Disappointed but unbowed by the inevitable cancellation of this year’s Saint Peter’s Day luncheon at Fishmongers’ Hall, Freeman Roger Coverly and his family decided they would prepare their own meal at home in homage. In order to best capture the flavour of the occasion, both literally and metaphorically, they turned to Stephen Pini’s recipes in his Simply Fish cookbook.
The result was a triumphant feast, albeit a rather lengthy one. “Due to preparation time, luncheon merged well into the evening,” admits Roger. “There were seven of us in total [this was, of course, prior to the introduction of the “rule of six”], each taking responsibility for one of the dishes we had chosen from Simply Fish.”
The opening salvo of the sumptuous menu was smoked trout paté with crostini (p34 of Simply Fish). Next came a refreshing ceviche of scallops topped with avocado, mango and lime (p96), followed by scampi and vegetable tempura (p106). Then came the big guns: fresh grilled lobster with herb butter (p110); roast monkfish with Savoy cabbage and bacon (p62); and a mussel, smoked cod and fennel chowder with tiger prawns (p24). And finally, for dessert, a strawberry tart, the one dish not from the cookbook.
“Just in case you are wondering how on earth we could manage to eat so much, the format was more in line with a tasting menu,” Roger explains. “We would like to assure Mr Pini that he is still way ahead of us in terms of competition. However, we had no disasters and we thought his recipes were excellent and very easy to follow. We also followed the recommended wine for each course, which made life a lot easier. My personal favourites were the chowder and the roast monkfish. We had such good fun doing this with our family and we have vowed to do this more often.”
Perhaps other Freemen would like to try a similar venture themselves? If so, please drop us a line: we would love to feature your experience in a future newsletter.