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Paul Evans of the George in Eartham shares his roasted cod and clams recipe

PUBLISHED: 16:40 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:44 27 May 2014

Archant

Chef Paul Evans of the George in Eartham invites us to share his chef's table

The Dish - Roasted cod and clams with bacon mash, spinach and a creamy shallot sauce

Serves Four

For the cod

-4 thick local cod fillets, 160g (5.5oz) each

-A little seasoned flour

-75g (2.5oz) unsalted butter (Southdowns butter is rich and creamy)

-2 tbsps Sussex extra virgin rapeseed oil

-750g (1lb 10oz) baby spinach, from the garden or allotment

*

For the bacon mash

-6 rashers smoked dry-cure streaky bacon, rind removed – look for 
-Funtington pork

-1kg (3lb 3oz) Maris Piper potatoes cut into 7.5cm (3in) pieces

-50g (1.5oz) unsalted butter

-White pepper
*

For the shallot sauce

1kg (2.5lb) UK, Venus or Palourde clams, scrubbed and soaked for two hours in salted water (use local cockles if clams are unavailable)

Half a large glass of dry white wine – nothing too oaky – you could use local wine from Bolney or Stopham

2 shallots or 1 small onion, very finely chopped

300ml (10fl oz) double cream

1 heaped tbsp thyme leaves

Juice of half a lemon

Pea shoots to garnish

***

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

For the mash

1 Put the bacon on a non-stick baking tray in the oven for about 10 minutes until crisp. Cool and crumble, reserving a few rashers for the garnish.

2 Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain, return to the pan, add the butter and mash well. Season with the white pepper and stir in the bacon.

*

To make the sauce

1 Put the clams in a large pan with the wine and half the shallots. Cook, covered, over a high heat – shaking from time to time – for about 4 1/2 minutes until the clams have opened. Discard any that haven’t opened.

2 Drain in a colander over a bowl to catch the juice. Reserve 12 of the clams in their shells for garnish and shell the rest.

3 Pour the clam juice into a pan and add the remaining shallots. Simmer for 10 minutes until reduced slightly, then add the cream. Simmer for a further five minutes then, if you wish, blend until smooth using a hand blender. Add the thyme and clam meat and check the seasoning, adding a little lemon juice. Keep the sauce warm.

*

To cook the cod

1 Coat the skin side with seasoned flour. Then put 50g (1.5oz) butter and the oil in a non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium heat until frothing. Put the fish in, skin-side down, and fry until the fish turns white halfway up its sides.

2 Baste with the oil and butter once, then put the pan in the oven for seven to eight minutes, or until opaque.

*

For the spinach

Whilst the cod is in the oven, heat the remaining butter and add the washed spinach. Cook until wilted, then season and drain it.

***

To serve

1 Spoon the mash on to the centre of each plate. Top with three clams in their shells, spinach, a piece of cod and some bacon. Pour the sauce around the fish and over the top.

2 Garnish and serve.

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The Wine - Cable Bay, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011

This classic New Zealand wine has excellent fruit concentration with crisp ripe tropical aromas, a creamy mouth feel and long zesty finish. Supplied by Gusto Wines (www.gustowines.co.uk), we think that its additional layers of complexity and interest without an overpowering finish make it a perfect food pairing with white fish and shellfish.

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The Chef

Paul Evans has been a chef for over 20 years and has worked in some of the south east’s top establishments, including Goodwood. Currently at the George in Eartham, he shares his passion for locally sourced produce with owners James and Anita Thompson and has created a menu that celebrates great Sussex, British and Commonwealth food.

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