Michelin-Starred Simon Hulstone Cooks A ‘Skrei-Sational’ Meal For Michel Roux Jr & Friends
A special type of cod has landed on the UK food scene straight from the cold, clear waters of Northern Norway. Industry leaders and inspirational chefs including José Pizarro, Daniel Galmiche and Pascal Aussignac joined the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK, Mona Juul and the Norwegian Seafood Council at a celebratory dinner with Michel Roux Jr, exquisitely cooked by Michelin-Starred Chef Simon Hulstone to mark the start of the four-month Skrei season.
Simon, Chef Proprietor at The Elephant in Torquay and an advocate of Norwegian Skrei having fished for the delicacy out in Northern Norway since 2012, produced a stunning menu for our guests at the Norwegian Ambassador’s Residence in Kensington. The starter being his take on the traditional Norwegian Skrei dish, Mølje after enjoying this delicacy cooked by Norwegian housewives many times over the past few years.
Celebration of Skrei – Simon Hulstone’s Menu
Sour dough & beurre noisette
Salted and lightly poached Skrei and cod tongue, clam and Jerusalem artichoke cream, truffle, samphire
(Accompanied by Verdejo “Parcela 52”, 2013 – Finca Constantia, Tierra de Castilla, Spain)
Roasted Loin of Skrei , Celeriac and wild mushrooms, Morcilla, confit onion and sprouting broccoli
(Accompanied by Massaya Terrasses de Baalbeck Rouge, 2012 – Massaya Winery Bekaa Valley, Lebanon)
Chilled chocolate fondant, salted caramel and brown butter
(Accompanied by Rutherglen Muscat – Stanton & Killeen, Victoria, Australia)
Michelin-star chef Michel Roux Jr comments: “Skrei is a versatile ingredient with lean, firm white flesh that lends itself to both modern and classic dishes. The biggest inspiration for me as a chef is seasonality, and that includes the forthcoming Skrei season. The delicate sublime taste of Skrei cod is second to none. It is a truly sustainable fish that with a unique legacy, which adds value to an already extraordinary product. As a chef I always insist on the finest ingredients and Skrei never disappoints. I am proud and honoured to be an Ambassador for what I consider to be, one of the finest products of the sea.”
Skrei – Seasonal Prime Cod From Norway
Skrei will be available for purchase from all UK Wholefood stores and quality fishmongers, in addition to Selfridges and Harrods fish counters from the the end of January 2016.
Only available between January and April each year, Skrei (pronounced Skray) is a migratory cod, which journeys thousands of miles annually from the Barents Sea to Northern Norway. Fishing is a way of life for many Norwegians and each year, this annual phenomenon is met with great excitement and celebration!
Skrei is such a revered product in Norway that it has its own grading standard. Hundreds of millions of Norwegian cod migrate each year back to their spawning grounds of Lofoten and Vesterålen, yet only a small percentage of all landed cod will be branded with the prized dorsal fin Skrei tag, which acts almost like a seal of approval or quality assurance. It is only the very best of this migratory cod qualifies for the Skrei branding, having to meet stringent quality standards.
Thanks to its epic journey through icy and dark waters, Skrei is lean and rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, which makes it a hugely versatile, healthy and wholesome food, caught in its prime and in perfect condition. Skrei has firm flesh, with obvious fat lines defining the large bright white flakes which melt away during cooking. The fish can be prepared in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
Skrei has already received high-end acclaim from top chefs, including Michel Roux Jr, Daniel Galmiche and Simon Hulstone, who have all served Skrei in season at their Michelin-starred restaurants. This January, some of Britains finest and most treasured chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Monica Galetti, Ollie Dabbous and Robin Gill travelled out to the island of Sommarøy to see, catch and taste Skrei from source before bringing their inspiration back to their restaurant tables for us all to enjoy in the first few months of the year.
A foodie perspective
Skrei has firm flesh, with obvious fat lines defining the large bright white flakes which melt away during cooking. The fish can be prepared in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Delicious as a ceviche; firm textured and sweet, or try just lightly curing it and serving thinly sliced with olive oil, lemon, dill and sea salt as a mouth-watering starter.
For a main course, why not try bringing some of the loin, then roasting and serving with a little-braised fennel and anchovy. With such a delicate, yet full flavour to the meat, the fish can be served simply, with nothing more. After just a short time in the oven, the muscle and fat between the flakes will melt away and you can just push each one off with your fork.
For a more traditional approach, serve Skrei simply with boiled potatoes and steamed carrots – letting all the flavours of the fish do the talking. And if you are feeling adventurous, the classic way to prepare Norwegian Skrei is called “Mølje,” which is a simple, popular dish. To prepare this dish, in separate pots, poach the fish, liver and roe in lightly salted water; then serve with boiled potatoes. Skrei tongue and roe are considered by many to be a prized delicacy.