Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 14: West Penwith is as far west as it is possible to go in mainland England. Rick explores its rich and diverse history, from Lamorna Cove, made famous through song and art, to the UNESCO-protected tin and copper mining area of Botallack, where Rick talks with a mining explorer.
With the Atlantic sea mist enveloping the landscape, Rick follows an ancient track in search of Cornwall’s oldest building. And from the safety of his kitchen, Rick tells us how, as a young lad on the Lizard Peninsula, he fell in love for the first time and tasted his first exotic French fish stew, known as a bouillabaisse.
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 14 recipe:
Rick Stein’s bouillabaisse with creamy mash
Bouillabaisse is a traditional French fish stew made from the freshly caught seafood of the day. If gurnard is not available, use a fresh meaty fish such as cod, snapper or monkfish. Look out for sustainable fish when shopping.
- To make the mash, boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes, until cooked through. Drain well and wait for the steam to die down so they are fairly dry. Push the potatoes through a potato ricer, whisk with an electric whisk or use a masher. When there are no lumps remaining, add the milk or cream and butter and beat and until light and smooth.
- To make the bouillabaisse, heat the oil in a fairly deep, wide pan and fry the shallots, garlic, fennel and gurnard heads and bones until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the wine, water or fish stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, orange peel and saffron. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30–40 minutes.
- Working quickly, pour the mixture into a sieve and push the tomato mixture through the sieve with a wooden spoon or the back of a ladle (alternatively pass through a mouli) to extract as much flavour as possible from the fish bones and vegetables. Discard the solids.
- Rinse the pan and pour the soup mixture back into it, then heat through, seasoning to taste with the cayenne, salt and pepper. Add the gurnard fillets and prawns and cook for 2 minutes, then add the mussels and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until the mussels have opened (discard any mussels that do not open).
- Spoon some mashed potato onto each warmed plate and top each with some of the fish, prawns and mussels, then spoon over a little more of the sauce. Serve immediately.