Kevin Dalgleish, Executive Chef at Ackergill Tower Hotel, Wick, Caithness (www.ackergilltower.com) now that warmer days are with us finds his thoughts turning to lighter, cleaner dishes. He shares his thoughts and some BBQ recipes with Foody Travellers staying at home.
"Out go cream and butter and in come rape seed oil, olive oil and dressings. Menus pay particular attention to the spring vegetables plus morels, asparagus, wild salmon and spring lamb, all in their prime now. I get a real sense of anticipation when we follow the seasons finding myself getting excited by the arrival of wild garlic along the walled garden, the first sight of our rhubarb starting to show its wonderful red stems and harvesting hairy bitter cress and dandelions from the grounds for salads. All of our raw ingredients are sourced locally, which lets us work with our suppliers to achieve the standards which we strive for."
Roast and BBQ Leg of Mey lamb studded with garlic and rosemary
You can prepare the lamb the day before and it will give the meat much more flavour
1 leg of lamb about 1 ½ k boned and rolled
6 cloves of garlic halved
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
100ml olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper
Make about 12 incisions in the lamb with a small sharp knife. Insert the garlic into the holes then stuff in some rosemary. Place in fridge overnight.
Rub the lamb with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place on oven tray on top of remaining rosemary.
Place in hot oven cook at 210˚C for 10 min then turn down to 170˚ and cook for 30 min.
Remove from oven and brush meat with cooking juices. Place on hot griddle for about 20 min turning from time to time, this will char the outside so you get that BBQ flavour but the middle will be pink and succulent. Remove from griddle and leave to rest for 10min before carving.
BBQ Side of Orkney salmon with lemon and sweet chilli and wild garlic
1-1kg side of salmon scaled and pin boned
50g of chopped parsley
50g fresh coriander leaves
2 leaves of wild garlic
50ml olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon and lime
100ml sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper
1 lemon to finish
In a mixing bowl mix together half of the herbs, oil, lemon, lime and the sweet chilli.
Place the salmon on a tray skin side down. With a sharp knife make about four slashes evenly around the flesh approximately 2 cm deep.
Brush the marinade in and around the flesh and season well.
Turn fish over and brush and season the skin.
When the BBQ is ready place the salmon on a wire rack skin side down and place on the BBQ, this will make it easier to remove the salmon from the bbq. Alternately loosely wrap the fish in some tin foil and place on the wire rack.
Cook for around 4-5 min then gently turn it over with fish slice - the skin will be chard. Continue cooking for 2 min. While cooking peel away the chard skin and place on serving dish this will crisp up like crackling. Remove the wire rack from bbq gently transfer fish onto serving dish.
Finish with a squeeze of lemon and the rest of the herbs.