Who said food and cocktails don’t mix? Not the folk at Gin Mare. They’ve teamed up with two top chefs from two award-winning restaurants to create delicious summer menus and tasked drinks guru Stuart Bale to devise Gin Mare based cocktails to pair with them.

First up, a tasty seafood menu from the fabulous Mark Sargeant at Rocksalt in Folkestone. Follow the recipes below and start fishing for compliments on your dinner party skills.

Starter:
Gin Mare cured sea bass with pickled cucumber, black olives, chilli and a scallop beignet in tonic batter

Makes six portions
1 large sea bass fillet, scaled and pinned
80g sea salt
25g caster sugar
1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 bunch mint, chiffonade
70ml Gin Mare

Mix together the sugar, salt, lemon zest, orange zest, peppercorns and mint then mix in the gin, completely covering all sides of the sea bass with the cure. Place the fillet in a tray or plate with the cure with another plate on top to press slightly and place in the fridge. Leave to cure for 24 hours in the fridge. Wash off well under cold running water and pat dry.

For the dressing:
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 2 lemons
250ml virgin rapeseed oil

Mix all ingredients together.

To garnish:
6 cleaned medium scallops
75g plain flour
50g corn flour
125ml tonic water
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
10g coriander cress
6 black olives, sliced
1/4 cucumber sliced
40g sea salt
100ml white wine vinegar
50g sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds

First mix the sliced cucumber with the sea salt and leave for 20 minutes, in the meantime bring to the boil the vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds until the sugar has dissolved, allow to cool. Wash off the cucumber under plenty of cold running water and pat dry on a clean towel, place in a bowl and pour over the boiled vinegar sugar mixture and put to one side. Next make the tempura batter, in a bowl mix the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and tonic together to achieve a very light batter.

To serve, slice the sea bass thinly leaving the skin behind, lay out on a cold plate and smother with the dressing. Place the scallops in the batter and then deep-fry at 190c for 1-2 minutes, remove and drain on kitchen paper then place on top of the sliced sea bass plates, finish by sprinkling over the pickled cucumber, chilli, olives and coriander cress and serve immediately.

Pair it with:
Sea Snapper

50ml Gin Mare
25ml dry sherry
25ml horseradish vodka
50ml tomato water
2.5ml gomme
pinch salt
Micro radish to garnish

To make the tomato water: blend a selection of the freshest, best quality tomatoes you can find. Leave to strain through a muslin cloth. Add all ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into a cocktail glass Garnish with a few stems of micro radish.

Main:
Pan-fried salmon with sea vegetables, samphire and crushed celeriac with a Gin Mare butter sauce

 

Makes six portions

6 salmon fillets, scaled and pinned
300g mix of sea vegetables (sea kale, sea aster, sea beet etc.)
150g Samphire
1 large celeriac peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
milk just to cover celeriac
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
100g butter
Pinch of celery salt
Vegetable oil for cooking
Salt & freshly milled white pepper

Add the celeriac, thyme and bay leaf in a pan. Cover with milk and simmer until the celeriac is well cooked, then strain the celeriac removing the bay leaves and thyme stalks. Reserve the milk. Melt the butter in the same pan; add the celeriac back in, season with the salt and pepper and sauté for 2 mins to allow the celeriac to dry slightly.

Pulse in a blender until coarse, adjust the consistency with the reserved milk if needed. Season with celery salt and keep warm.

Heat a non-stick pan until medium hot, add a little vegetable oil and gently place the salmon fillets in, skin side down. Cook gently (this is all about controlling the temperature to not burn the skin but still get it crispy and cook the fish half way). Turn the heat off, turn the fish over and leave in the pan, the residual heat will finish cooking the fish through.

In boiling salted water add the sea vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and add the samphire and cook for 1 minute.

For the Gin Mare Butter Sauce:
Reduction: this can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge
25g butter
2 shallots sliced
5g pepper corns
250ml white wine vinegar
150ml Gin Mare
Handful of basil stalks

Cook the shallots in the butter until soft, add the peppercorns, vinegar and basil stalks and reduce by half. Add Gin Mare and reduce again by half. Strain.

Finishing the sauce:
2 tbsp reduction
100ml chicken stock
1 tbsp cream
250g unsalted butter
2 tbsp Gin Mare

Bring the reduction and chicken stock to the boil and reduce by a third. Add the cream and then gradually whisk in the butter to form an emulsion. Season and finish with the Gin Mare.
Don’t boil the sauce or the butter will split!

To serve, neatly arrange the hot celeriac and sea vegetables in a warm bowl, top off with the salmon and scatter over the samphire. Serve the butter sauce on the side to pour as needed.

Pair it with:
Melon Cube Cooler

50ml Gin Mare
50ml cucumber water
50ml dry white wine
5ml gomme
pinch sea salt
Garnish: assorted melon ice cubes
Olive oil

For the cucumber water: blend equal parts peeled cucumber and water. Strain through a muslin cloth.

Build all ingredients in a tall glass over cubes of assorted melon that have been frozen overnight. Drizzle olive oil on top to serve.

Pud:
Gin Mare Chocolate Truffles

Makes approx. 30 truffles

130g chocolate 70%, chopped
160ml double cream
20g unsalted, softened butter
50ml Gin Mare
1 sprig of rosemary
3 juniper berries, crushed
Good-quality cocoa powder for dusting

Bring the cream, rosemary and juniper to the simmer. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film or a lid and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Bring back up to the simmer and pass onto the chocolate, whisk until it has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the butter then the Gin Mare. Transfer the mixture into a tray or bowl and leave to cool in the fridge (about 1-1 1/2 hours) until firm enough to scoop out with a tea spoon about 10g each piece, roll in the cocoa powder and leave in a cool place until needed.

Pair it with:
Gin Mare Espresso Flip

50ml Gin Mare
15ml Merlet C2 Coffee Liqueur
15ml 2:1 sugar syrup
1 whole egg
1 espresso
Garnish: gold powder and tonka bean

Add all ingredients to shaker, shake without ice, then with ice. Double strain into coupette and sprinkle with gold powder, grated tonka bean and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Rocksalt, 4-5 Fishmarket, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 6AA. rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk

For more information, see ginmare.com

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