Spring recipes from masterchef Sam Moody from The Bath Priory Hotel

PUBLISHED: 17:04 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:59 20 February 2013

Tempura of Confit Belly Pork, salad of new season onions

Tempura of Confit Belly Pork, salad of new season onions

Try these fabulous seasonal dishes by Sam Moody, Head Chef at the Bath Priory Hotel

The Bath Priory Hotel, Weston Road, Bath, BA1 2XT

Telephone: 01225 331 922

Putting Spring in your Step

This month, cook up a storm for your family or friends with these delicious seasonal dishes by Sam Moody, Head Chef at The Bath Priory Hotel

Spring has well and truly arrived, bulbs are coming into flower, the birds are singing and the signs of the summers wonderful bounty have started to show. It is the season when food is light and fresh, and with new potatoes and asparagus just around the corner, it is an exciting time in the kitchens at the Bath Priory.

Flat fish are excellent at this time of year, and with more day boats out the price and freshness are at their best. Plaice and lemon sole are your best bets. The start of the spring also brings us lettuces and new season onions. English fresh fruit and berries are a way off yet, but Spanish oranges are superb and chocolate is always in season!

Confit belly pork in tempura is light and fun, the poached sole with clams will taste delicious and has the look of spring clean and fresh and the rich, warm chocolate tart is balanced by the sharp blood orange.

Tempura of Confit Belly Pork, Salad of New Season Onions

Serves 4
This is a very simple and tasty dish, but it requires a bit of forward planning getting the belly pork ready.

500g belly pork (unsmoked/uncured)
100g coarse sea salt
5g five spice
20 black peppercorns
5 sprigs of thyme
1kg goose fat

1 Crush the peppercorns and chop the thyme (with the stalks) then mix this with the salt and five spice.
2 Rub the salt mix into the pork belly, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours.
3 After 12 hours you will see the water has been drawn out. Take the pork and rinse it under cold running water then
pat dry.
4 Place the washed, dry belly pork into a deep-sided oven tray and cover with the goose fat; to this add 200ml of water. Cook at 100C for 4 hours, or until very soft.
5 Carefully remove from the fat, place on a tray and allow to cool. Then place another tray on top and press in the fridge over night.
6 The next day, cut away the rind and then cut your confit belly pork into bite-sized pieces.

For the tempura batter:
50g cornflour
50g plain flour
100ml very cold sparkling water

1 Sieve the cornflour and plain flour together.
2 Whisk in cold water the thinner the batter the lighter it will be.
3 Lightly flour the belly pork and then drop into the batter, using a fork. Drain off the excess batter and then deep fry at 160C until golden and crisp. Try just one bit-sized piece of belly pork first, as a test, to make sure your batter is good. Reserve for later use.

To assemble:
1 bunch new season onions
1 head Frise lettuce

1 Pick the Frise lettuce down so its nice and small, removing any tough, dark green outer leaves, and wash well.
2 Slice the onions as thinly as possible, then mix with the salad.
3 Re-fry your belly pork at 180C until piping hot. Dress the salad with a little vinaigrette, arrange on a plate, and serve with a little tomato ketchup!

Poached fillets of sole, razor clam gratin and wilted lettuce

Serves 4
2 large lemon sole, skinned and filleted
Soft butter
8 razor clams
2 white onions
2 garlic cloves
2 baby gem lettuces
50g parmesan
50g fresh breadcrumbs
1 lemon
2 shallots
White of one leek
1 glass of white wine

1 Take two of your sole fillets and lie them on top of each other, and lightly season. Butter the cling film and roll the sole fillets up in the cling film as tightly as possible, then tie each end with string. Do this with all the fillets.
2 Dice the white onions and garlic as finely as possible, then sweat for about 20 minutes over a low heat. Cool and reserve for later use.
3 Slice the shallots and leek thinly and sweat in a large saucepan. Increase the heat and then add the clams, followed by a glass of white wine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 2 minutes. Pour into a colander and allow to cool.
4 Remove the clams from the shells, trim well, then cut into five. Combine with the white onion mix, then arrange this carefully back into the razor clam shells.
5 Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan together, then add tsp of finely chopped lemon rind and mix well. Generously sprinkle this over your clams.
6 Drop the sole fillets into a pan of 60C water; they will take 8mins to cook. While the fish is poaching, half the gem lettuce leaves and gently saut in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Place the razor clams under the grill until hot and golden, and arrange on the plate. Carefully remove the sole from the cling film, squeeze a little lemon juice over, and season with sea salt.
7 Serve and enjoy!

Warm chocolate tart with blood orange sorbet

Serves 4
For the chocolate tart:
4 10cm x 2cm pastry cases (the pastry should be as thin as possible)
115g 70% dark chocolate
110g butter
90g caster sugar
105g egg white
40g plain flour

1 Melt the chocolate and butter together (about 50C).
2 Add the sugar and stir in well.
3 Whisk in the egg white.

4 Fold in the flour.
5 Leave to cool, then place into a piping bag.
6 Now fill your tartlets right to the top.
7 Refrigerate.
8 Cook at 175C for 7-9 minutes.

Blood Orange Sorbet
12 blood oranges
100g caster sugar
100g water

1 Peel off all of the skin and pith from the oranges, then half them.
2 In a pan, bring the water and sugar to the boil, then add the halved oranges. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.
3 Place everything into a liquidiser and blend until smooth, then pass through a fine mesh sieve.
4 Cool and then churn.
5 Serve with the warm chocolate tart and enjoy!

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