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

Latest from the Essex Life