5 traditional dishes with a twist to serve up this summer
PUBLISHED: 15:33 29 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:40 29 June 2016
Summer is a fantastic season to sample the best flavours that British produce has to offer and where better than at the Rock Inn in Waterrow?
Summer is a fantastic season to sample the best flavours that British produce has to offer. As the long days are spent with friends lazing on the grass watching the sun set, it’s only right to sample the best food Britain has to offer to make the summer days utterly perfect.
Nestled in the heart of rural Somerset, the Rock Inn is a warm and friendly slice of Britain in the hamlet of Waterrow. As the river winds lazily below it, the scents of traditional British dishes waft gently on the summer breeze. Need some inspiration for your own summer cooking? Read on for the Rock Inn’s top five traditional dishes.
1. Chunky fish soup
Nothing beats a good old hearty seafood soup. For a bit of gusto at home, heat some oil, throw in some onions, then add bay leaves and cook for a minute or so. Stir in tomatoes and fish stock and bring to the boil. Here, it’s really a case of adding vegetables that take your fancy. Potatoes, parsnips and carrots are all great. For the seafood, make sure it’s nice meaty, chunky fish. Prawns, chunks of herring and cod work particularly well. Unlike a traditional stew like bouillabaisse, there are no bones to worry about!
2. Crab mayonnaise with avocado and smoked salmon
A reworking of the classic half crab, crab mayonnaise is a delicious refreshing seafood dish, ideal for a starter or a light lunch. Whisk egg yolk and mustard together, slowly adding olive oil until you reach a nice creamy texture. Mix it up with some local, fresh crabmeat. Serve with a slice of avocado and smoked salmon to balance out those creamy flavours.
3. Arnold Bennett
Famously invented specifically for the playwright Arnold Bennett himself, the Rock Inn’s take on this dish is a very light soufflé made with gruyere cheese and smoked haddock. If it’s good enough to be served at the Savoy for a hundred years, it’s good enough for the heart of British Somerset. This light dish is just the thing to take the edge off the summer heat.
4. Celebration of British Pork
Very few things beat the tender flavours of British pork. Slowly roast pork shoulder or loin until the meat falls away easily. The longer the better – a good six hours will do wonders to the meat. To make apple sauce, peel apples and heat them gently in a covered pan with water and lemon zest. Take it off the heat, beat in some butter and sugar and leave to cool. In Somerset, you may as well sample the local ciders – flat, cloudy ciders like Orchard Pig’s Philosopher go exceptionally well with pork dishes, and are readily available at the Rock Inn.
5. Gateau Opera
For those with a sweeter tooth, Gateau Opera, or Opera Cake, is a delicious type of French sponge cake from the 1950s. Bake your own sponge cake and cut it into strips and squares. Assemble it in layers, cementing each one with coffee syrup (espresso powder, sugar, water and Cognac) and coffee buttercream (espresso powder, sugar, water, egg yolks and butter). It’s an indulgent treat perfect for accompanying lazy summer days.
Hopefully that gives you a few ideas to try out in the kitchen this summer. Inspired by the menu over at the Rock Inn in Somerset, these dishes and plenty more are ready and waiting, served with a drink and a smile.
If you’d like to taste these dishes the way the Rock Inn prepares them, visit the website or call them at 01984 623 293.