EASTER weekend is an occasion when over-indulgence on chocolate can mean we forsake healthier dishes for some slightly naughtier treats. So, before the chocolate overload commences treat yourself to something a little more wholesome to start your Bank Holiday weekend.
Before the excitement of the family arriving on Easter Sunday, embrace an old Good Friday tradition by abstaining from meat and feasting on a fish dish.
Chris Jones, the Head Chef at the four-star Pullman Hotel in Liverpool, the first UK new build of the luxury brand, is preparing for a busy weekend. He will be serving guests staying at the hotel on Monarch’s Quay, on the city’s waterfront, and diners at the hotel restaurant Dukes, which has a mouth-watering seasonal menu. Wirral-born Chris, who has been a chef for 17 years, worked for Hilton and Hotel Indigo in Liverpool and Thornton Hall and Hillbark on Wirral before taking the lead in the kitchen at Pullman.
But he has found time in between preparing for the Easter rush to give readers a succulent fish dish that is a perfect family meal for Good Friday. Enjoy!
Creamy cod chowder stew
200g floury potatoes, cubed
200g parsnips, cubed
140g skinless cod fillet
140g skinless undyed smoked haddock fillets
500ml semi-skimmed milk
¼ small pack parsley, leaves finely chopped, stalks reserved
6 spring onions, whites and greens separated, both finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
Zest and juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Crusty wholemeal bread, to serve
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the potato and parsnips, and boil until almost tender – about 4 mins. Drain well.
Meanwhile, put the fish in a pan where they will fit snugly but not on top of each other.
Cover with the milk, poke in the parsley stalks and bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and leave to sit in the milk for 5 mins.
Lift the fish out and break into large chunks. Discard the parsley stalks but keep the milk.
Put the spring onion whites, milk and flour in a saucepan together. Bring to a simmer, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened and become smooth.
Turn the heat down, add the drained potatoes and parsnips, the lemon zest and half the juice, and cook gently for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the spring onion greens, fish and parsley, and taste for seasoning – it will need plenty of pepper, some salt and maybe more lemon juice from the leftover half. Divide between two shallow bowls, serve with chunks of crusty bread and enjoy.