The Essex Life Summer Menu: Starters

PUBLISHED: 06:45 04 August 2015 | UPDATED: 06:45 04 August 2015

The Duke's Head

The Duke's Head


As part of Essex Life’s Summer Menu special feature, we bring you four delicious starters to start your summer dining with a bang

Potted Crab

Serves 9

2 crabs (white and brown meat)

2 eggs

300ml of double cream

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the white and brown crab meat together. Then beat your eggs. Add your beaten eggs, cream, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to the crab meat and stir well. Divide the mixture evenly in to 9 ramekins. Bake in the oven at 180C for 15/20 minutes, until the mixture firms. Once cooked, leave the jars to cool down, before placing them in the fridge to chill.

Once chilled, add a thin layer of clarified butter or unsalted melted butter on top and leave to set in the fridge. Serve with granary toast and a thinly sliced fennel and chicory salad, in a lemon juice and salt vinaigrette.

Chef’s Tip: Add Maldon sea salt and freshly chopped chilli to the top of your potted crab before placing in the fridge.

The Queen’s Head, Fyfield

Smoked trout mousse with lime and horseradish

Serves 6

8 fillets of smoked trout

6 limes

2 tbsp of creamed horseradish

500ml of double cream


A bunch of chervil

Mixed lettuce leaf

For the mousse, zest and juice 2 limes. Add this and a spoonful of chopped chervil and 6 smoked trout fillets into a food processor and blend fine. Add 250ml of cream and blend to the consistency of whipped cream.

Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. For the horseradish cream, zest and juice 2 limes. Mix with horseradish and 250ml of cream. Place some leaves on a plate and spoon the mouse on top. Garnish with a slice of smoked trout, lime and chervil. Finish with the horseradish cream.

Lion and Lamb, Little Canfield

Bois Boudrin Dressing

45g of tomato ketchup

60g of Dijon mustard

10g of Worcester Sauce

25 drops of Tobasco Sauce

10g of chopped chives

30g of chopped shallot

30g of taragon (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together with a couple of tablespoons of warm water to emulsify and drizzle over.

Chef’s Tip: This dressing is gorgeous and tangy with steak, poached salmon or shellfish and the ingredients here will make enough for a dinner party.

The Duke’s Head, Hatfield Broad Oak

Salt baked beetroot, Jersey curd and pickled walnuts

Serves 4

Jersey Cow curd

100g of curd

Salt baked beetroot

6 red beetroot

10 egg whites

1lb of table salt

Candied walnuts

100g walnut

200g caster sugar

50ml water

Pickled beetroot

2 red beetroot (thinly sliced)

500ml of chardonnay vinegar

200g of caster sugar

1 tbsp of clear honey

2 sprigs of thyme

Lemon juice

Beetroot dressing

3 red beetroot

500ml of water

100ml of organic rapeseed oil

2tbsp of beetroot pickle liquor

1. For the salt baked beetroot, whisk the egg whites to soft peak then add the salt. Cover the beetroot and bake at 160C for 3 hours. When cooked, peel and slice.

For the candied walnuts, boil sugar and water to 120C then add the walnuts and stir until cold.

2. For the pickled beetroot, place all the ingredients in a pan, boil and allow to cool. Place the beetroot in the pickle.

3. For the beetroot dressing, blitz with 500ml water then pass. Reduce to a syrup, split with rapeseed oil and beetroot pickle liquor.

4. To serve, dress the plate with the beetroot dressing. Place the salt baked beetroot, pickled beetroot, pieces of curd and candied walnuts around the plate.

Down Hall Country House Hotel


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 08:56

Treat yourself to a pint of real ale surrounded by fresh sea air and coastal views at any one of these 12 glorious Essex pubs

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Being home to so many wonderful places to eat choosing where to go for dinner can often be difficult. With that in mind we’ve picked 20 of our favourite places to help you decide

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Stephanie Mackentyre continues her tour of Essex’s best eateries by stopping to eat at Dedham’s Sun Inn with her pooch

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

CyclesUK are a leading independent bike retail chain based in Essex and they have held a public vote to find the cafes that local cyclists love. The results are in and these are 10 of the best cycling cafes in Essex

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Looking for somewhere special to enjoy a festive lunch with family and friends?

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A hearty portion of pie and mash has been an Essex dining staple enjoyed for generations. We pick 15 places to go for a tasty portion of this local favourite

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

As an enduring British institution, it’s incredibly important to get your Sunday lunch right. Here are 12 pubs in Essex that know how to deliver precisely what you require.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Essex Life Food & Drink Awards for 2018 took place on September 27th at Down Hall Hotel

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Advances in agricultural technology have meant that the harvest scene across the county is much different today than decades ago. Hannah Salisbury from the Essex Record Office looks back at times gone past

Read more
Friday, September 28, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Chef of the Year award. Sponsored by Allstaff Employment

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search