Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Proposal and Oysters at The Marina, Whitby

 The sights and sounds of Whitby have never before seemed quite so romantic, but for me, the memories I now have there are the most sincere and romantic of any I possess.

After a very unexpected proposal up at Ravenscar, overlooking a colony of barking seals and crashing waves, Tom and I got engaged and the excitement of it all, plus the sea air, gave us both a hankering for luxury and relaxation. Or perhaps it was the camping pod!

We took a turn about Whitby the following day and absorbed the gothic atmosphere up at the abbey ruins, in the quirky church and among the grave stones on the cliff. The historical feeling within the town is nostalgic and the harbour breeze mixed with a rusted sea front gives you a sense of mortality which nudge you towards grasping life and seizing the moment!

Whitby, view from the stairs leading to the Abbey and church
Whitby Harbour and Abbey

So we sauntered into The Marina to enjoy a platter or two of oysters and some lunch time Bloody Marys. Amazingly, they served the most delicious Colchester Oysters are served on ice with shallot vinaigrette, Soy, ginger & spring onion or Catalan – Chorizo & shallot.
We opted to sample all of the above and they went down very nicely. My favourite were the shallots and vinaigrette. But we added a little tabasco - the cocktail gave me a taster for the spice.

The Marina, Whitby

Oysters, The Marina, Whitby

The Marina, Whitby

Catalan Oyster, Whitby


Whitby Panoramic - Seize the Day!
This day will go down as one of the most wonderful; embracing the day, enjoying each others company, and appreciating the beautiful Yorkshire coastline.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Salmon Ravioli with Wild Mushroom and Mussel Sauce.

Salmon Ravioli- Wild mushroom and Mussel Sauce.

Salmon Ravioli with wild mushroom and Mussel Sauce. Serves 4

This dish has a few elements and therefore timing is everything. Ensure you plan ahead and serve as a delicious starter or add extra ravioli for a main dish.

Salmon Mousse

Add salmon to a blender in batches. Don't add salt at this stage and be careful as you can over blend the mousse and this will affect the texture making it grainy. Adding egg whites acts as a glue and binds the mixture together. I recommend adding one egg white to 200g fish. Add lemon juice, a splash of cream and seasoning and then pass through a sieve.


1 egg
1 yolk
100g pasta flour- tippo '00' milled to a fine grain
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp water

No salt- this affects the structure, put salt into the cooking water for flavour.


Sift your flour onto a surface and create a well in the centre.
Add your liquids and fold the flour into the centre until all is combined and a dough is formed.
Work the dough to stretch the gluten. Rest it in cling film for 20mins somewhere cold.
Roll out the pasta in a machine and hang to dry for 30mins. Lay out one of your pasta sheets and place dots of the mousse filling evenly spaced out. Brush around the mousse with a little egg wash and seal by laying over with a second piece of pasta and carefully sealing around your filling. Stamp out the ravioli shape or cut into squares.

Don't overfill the ravioli and be careful to seal it or it will explode in the water.
Leave the ravioli on a floured surface to dry a little before cooking.

Ensure your pasta water is well salted and boiling before cooking for approx. 3 mins until al dente. The shape allows you to capture sauce in the pasta and creates a beautiful shape.

Wild mushroom and Mussel Sauce

Place 1 diced shallot in a heavy based, lidded pan with a little olive oil and cook until translucent. Add a couple of handfuls of mushrooms and stir for another two minutes.
Add 100ml white wine and reduce by half.
Add 100ml whipping cream and reduce again.
Add your mussels (around 1kg) and place the lid on the pan. Cook until the shells have opened for around 5 mins. Discard any shells that do not open.
Pour the sauce over the pasta. Season the dish with pepper.

Supreme of Salmon

Debone and trim your pieces of salmon into nice even shapes. Season the skin and place in a hot non stick pan, skin side down. Turn after 3 minutes and cook the other sides for 1 min each until the salmon is firm to touch.

Plate with your pasta, sauce and garnish with some flat leaf parsley.