Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 10: Rick heads into the bowels of Cornwall, deep into the china clay pits to discover what is known locally as white gold, one of this county’s most important industries. He then climbs the Cornish Alps, huge slag heaps created by the clay mining and some of Cornwall’s highest land.
After a wild swim at one of Cornwall’s picturesque hidden coves, Rick cooks a simple sea bass recipe, telling us all how to make the perfect homemade mayonnaise. In the far west of the county, on the Land’s End peninsula, Rick introduces us to his niece, a modern artist who explains her deep spiritual connection to Cornwall.
In this new series Rick Stein reveals the Cornwall that he knows and loves: a unique part of the British isles with a strong sense of identity and a history rooted in its Celtic past. With his famous natural inquisitiveness, Rick shares the road less travelled – championing the food, history, music, art and culture of the county many locals argue should be a country in its own right.
Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 10 recipes:
Spiced poached pears with blackberries
Poached pears are such an elegant dish, light enough to enjoy after a heavy main. Avoid overripe pears as they can become mushy and loose their regal shape.
- Using a vegetable peeler, pare the zest from half the orange and the half lemon, then squeeze the juice from each fruit.
- In a large saucepan over a medium heat, bring the orange and lemon zest, wine, ginger, spices, herbs, sugar and blackberries to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a clean pan and return the cinnamon stick to the strained mixture.
- Add the pears and any juices and simmer over a very low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the pears are tender, turning once.
- Lift the pears carefully from the liquid and set aside. Simmer the sauce until the volume of liquid is reduced by two-thirds, then strain through a fine sieve.
- The pears can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Pour the sauce over the pears and serve alongside custard or ice cream.
Whole sea bass with fennel mayonnaise
Seabass and the aniseed flavours of fennel and pastis are a perfect match. The mayonnaise would also work well with salmon or bream, and keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
- Slash each fish three-to-four times down both sides, rub them all over with the olive oil and season well, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Push some fennel herb into the cavities.
- To make the mayonnaise, in a bowl or food processor, whisk together the egg yolk, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Start adding the oil very slowly, literally a drop at a time – if you go too quickly the mayonnaise will split. Keep adding the oil in a very slow, fine stream until the mixture is really thick. Stir in the pastis, chives and fennel herb and add more salt if required. Set aside.
- When ready to cook the seabass, preheat the grill to medium. Put the fish on a grill rack and cook for 6–8 minutes, or until just cooked (they should be cooked through without having to turn them over). Use the crispy, browned side as the presentation side.
- Carefully lift the fish off the grill and serve with the fennel mayonnaise and some boiled new potatoes and salad.