Walk for hours without seeing another soul, and if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you can be sure there is a tractor up ahead!

Admittedly it is difficult to referee on a Saturday afternoon when I have a full restaurant to cook for in the evening

Recipe - Hake, Bombay potato terrine, onion bhaji and king prawns

First, why Hake? It is a wonderful, white, lightly fleshed fish with good flavour. Also, as it’s not particularly fashionable it’s cheaper to buy – unlike its cousin cod which tends to be overpriced....


...and not as subtle in flavour as Hake.

The Potato Terrine will need to be made a day in advance: this is so that it can be pressed

overnight so that it keeps its shape when cut.

The Onion Bhaji mix can be made in advance and kept in the ‘fridge until it is needed. The spices

for the King Prawns can also be chopped in advance.

You will also need some Spinach, baby Corn and Carrots to serve.

Bombay Potato Terrine

If you can make Bombay Potatoes – you can make this terrine! 1 1⁄2 lb New Potatoes – Charlottes

are best: don’t use a loose skinned variety, cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces.


2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp each of whole coriander, cumin and white mustard seeds

1 red and 1 green chilli – de­seeded and finely chopped

1 inch of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped


Boil the potatoes until soft with 1 teaspoon each of turmeric and garam masala. Drain and reserve.

While the potatoes are cooking, line a terrine mould with a double layer of cling film, overlapping

the sides and end: to help the cling film stick to the mould, rinse with water first.

At the same time cut a piece of cardboard to the shape of the top of the terrine and wrap in cling film.


Heat a frying pan and when hot add a little cooking oil: throw in the whole spice seeds and stir fry

for around 10 seconds until the seeds pop. Add the other spices and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked potatoes.


Fill the terrine with the potato and spice mix: make sure you eliminate any air bubbles. Cover over

with the cling film: the terrine should be over filled by 1⁄4 inch as you now have to place the wrapped cardboard on top of the terrine and press down to compress the potatoes.

Place a heavy chopping board or a metal tray and some tins on top and refrigerate, preferably

overnight. Carve and re­heat as needed.


Onion Bhaji


75g gram flour (you can use plain if gram flour is not available)

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

4 tbsp water

100g grated onion



Mix together the flour, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Season. Stir in the water and mix to a

smooth batter. Add the grated onion and stir to mix.


To cook, heat a deep fryer to 180 degrees C.

If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a pan of vegetable oil heated until a cube of bread dropped in

turns brown in around 30 seconds.

Shape the Bhajis as required and deep fry until golden. Drain on paper towel before using.


Thai King Prawns


Very simply, these are King Prawns sautéed – at the last minute – in oil with Thai Spices.

Now I could get into a long argument about what constitutes “Thai” spices and what ingredients

one would put into a Thai Curry paste – be it green or red.

As we are simply frying the Prawns in a combination of chopped spices I have left out some of the

traditional ingredients (such as onions or shallots, turmeric, chilli powder and the like) in favour

of a simple spice mix:


1 red or green chilli de­seeded (Red or Green depending on how much heat you want: also,

leaving in the seeds and white membrane makes it hotter – especially the white membrane

holding the seeds as this is where most of the heat comes from)

2 cloves garlic

1⁄2 stick lemon grass

3 kaffir lime Leaves

2 cm peeled galangal root TIP: substitute ginger if you can’t get galangal: you can buy it, as always,

through Amazon or there is a web site: www.theasiancookshop.co.uk 

1 tbspn fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lime


Chop the chilli, garlic, lemon grass, lime leaves and galangal finely and store until needed.

Chop the coriander and keep separate from the spices. Juice the lime.

Peel and de­vein the king prawns – you will need two per person. Marinate with the lime juice

until needed.

TIP: The prawns need to be cooked to order: once cooked they do not keep well for more than a few minutes.

Heat a frying pan and add a little oil: cook the drained prawns and spices together for around 30

seconds – depends on what size of king prawn you have, but as a general guide, once the prawn

has turned pink it is cooked. Sprinkle the coriander over and serve.


The Hake


You will need one piece of Hake per person, around 150g, skin on.

TIP: A personal “thing”: I have said skin on. This has a practical purpose as Hake is a very delicate fish

once cooked and cooking it with the skin on helps to stop it falling apart.

However, and here’s the thing, I get really annoyed with chefs who cook a piece of fish with the

skin on – nice and crispy, please – and then present the fish with the skin down: this means that

by the time you get to it the skin is horribly flaccid and not a pleasant texture to eat.

So if you don’t want to serve/eat the skin, cook the fish with the skin and then simply peel the skin

off before serving: this is also useful to those who are not sure about cooking fish as the skin will

not peel off if the fish is under cooked so can be used as a guide to cooking fish for those less

confident in the kitchen.


Heat the oven to 220 degrees C

Heat a frying pan until you can feel the heat rising from the pan: add a little oil (not olive, too

much flavour: use rapeseed or similar).

Season the fish – both sides – and place gently in the pan skin side up for 30 seconds. Turn over

and place the pan in the oven for 3 minutes.

Remove and rest in a warm place for a couple of minutes until serving.


To Serve


Cook some spinach, baby carrots and asparagus – or other veg of your choice.

Have the king prawns ready to go and the fryer /pan heated up. Cook the bhaji and prawns as

the fish is resting.

Warm through the slices of potato terrine. Push the drained spinach into square moulds and put onto the plate: top with the hake.

Place the slice of terrine next to the hake and top with the onion bhaji. Add the king prawns and

dress the plate with the rest of your chosen vegetables.


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