Recipe: Gurnard fillet with mussels, celeriac & apples, Kicking Goat cider, spinach & chive oil

Recipe: Gurnard fillet with mussels, celeriac & apples, Kicking Goat cider, spinach & chive oil

From The White Hart Bath.

2 x 1kg Gurnard, filleted, bones reserved
1 tbsp olive oil

Cider Sauce
100g butter
2 x banana shallots, chopped
2 x sticks celery, chopped
1 x clove garlic, chopped
200ml Kicking Goat cider
150g celeriac, cut into 5mm dice
2 x Granny Smith apples
Small bunch of thyme
Salt & ground black pepper

Mussels & Spinach
40 mussels, cleaned & de-bearded
50ml Kicking Goat cider
2 handfuls of fresh spinach, washed

Chive Oil
Small bunch chives (approx. 40)
100ml extra virgin olive oil 

Fillet the gurnard and set aside in the fridge. Roughly chop the bones & rinse with cold water.

To make the sauce, place the butter in a pan, allow to melt over a low heat and add the shallots, celery and garlic. Sweat until soft but not coloured. Add the gurnard bones, cook for a few more minutes, then add the cider and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain through a muslin lined sieve into a clean pan. Reduce over a medium to high heat until you are left with 250ml of sauce. Add the double cream, bring to the boil and set aside.

Use a melon baller to cut apples into little balls, skin on is fine. Place in a pan with the cider and a sprig of thyme. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Toss celeriac in a bowl with a splash of olive oil and a teaspoon of thyme leaves. Season. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until cooked.

To make the chive oil, place 40 chives in a pan with the oil, gently warm on a low heat until the oil reaches 63 degrees (any higher and the oil will turn brown instead of a vibrant green). Remove from the heat and blitz in a blender with the chives. Sieve and chill in an ice bath

Place the mussels in a pan over a high heat. Pour in the remaining cider and cover with a well-fitting lid. Once the mussels have opened fully, drain away all the cooking liquid and add the celeriac, apples, and cider sauce.

To cook the fish, place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and add the fillets, skin side down, season and fry gently until the skin is crispy and the fish is half cooked. Turn and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat.

Bring the pan of mussels back to the boil, add two handfuls of spinach, simmer for a couple of minutes.

Divide the mussels, celeriac, spinach and apples between four wide, shallow bowls. Carefully place the gurnard on top and garnish with a few drops of chive oil. Serve immediately.