Recipe of the week- from the Week!
A top chef’s favourite
Lee’s cooking is known for its robust generosity, and its focus on the character of the principal ingredient. This dish sits squarely within that tradition: it is “something of a must at Quo Vadis”, says Lee – “ensconced on the menu for all time”.
Jeremy Lee, chef-proprietor at that venerable Soho institution Quo Vadis, “represents an almost forgotten line of British cooking”, says the food writer Matthew Fort. “He sources his primary materials with enthusiastic discrimination, and then treats them with rare respect.”
Lee began his career in Scotland, then came to London to hone his skills under Simon Hopkinson and Alastair Little – major names in the resurgence of modern British cooking. In 1994, he took over at the Blueprint Café at the Design Museum, where his “killer combination of French technique and love of the robust over the fancy made it a place of pilgrimage”, says Jay Rayner in The Observer. “Lee is that rare phenomenon in London’s food world – a chap everyone agrees is a good thing.”
- 1 slice of sourdough bread
- 30g-40g fillet of smoked eel (best taken from an intact fish)
- 1 heaped tsp of horseradish cream of a fiery temperament
- 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard
- ¼ of a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsps of good white wine vinegar
- 1 good pinch of sugar
- Combine the sugar and vinegar together in a pan and gently heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and steep the sliced onion in it, leaving it to pickle for an hour or so.
- Warm a griddle pan over a gentle heat. Once hot, lay the slice of sourdough on the pan and brown nicely.
- Generously spread butter on the toasted side of the bread, followed by Dijon mustard, then cut the piece of toast in half.
- Cut the eel into three even pieces and place on top of one of the toasted sides of the bread. Add horseradish cream on top and place the other half of the bread on top (toasted side down).
- Return the sandwich to the griddle pan and grill on one side until brown. Carefully flip the sandwich and grill for a further few minutes.
- Drain the pickled red onions and serve alongside the sandwich.