Summer cider recipes with Alex James

Pea soup and whole roast salmon with a hint of cider

Alex James, better known for his cheese loving antics and nimble bass lines, is on a new mission to bring cider to the table. Here he offers us a delicious selection of cider based recipes for a mellow summer’s day.

Alex James’s spring pea soup with Chaplin
& Cork’s cider

Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

30g butter 80g pancetta 4 shallots, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed 150ml Chaplin & Cork’s Somerset Vintage Cider 500g peas, handful reserved to serve 800ml chicken stock Small bunch mint, leaves roughly chopped 4 tablespoons crème fraiche Small mint leaves Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the butter, and add the pancetta when it stops foaming. Soften for 5 minutes on a low heat, then add the shallots and garlic. Cover and soften for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the cider, and let it bubble down for 2-3 minutes before stirring through the peas and stock. Bring to the boil, then cook for 2 minutes before adding the mint, and turning off the heat.

3. Blitz the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Taste and season as needed with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Serve hot or fridge cold with a dollop of crème fraiche, the reserved peas and mint leaves.

Whole roast salmon paired with Chaplin &
Cork’s Somerset Gold cider

Serves: 10 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

1 x whole salmon, gutted and scaled
(2.25-2.75kg)
2-3 large pinches sea salt flakes Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil 30g thyme

1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
2. Place the salmon in a large roasting tin, and make four deep slashes along the length of the fish. Turn the fish over, and repeat. Scatter each side in turn with the sea salt and freshly ground pepper, drizzle with the oil, and rub everything in well, working it into the slashes.
3. Scatter a little more sea salt in the cavity, stuff with the thyme, then transfer to the oven and roast for 45 minutes.
4. Serve the hot salmon whole at the table, alongside spring new potatoes, a chicory and walnut salad.

Cider pairing: Serve with Somerset Gold Cider – the bittersweet acidity of the cider cuts through and off sets the richness of the salmon perfectly. It acts as a palette cleanser so every bite as good as the next.

Chicory & Walnut Salad

300g chicory, separated 200g mixed leaves 100g walnuts, lightly toasted 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 lemon, juice only 2 tablespoons honey Pinch sea salt Good grind black pepper

1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the chicory, leaves and walnuts. Just before serving, toss the dressing through the leaves, and serve alongside the salmon.
3. Cheese option: crumbled Farleigh Wallop through the salad.

Summer cider recipes with Alex James

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