The Surrey Cook Book is the latest addition to Meze Publishing’s ‘Get Stuck In’ series of regional cook books, this time taking us South East through the enticing culinary landscape of Surrey. The journey unfolds through the beautiful Surrey Hills, an area renowned for its farming community and array of local enterprises. Here we feature three recipes from our friends at The Dorking Butchery, Mandira’s Kitchen and Secretts of Milford.
Flat Iron Steak with Rocket and Parmesan
600-700g flat iron steak
Good-quality Balsamic vinegar, to taste
Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
1 handful of sweet balsamic baby onions
Salt and black pepper
1. Start by seasoning the flat iron steak with salt and pepper. We recommend cooking the steak in one piece and slicing after. For best results, sear the steak on a high heat for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side. When the steak has what looks like a nice heavy crust on the outside, remove from the heat and place on a cutting board to rest and slice later.
2. Dress the rocket leaves with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and arrange on a plate.
3. Grate or shave over enough Parmesan for your taste; we find the salty Parmesan goes perfectly with sweet, sharp balsamic vinegar, so tend to use a lot.
4. Return to the steak after a few minutes resting and slice into thin bite-size strips. Place on top of or next to the rocket salad and scatter over and around the sweet baby onions.
5. To accompany the steak, try serving with thick-cut chips or griddled cherry tomatoes, and serve with a glass of full-bodied red wine.
Kolapata Maach Fish in Banana Leaves
No proper wedding in Calcutta is complete without these morsels of deliciousness. The fish is smothered in a mixture of coconut, coriander and mustard, wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed or baked. A huge family favourite, these have become ever so popular at our catered events.
Any firm white fish fillet, as fresh as you can manage to find
5 pieces of banana leaf (each about the size of an A4 sheet of paper)
For the marinade:
4 tbsp freshly grated coconut (frozen or unsweetened desiccated coconut will work too)
½ a bunch of fresh coriander leaves
1 or 2 green chillies (depending on how hot you want it)
1 tsp English mustard powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
½ a lemon, juiced
1. Cut the fish fillet into five thick 5cm by 7.5cm pieces. If you cannot find banana leaves for this recipe, then just use tinfoil.
For the marinade:
2. Blend all the ingredients together into a paste. If you are using desiccated coconut, you may need to add a little water to the mixture. The marinade needs to be a thick paste and not runny at all. Taste it to make sure it has enough salt and if you need it hotter, add more green chillies.
3. Gently rub the marinade into the fish, then cover and set aside for 30 minutes or so.
4. To prepare the banana leaves, wipe them with a damp tissue and then one by one, carefully wave them over an open flame (ideally on a gas hob) so that they are gently scorched. This makes them easy to wrap without cracking. Now lay them flat on a table.
5. Lay a piece of fish in the centre of each banana leaf (or piece of tinfoil) with some extra marinade. Now gently fold the leaf over the fish, like you are wrapping a parcel, and securing each one with a toothpick. Lay the parcels on a greased baking tray.
6. Preheat your oven to 180°c and bake for 20 minutes until the banana leaves are brown. Serve the fish with steamed rice.
Vibrant Vegetable Wellington
This is a dish that we love to cook when we fancy a break from meat. It’s colourful, delicious and made using gorgeous vegetables fresh from our fields. It tastes great enjoyed as a roast dinner or with a side salad for a lighter meal.
500g butternut squash, cut into 1cm cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
Small bunch of sage, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
500g mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
150g cooked chestnuts
1 nutmeg, for grating
500g puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
6-8 cooked beetroot
Sesame or poppy seeds
1. Heat the oven to 200°c. Toss the squash with half the oil, half the sage and some seasoning. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes in the oven until tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until tender. Add the mushrooms and fry for 15 minutes until softened, and the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and remaining sage to the mushrooms.
3. Fold in the chestnuts and roast squash. Season everything well, adding a grating of nutmeg. Leave the filling to cool before assembling the wellington.
4. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to a 35 by 45cm rectangle. Transfer to a large parchment-lined baking sheet with one of the long sides of the pastry facing towards you. Spoon the mushroom and squash mixture down the length of the pastry, leaving a 7cm border along the top and 1cm on both sides. Brush all the exposed pastry with beaten egg.
5. Put the beetroots in a line down the middle of the filling; they should be touching.
6. Fold the filling-covered, long length of the pastry over the beets, using the paper to help you. Roll up and trim the pastry with a knife when it’s overlapping by 1cm.
7. Place the wellington seal-side down, and pinch the ends to seal them. Egg wash the whole thing and use a fork or blunt cutlery knife to score the pastry in a pretty pattern. Chill the wellington for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
8. Heat the oven to 200°c again. Brush the chilled wellington with more beaten egg, sprinkle with the sesame or poppy seeds and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.
Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving into chunky slices with a sharp knife to serve with your choice of a lovely fresh salad or all the trimmings of a roast!