Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 27: Following in the footsteps of Turner, one of Britain’s most loved artists, Rick discovers how much the Cornish landscape influenced his work. At Newlyn Fish Market, Rick counts in the daily catch with the head auctioneer, who tells him how the market has adapted to modern times. Surrounded by beautifully fresh fish, Rick takes away some monkfish and fires up his BBQ to make a grillade of monkfish with roasted red pepper sauce. At Caerhays Castle, home to the nation’s largest collection of magnolias, Rick discovers how this corner of Cornwall was once home to some of the great Victorian plant hunters.
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 27
Christopher Richard “Rick” Stein, CBE (born 4 January 1947) is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur and television presenter. Along with business partner (and first wife) Jill Stein he has run the Stein hotel and restaurant business in the UK. The business has a number of renowned restaurants, shops and hotels in Padstow along with other restaurants in Marlborough, Winchester and Barnes. He is also the head chef and a co-owner of “Rick Stein at Bannisters” at Mollymook and Port Stephens in Australia, with his second wife Sarah. He has written cookery books and presented television programmes.
After graduating, he converted a mobile disco in Padstow, which he had run as a student, into a quayside nightclub with his friend, Johnny. It became known for its freeze-dried curries. However, the nightclub lost its licence and was closed down by the police, mainly due to frequent brawls with local fishermen. The pair still had a licence for a restaurant in another part of the building, so they continued with that to avert bankruptcy.
Stein ran the kitchen using the experience he had gained as a commis chef. Eventually he converted it into a small harbour-side bistro, “The Seafood Restaurant”, with his first wife Jill in 1975. As of 2015, his business operates four restaurants, a bistro, a café, a seafood delicatessen, a pâtisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school. In 2007 threats against Stein’s businesses were made by Cornish nationalists. His impact on the economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed “Padstein”.
Grillade of monkfish tail with roasted red pepper sauce and olive oil mash
A luxurious barbecue supper for two: grilled monkfish served with the Mediterranean flavours of roasted red peppers, saffron and olive oil.
- Heat the barbecue about 40 minutes before you need it so it gets nice and hot.
- To make the sauce, put the peppers on the grill until blistered and charred all over. Remove from the grill and leave to cool. Peel the skins, remove the seeds and finely chop the flesh. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, put 250ml/9fl oz of the fish stock in a pan with the wine, saffron and chilli flakes and simmer until reduced by three-quarters. Set aside.
- To make the mash, boil the potatoes in salted water for 15–20 minutes, until very tender. Drain well and place in a wide mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and the remaining 50ml/2fl oz fish stock, season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth (I use an electric whisk). Cover to keep warm.
- Brush the monkfish with olive oil, scatter over the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Put the fish on the hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning regularly, until done.
- To finish the sauce, mix together the olive oil and sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Put the pan of reduced fish stock back on the heat and bring to the boil. Whisk in the oil and vinegar and the butter (it will look split but don’t worry: it is a split sauce). Finally, add the peppers.
- To serve, cut slices of the monkfish at an angle (or leave whole) and serve with the red pepper sauce, olive oil mash and some salad leaves dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.