processor. Blend to a thick, coarse purée. Transfer to the fridge to chill.
- For the custard, bring the milk and cream to the boil in a clean saucepan.
- Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Pour in the hot milk, whisking at the same time, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Heat until the mixture has thickened and reached 82C on a digital thermometer, then pass through a fine sieve and chill in the fridge.
- While the purée and custard are cooling, mix together the fresh raspberries and sugar and leave them to macerate for 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to serve, whisk together the purée and custard in a large bowl. Gently fold the whipped cream into the fruit base and spoon into six glasses. Top with some of the raspberries, scatter over the thyme leaves, if using, and serve.