Recipes for March


Serves 4

300g. floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm. pieces
1 small celeriac (600-650g.) peeled and cut into 2cm. pieces
4 eggs
400g. frozen garden peas
about 330mls. whole milk
2 fresh bay leaves
400g. pack Frozen Fish Pie Mix, defrosted
180g. Raw King Prawns
20g. unsalted butter
20g. plain flour
1 unwaxed lemon, zest of all, juice of 1/2
75g. reduced fat creme fraiche

1. Put the potatoes and celeriac in a large saucepan of salted water. Cover and bring to the boil and cook simmering for 15 minutes. Carefully put the eggs on top, cover and boil for a further 7 – 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water. Add the peas to the pan, cover and bring to the boil. Drain and steam dry for 5 minutes, then mash with 30mls. of milk. Season and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, put the bay leaves, fish pie mix and prawns in a large frying pan. Pour over the remaining 300mls, of milk, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly then transfer the fish to a plate using your slotted spoon. Strain the milk into a measuring jug. You want 300mls. of liquid so top up if necessary. Preheat oven to 180C, gas mark 4.

3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan and when melted add the flour and stir to make a paste. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the poaching milk until combined. Simmer for a few minutes until bubbling and thickened. Mix in the lemon juice and zest and creme fraiche. Season.

4. Peel the eggs, quarter and place on top of the fish and sauce mixture in a medium-large baking dish. Top with spoonfuls of the mash, spreading evenly to cover. Put on a baking tray and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until bubbling.


Celeriac browns quickly when peeled so put it into water with lemon juice added to stop discolouration. Use a knife rather than a peeler would be my advice.

I used cooked prawns when making this dish and they were fine. I couldn’t find frozen pie mix in the supermarket but they did have fresh, or you could make your own mix using salmon, white fish and smoked haddock. Max sells pie mix (the fishmonger who comes to Ledbury on a Tuesday morning).

You can make a white sauce without making a roux if you add flour to cold milk and keep whisking until it bubbles. I never bother making a roux now. Waitrose sell sauce flour designed to be used without butter.


Serves 8

180mls. sunflower oil
225g. light brown sugar or muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, separated
35g. raw beetroot, peeled and grated
juice of 1 lemon
75g. sultanas
75g. mixed seeds
100g. wholemeal self raising flour
125g. white self-raising flour
1/2 tsp. bicarb of soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. gd. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4. Line a 900g. loaf tin with baking parchment. Place the oil and sugar in a large bowl and beat until well combined. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating between each addition. Stir in the grated beetroot, lemon juice, sultanas and all but 2 tbsps. of the seeds.

Sift the flours, bicarb, baking powder and cinnamon over the egg mixture and fold in with a metal spoon.

Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites gradually into the cake mixture using a metal spoon.

Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and sprinkle with the remaining seeds. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes then turn out and transfer to a wire rack. Keeps for 3 – 4 days in an airtight container.


You can buy loaf tins liners at the kitchen shop in Ledbury. Brilliant things to have in store.

Make sure your bowl is grease free when you whisk the egg whites. You use a metal spoon so that you retain the air, a wooden spoon knocks it out.

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