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Emma (chef) and John (sommelier) Gilchrist are passionate about food and drink and run Les Caulins, a gîte and cookery school in SW France.  This time they take a look at fish and wine.

September heralds the new season for Scallops (Coquille Saint Jacques), a favourite shellfish. The market fish stalls offer seasonal produce from the river and ocean larder, and are often willing to scale and fillet for you, leaving little preparation at home. I enjoy cooking fresh fish.  Simply grilled, baked, sautéed, deep fried and served with sauces and flavoured butters, the combinations are endless.

Scallops, Apple Black Pudding, Pea Purée

12 large Scallops , roe and side muscle removed, clove of garlic, 10 basil leaves, knob of butter, vegetable oil, salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 x Apple Black Pudding (Boudin aux Pommes) cut into 12 slices, 200g frozen peas, 100g Crème Fraiche

Bring a pan of cold water and the garlic to the boil, add peas and salt. Cook until tender, drain and purée until smooth with the crème fraiche and basil. Add more crème fraiche if necessary, check the seasoning.

Heat the oil in a large solid base sauté pan. Starting at “12 o’clock” add the Boudin, a slice at a time, clockwise around the pan.  When you return to the first, turn all the slices over and then remove them one by one, keep them warm.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper.  Give the pan a wipe and add a splash of oil, heat until shimmering.  Add the butter.  Using the same clock method, add the scallops.  After 2 mins turn the scallops and cook for 2 mins.

On four plates arrange three pools of purée, top with a slice of Boudin and then a scallop.




Cod à la Bordelaise

Sauce Bordelaise traditionally uses dry red Bordeaux but I lighten the dish with a light dry white, giving tartness to the sauce and complementing the fish.  Any chunky white fish can be used.

4 Slices of Cod (preferably from the back of the cod), 150g goat cheese, 100g dry baguette torn into chunks, 15g fresh basil, 15g fresh parsley, zest of ½ Lemon, 50g unsalted butter, 1 clove of garlic peeled, 250 ml white wine, 2 shallots finely chopped, 1 tsp Flour, 1 tsp unsalted butter,  splash of oil, salt, pepper.

In a blender blitz the bread, parsley, basil, lemon and garlic into breadcrumbs, mix with the butter and goat cheese in a bowl.  Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a board, add the mixture and cover with another greaseproof sheet.    Spread with a rolling pin until 1/2 cm thick and refrigerate for 15 mins.  Cut the mixture into 4 cod-sized pieces.

Boil the wine in a saucepan, add the shallot.  Add salt and reduce to a slow simmer for 5 mins.  In a different saucepan melt the butter and mix it with one tsp flour (beurre manié).  Stir gently to avoid any lumps.  When the wine is reduced by 1/3, add the beurre manié and stir with a whisk until smooth and syrupy.  Remove from the heat.

Place the cod in a buttered oven dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little oil. Bake in a 180°C (350°F) oven for around 5 mins. Top the fish with the breadcrumb pieces and bake for around 10 mins.

Serve immediately with the sauce.


White wine is fabulous with fish

John talks about the wine

Entre Deux Mers wines are exclusively white, dry, have less than 4g residual sugar per litre and are made with Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Sémillon and Muscadelle.  There are two major styles: light, citrusy, fruity, floral and un-oaked or the oaked which is rich and creamy.  The oaked style would go better with sautéed prawns and garlic butter or mayonnaise, or fish with creamy sauces so I preferred the lighter style with Emma’s dishes.  The good ones are truly excellent and great value for money.  These are my favourites:

Chateau Lestrille is a brilliantly constructed wine, youthful and crisp with a spark of honeysuckle, citrus and vanilla on the nose.  Then beautifully fresh and minerally with flashes of white peach and mimosa on the palate and deservedly voted the best Entre Deux Mers at the annual tasting of the regions’ wine.  5.90€

On the nose the lively lime notes of Chateau Haut Rian are balanced by a sweet fragrance of white flowers.  At first the Sauvignon is racy citrus, nicely balanced by the fatty, custardy feel brought by the Sémillon. 4.75€

Chateau Chantelouve is a fruit packed wine.  Sweet lime acacia and melon on the nose, a baked apple richness and a freshly picked green grape skin acidity from cold skin contact fermentation.  A full flavoured wine with thirst quenching acidity and amazing with scallops. 4.20€

Chateau Saint-Marie. A subtle bouquet of yellow peach and mango and nice flavours of honeysuckle and spritzy pomelo fruit.  A sensibly barrel aged and classy wine. 5.50€

Chateau Turcaud has a leap out of the glass lime, lychee and floral orange blossom nose, crispy on the palate then lots of stoned fruit, white rose.  Bright, crisp and refreshing, there is body and vibrant citrus in the finish and it is utterly quaffable. 7.00€

Bon appétit,

You will find a comprehensive list of online and international, regional and organic suppliers of food and drink throughout Gironde, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne, Lot, Gers, Tarn et Garonne and north Haute Garonne in our business directory pages under Food and Drink.

Images:  Emma and John Gilchrist and Shutterstock

First published in the September/October 2018 issue of The Local Buzz

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