Chef’s Special: 2 Fore Street, Mousehole.

Pan fried Gunard with saffron curried mussels

Joe Wardell

Pan Fried Gurnard with Saffron Curried Mussels

Recipe by Joe Wardell, 2 Fore Street, Mousehole

Chef and restaurant owner, Joe Wardell opened his restaurant in Mousehole, overlooking the harbour, in April 2007. Having worked for Raymond Blanc at the Le Petite Blanc in Oxford his food is certainly influenced by Raymond’s simple French cooking which relies on good ingredients and not too much embellishment.

“I literally phone every single morning to find out what local fish is in and what is good,” says Joe. Such is the advantage of being this close to the boats when they land the fish. Local people also like to bring in the surplus produce form their garden or fish from their catch from time to time.

“Gurnard is a sustainable fish with a robust firm texture that can handle strong flavours such as the slightly curried mussels well,” Joe explains,” It was once used as Lobster bait and so plentiful that local Mousehole people used to feed gurnard to their cats! Since Rick Stein has championed this under-rated fish it has become a minor celebrity, similar in taste and texture to Red Mullet.”  In this recipe sea bass or monkfish could be used as alternatives.

Joe has championed a very relaxed bistro / brasserie atmosphere where anyone is welcome, should they only com in for a coffee and a bowl of soup to a three course dinner with champagne. “People who walk over from Lamorna and pop in for a cream tea are as important as the customer in a suit and deserve to be treated as well as the next,” he says. “We open at 10am and allow lunch and evening dining times to be open and flexible.”

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

4 Good size gurnard (filleted)

1kg River Exe Mussels (cleaned)

1 Sliced white onion

1 Sliced Fennel bulb

3 Chopped garlic cloves

Saffron threads

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cardamom

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin

¼ good quality garam masala

100ml double cream

200ml fish stock

Fresh coriander

2 Lemons


Cook gurnard fillets skin side down for 2 mins.

Turn, season, add the juice of 1/2 lemon and a knob of butter.  Finish in the oven.

Sweat onion, garlic and blanched fennel in butter add all spices (not garam

masala) cook for 2 mins on a medium heat. Add the fish stock and mussels (cooking  until open, then add cream, pinch of the saffron, lemon juice, garam masala and coriander.

Serve in soup plates with gurnard on top, lemon and garden herbs. Best accompanied by fresh, homemade bread.

2 Fore Street, Mousehole, TR19 6QU

Tel: 01736 731164

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