Home   What's On   News   Article

How to make Tom Kerridge's red mullet on baked provencial vegtables

If Tom Kerridge was still drinking, now would be the time to crack open the bubbly and toast his success.

A new cookery book, Best Ever Dishes, an accompanying BBC Two series, a bustling pub, The Hand And Flowers in Marlow, and even an imposter pretending to be him on Twitter - it's fair to say that Kerridge is having a bit of a moment right now.

But after a massive 40th birthday celebration, which the jolly chef jokes he's "still suffering from", just a pint of diet Coke will do.

"I've knocked the booze on the head and thought I'd have a clean year. So far, we're doing alright," he says in his distinctive burr, laughing. "I haven't fallen off the wagon yet."

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, who is currently in BBC2's Lose Weight for Good, will bring his food and drink festival to Tunbridge Wells
Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, who is currently in BBC2's Lose Weight for Good, will bring his food and drink festival to Tunbridge Wells

Giving up alcohol is just one thing that has changed in Tom's life since his first solo cookery series, Proper Pub Food, was aired last year. For starters, he's lost six stone, partially through the abstinence and partially through swimming. Then there's the teeming mass of fans he's gained through his TV series, book and two Michelin-starred pub.

All this could go to a man's head but Tom is "still the same bloke", he's always been. Indeed, before the cameras started to roll on his first series, he insisted that he remained himself and "not a cartoon character" on screen.

That people like the real him is a "huge compliment" and luckily, he likes them too.

"I'm quite fortunate that I'm one of the chefs that actually likes people," says the cheerful 41-year-old, who is married to sculptor and Hand And Flowers co-owner Beth, who he says is a "really, really good cook."

"I'm quite a people person. I'd say every day, I come across somebody who knows who I am and I have no idea who they are, and that's quite cool, because I get to find out."

Often people will stop to ask the chef about his favourite food or tweet him pictures of their versions of Kerridge's "lamb and Boulangere potatoes" which they've served up for a Sunday roast.

And Kerridge, whose new book sees him adding twists on classic dishes like tomato soups and rice puddings, is eager to encourage his fans to head to the kitchen and have a go.

"It's amazing, because it means that the book is getting cooked from," says Tom of the feedback he's had from readers.

"I don't want it to be a coffee table book, I want it to be cooked from, covered in grease and flour and battered."

Here's one of the recipes from the book for you to have a crack at.

Red mullet on baked provencial vegtables from Tom Kerridge's Best Ever Dishes
Red mullet on baked provencial vegtables from Tom Kerridge's Best Ever Dishes


(Serves 4)

2 large aubergines

8 ripe tomatoes

3 large courgettes, cut into 5mm slices

Olive oil, for drizzling

4 x 170g red mullet fillets, pin-boned and scaled

1tsp lemon thyme leaves (ordinary thyme if lemon isn't available)

1tsp oregano leaves

Flaky sea salt, to finish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the onion jam:

3 1/2tbsp olive oil

3 1/2tbsp red wine vinegar

500g red onions, halved and sliced

1tbsp thyme leaves

1tbsp light muscovado sugar

3 garlic cloves, grated

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Here's how you make it

Pierce the aubergines all over with a sharp knife, put them on to a plate and cover with cling film. Microwave them on full power for 8-10 minutes, until they are very soft in the middle. If you don't have a microwave, place the pierced aubergines on a baking tray and bake at 200C/Gas Mark 6 for 45 minutes to one hour, depending on their size. Keep an eye on them, as you want them to be just fluffy in the middle and for the flesh to be as pale as possible. Cool then cut them in half lengthways, scoop out the flesh, mash with a fork and season.

Make the onion jam. Pour the olive oil and vinegar into a large saucepan with the onions, thyme and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 40-50 minutes, until the onions are soft and have an almost jammy consistency. Stir from time to time and make sure the mixture doesn't catch on the bottom. Remove from the heat and add the garlic and lemon zest. Mix the onion jam into the mashed-up aubergine and spoon this into the bottom of an ovenproof serving dish.

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Prepare a bowl of iced water and place it by the hob. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and drop in the tomatoes - count to ten, then remove and plunge them into the iced water. Peel the skins from the tomatoes and slice them into 5mm slices. Layer the tomatoes and courgettes on top of the aubergine and onion mixture in lines, or one by one, or just randomly. Drizzle on some olive oil and season. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and put the fillets of red mullet on top, skin-side up. Return to the oven and bake for eight to 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Sprinkle on the lemon thyme and oregano and season with flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.

Tom Kerridge's Best Ever Dishes is published by Absolute Press, priced £25. Tom Kerridge's Best Ever Dishes airs on BBC Two later this autumn.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More