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February Feast for Two

Feeling up for a challenge? This was to be Polurrian on the Lizard's head chef Liam's three course menu, written especially for Valentine's Day in the restaurant. As that is not to be, we thought it might make a nice meal to make at home instead. Ready, steady, cook!

This delicious sounding meal should be possible to make with ingredients from the supermarket, but worth trying to seek out your fish from one of our amazing local Cornish fishing boats – both cod and mackerel are in season now. We’ve also made some Cornish wine suggestions for each course – although we did have to cheat a little for pudding, as we just don’t have enough sunshine hours for sweet wine here.

Starter: Mackerel with dill crème fraiche and beetroot

1. Prepare the mackerel

  • 1 mackerel, filleted
  • 250g caster sugar 
  • 250g table salt
  • 100g chopped dill
  • Zest of 8 limes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  1. Mix the sugar, salt, dill, lime zest & juice
  2. Place the pieces mackerel, skin side down in a tray
  3. Compact the sugar & salt mix on top of the mackerel
  4. Keep in fridge for 20 minutes
  5. After this, wash off the cure under cold water
  6. Once mixture is off and mackerel is dry, place in fridge until needed

2. Make the dill crème fraiche

  • 50g crème fraiche
  • 20g chopped dill
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix crème fraiche & dill together
  2. Add lemon, then salt and pepper to taste

3. Prep the beetroots

  • 2 beetroot
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 slices of garlic (thin)
  • Oil
  • 5 Chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp crème fraiche
  1. Wrap the beetroot in foil, with 2 sprigs of thyme in each and same with garlic
  2. Add dash of oil, salt, and pepper
  3. Place on baking tray
  4. Cook for around 90 minutes at 170 degrees, they will be cooked when the centre is soft, and the skin starts to peel off
  5. Once cooked, leave to slightly cook, then pull the skin off. Place in fridge to cool completely
  6. Now dice the beetroot into 1cm cubes, bind with the crème fraiche, add the chives
  7. Add seasoning and lemon juice to taste, keep in fridge until ready

4. Mix up the pine nut dressing

  • 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts 
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce’
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of lime juice
  1. Whisk honey and lime juice together
  2. Add the soy sauce & balsamic
  3. Then slowly add the oil whilst still whisking
  4. Add the pine nuts add the end

5. Assemble the dish

  1. Use a spoon to make a swipe of dill crème fraiche on the plate
  2. In a ring or in a circular shape, add some beetroot in the middle of the plate
  3. Add the mackerel on top
  4. Then add the dressing on top

Wine suggestion: Oily fish needs something with high acidity, so we think this Cornish sparkling seyval blanc from Polgoon will get your feast off to a good start as it is also suitably celebratory. £24.95, direct from the estate (it will make you feel like you’re drinking it watching the sunset from the beach).

Mains: Cod loin, verdi crushed potatoes, mussels, chilli, ginger & coriander sauce

1.Prepare the verdi crushed potatoes

  • 10 new potatoes
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • 15 capers
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine or white wine vinegar
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 4 diced shallots
  • ½ garlic clove pureed
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 tbsp double cream
  • Lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste
  1. Boil the new potatoes, until soft
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until consistent
  3. Once the new potatoes have cooled, crush them until they have all broken up
  4. Mix everything from the bowl with the potatoes
  5. Add the cream, lemon juice, salt & pepper
  6. Place the crushed potatoes into a ring mould, or mould into a circular shape
  7. Place on parchment and bake in oven until hot

2. Make the mussels, chilli coriander & ginger sauce

  • 10 mussels
  • 250 ml fish stock
  • 3 diced shallots
  • ½ garlic clove pureed
  • 3 red chillies sliced
  • 1 tbsp pureed ginger
  • 30ml double cream
  • 60g chopped coriander
  • Juice of 2 limes
  1. Sweat off the shallots, ginger, garlic in a pan
  2. Add the fish stock and reduce by half
  3. Add the mussels, then place a lid on
  4. When the mussels have opened remove the lid and add, cream
  5. Bring the cream to simmering then add the coriander & chilli
  6. Add the lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste

3. Cook the cod

  • Cod 200-250g
  • Oil
  • Knob of butter
  1. Place some oil in a non-stick frying pan, medium/high heat, just enough to coat base of pan
  2. Season cod and place skin side down in pan
  3. Keep the cod in the pan for 3-4 minutes until skin is crispy, once skin is crispy turn heat down to medium temp
  4. Turn cod over and cook for further 2-5 minutes, the fish will be cooked when the flesh becomes opaque

4. To assemble the dish place the crushed potatoes in the centre of the bowl, with the sauce and mussels around the side, then place the Cod on top of the potatoes.

Wine suggestion: This single varietal white from Trevibban Mill near Padstow is 100% Chardonnay, crisp, acidic and full-bodied. (Black Ewe Dry White, £14.45).

If you’re after a red, then this easy drinking medium bodied, food friendly red from Knightor should fit the bill. A blend of Pinot Noir, Regent and Rondo which should be light enough not to overpower the cod but stand up against the other flavours. (Knightor Carpe Diem Red, £16 )

Desserts: Chocolate fondant with Baileys chantilly cream

1.Make the Fondant

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 55g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 90g eggs
  • 30g sugar
  • 25g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp Chambord
  • Extra butter for lining the mould
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  1. Use a mould, metal ring or a ramekin, lightly grease them with butter, then dust in cocoa powder
  2. Melty chocolate with butter
  3. Mix sugar with flour & eggs until smooth
  4. Add the chocolate mix to the egg, flour & sugar mix
  5. Fold in the Chambord
  6. Fill the mix three quarters of the height of the ramekin, ring, or mould
  7. Cook at 190 degrees for between 11-14 minutes
  8. Dust with icing sugar when you bring it out the oven

2. Prepare the Baileys chantilly

  • 250g of double cream
  • 35g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp baileys cream
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until soft peaks

3. To assemble

Place the fondant with icing sugar just off centre of the plate, pipe or spoon a good amount of chantilly next to it. Garnish with fresh raspberries or mint.

Wine suggestion: Dark chocolate is a hard one to pair with a wine, particularly when it is melted in a fondant. You might think a sweet wine would be the ticket with a sweet dessert but a sauternes or similar might not hold up well enough against the dark chocolate, so we think a fortified wine is the way to go. Try this modern, delicious, port-style fortified wine from South Africa from cult brand The Liberator – The Bishop of Norwich Cape LBV. Find it at Ellis Wharton (£23).

Fancy something old-world? The chef recommends a Grenache Noir, like this one from the South of France, also from Ellis Wharton- The Mas Amiel, Maury Vintage Rouge (£27.50).

Special thanks to Head Chef Liam at The Polurrian on the Lizard for sharing his recipes.

Find more ideas here


2 comments on “February Feast for Two”

  • Lyn February 13, 2021

    Will have to book to visit once Covid permits. Yum!

  • Jill veale February 9, 2021

    Wow will be trying this out love the menu pity the chef isn’t able to cook this as I’m sure it would taste far better than. Me cooking it


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