Just as the seasons change, so do our tastes. Where we once reached for a summer salad to cut through the humidity, we're instead calling on the powers of glowing coals and slow-cooking to blanket us as the weather takes on a cool edge. Chiswick head chef Taylor Cullen recognises this and is here to lead the way. Below, Cullen shares his recipe for crispy-skinned ocean trout with wood-fired cabbage and anchovy butter. A love letter to autumn.
- 200g unsalted butter
- 50g Olasagasti anchovies
- 30g lemon zest
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 nasturtium flowers
Wood roasted cabbage
- 1 head of cabbage
- 4cm piece of kombu
- 20g bonito flakes
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 200ml water
- ½ lemon juiced, or to taste
- 20ml soy sauce
- Xanthan gum
- 1 ocean trout
For Anchovy Butter
- Finely chop the anchovies then shred the flower petals. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
For Wood roasted cabbage
- Preheat the oven to the highest temperature possible.
- Roast cabbage in the oven until completely black and almost cooked through. Alternatively, put it on the BBQ until black or under the grill.
- Peel off the outer black layers and clean the cabbage with a chux or paper towel.
- Break the cabbage down into 120g portions by removing the core.
- Steam for 4 minutes and then toss through the anchovy butter.
- Bring the water to 80 degrees celsius then add kombu, shiitake and bonito flakes. Let it cool to room temperature then strain.
- Place it back on the heat and add a pinch of xanthan gum until the liquid slightly thickens, the consistency should be in between olive oil and water.
- Season with the remaining ingredients and chill in the fridge.
For Ocean Trout
- Pat the trout dry with a paper towel. Remove the belly then cut the trout into fillets, from tail to head, as seen in the picture.
- Place trout fillets skin side up on a plate and leave in the fridge for 2 hours to dry the skin.
- Place skin side down in a smoking hot skillet and press until completely flat and you stop feeling the skin bubble.
- Cook for 3 minutes until black, it can be super dark. Flip and cook for 10 seconds on the underside then remove from the pan.
- Place trout on a plate with the cabbage tossed butter. Pour a little dashi on top of trout, then add more salt and olive oil, and serve.
Tip: Don’t discard the belly – it can be sliced and eaten as sashimi for an entrée.