Head Chef of the Bath Priory Hotel, Sam Moody, creates a sensational seasonal menu.

Head Chef of the Bath Priory Hotel, Sam Moody, creates a sensational seasonal menu to tantalise your taste buds and wow your friends.

The game season has come to a close and it’s time to welcome in the new spring growth. So much wonderful food comes into its best over the next few months, and what we like to do here at The Bath Priory is take this fantastic produce and let it do the talking.

New season lamb will soon be at its peak; the foragers have started to pick the first wild garlic; shellfish is great (but fish are heavy with spawn and not at their best) and the forced rhubarb is vibrant and full-flavoured.

At the Bath Priory we spend a lot of time sourcing quality local produce. We are truly lucky in the West Country as we are blessed with such fine examples from nature’s larder.

When you take what the West Country has to offer, and cook it simply with what is available, the results will amaze. In the recipes to follow, the fatty, rich spring lamb is balanced by the light wild garlic flavour and the sweetness of the olives, while rice pudding comforts and the vibrantly coloured rhubarb lights up the dish.

Seared Brixham Scallops with Shallot Pur�e and Bacon Velout�

Serves 4

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Allow 3 scallops per portion

Make the sauce the day before to give time to infuse

For the shallot pur�e:

500g shallots, finely sliced

50g unsalted butter

Sprig of thyme

1 Melt the butter in a wide-bottomed pan. Once hot, add the sliced shallots and season lightly with salt.

2 Once the shallots have started to cook down a little and lightly colour, add the thyme and then cover with cling film (to trap the steam) and cook on a very low heat for 1 hour.

3 Carefully remove the cling film and the sprig of thyme but be careful as the build of steam can give you a nasty burn.

4 Blend the soft shallots until smooth and then pass them through a sieve and reserve for later use.

For the bacon velout�:

250g shallots, sliced

300ml fish stock

200g smoked bacon trimmings

50g cream

250g milk

70g butter

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

1 lemon

1 Place the bacon trimmings and the milk together in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

2 Separately, sweat the shallots slowly with butter and a pinch of salt (do not colour).

3 Add the thyme and bay leaf and continue to sweat for a further two minutes.

4 Now add the fish stock, cream and the infused milk with the bacon trimmings.

5 Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

6 Pass through a fine mesh sieve.

7 Season with salt and pepper, and then leave to infuse.

To finish:

1 Bring your scallops to room temperature.

2 Pre-heat a non-stick frying pan and, once hot, add olive oil.

3 Season your scallops and then fry flat side down over a high heat until golden (2 minutes), then turn and remove from the heat.

4 Leave scallops to rest in the hot pan for 1 minute, then add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Roll the scallops around in the juice and then place onto a tissue-lined tray.

5 Place the pur�e down one side of a warm plate, then arrange the scallops down the other side.

6 Take the warm bacon velout�, and using a hand blender, create some ‘cappuccino’ bubbles. Top your scallops with this and enjoy!

Sam’s Tip: Scallops have to be fresh. I use Phil Bowditch’s Taunton fish shop, where they are perfectly fresh and they are opened for you.

Roast Rump of Lamb with Wild Garlic Leaves, Olives and Goats’ Cheese Croquette

Serves 4

1 lamb rump should give you 1� portions

50g of wild garlic leaves

20 olive halves

500g of goats’ cheese

Olive oil

2 eggs, beaten

200g breadcrumbs

For the goats’ cheese croquette:

1 Take your goats’ cheese and remove any rind. Place the soft cheese into a bowl and beat well until almost smooth, and refrigerate until firm.

2 Using a teaspoon, portion the goats’ cheese into lumps (25g approximately) then roll each into a ball in your hands. Refrigerate again.

3 Once firm, roll the balls in flour so that they are lightly coated and then place into the beaten egg. Drain off any excess egg and drop the balls into the breadcrumbs. Repeat twice more and then refrigerate.

4 When needed, deep fry at 170�C until golden and crispy.

For the roast rump of lamb:

1 Season the well-trimmed lamb rump with sea salt and black pepper.

2 Place fat down into a pre-heated, lightly oiled heavy-bottomed pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until the fat has rendered and is golden. Then increase the heat and colour each side.

3 In a warm place rest the lamb rumps for at least 30 minutes.

4 Reheat at 160�C for 5 minutes.

6 In a frying pan heat a little olive oil, drop in the wild garlic leaves and toss until wilted, then add the olive halves.

7 Slice the lamb rump as thinly as possible and place on top of your wilted wild garlic leaves, place the croquettes around, serve with something cheeky.

Sam’s Tip: Goats’ cheese croquettes make wonderful finger food, and can be frozen, so are ideal for canap� parties.

Vanilla Rice Pudding, Custard and Rhubarb Comp�te 

Serves 4

For the vanilla rice pudding:

200g pudding rice

200g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

1 litre milk

1 Bring the rice to the boil in water and then refresh under cold running water to remove any excess starch.

2 Place the rice into a saucepan and add the sugar, vanilla, and the milk.

3 Bring to the simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until most of the liquid is gone and the rice is soft.

4 Pour onto a flat tray and cool, remove the vanilla pod.

5 Once cold, crumb the rice up between your fingers and place into a bowl.

For the clotted cream custard:

190g milk

100g sugar

3 whole eggs

6 egg yolks

200g clotted cream

1 Cream together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar.

2 Bring the milk to the boil and add the milk to the creamed eggs and sugar, place back into the saucepan and

over a medium heat cook well,

stirring constantly.

3 Place clotted cream into the blender and add to it the curd. Blend well until smooth, pass through a fine sieve, then place into a bowl and allow to cool.

For the rhubarb comp�te:

500ml water

150g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

1kg washed rhubarb

1 In a pan bring the water, sugar and vanilla to the boil.

2 Dice the rhubarb into 15cm square dice and add this to the syrup.

3 Cook until the diced rhubarb is just cooked and still holding together. Remove about 30 pieces of rhubarb, return the rest of it to the heat. Cook this until it starts to fall apart, strain and then mash. Add the firm rhubarb back to this.

4 Now mix the rice and the custard together and place into glasses. Top with the warm comp�te and serve.

Sam’s Tip: The poaching liquid for the rhubarb can make a fantastic jelly, freeze for later use.

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

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