Nigel Barker has been head chef at the Ferryhill House Hotel for the past fourteen years, but he’s always got something new up his sleeve.
‘As a youngster I remember watching my Aunt, who was a great cook, create fantastic dishes and I guess she inspired me to start cooking. The first recipe I made in college was a classic béchamel sauce. It’s one of those recipes that everyone should master as it can be endlessly adapted. I still rely on many of the basics, of which, are now second nature but nevertheless useful for so many dishes.
‘Ferryhill is a family-friendly venue serving gastro comfort, homemade food. We are proud of our fresh produce and hearty cooking and try to source the best local produce for our dishes. The menu is a mix of classics like our much-loved Cullen Skink soup along with the Ferryhill favourites such as our famous fish & chips.
‘It’s not all about the old favourites, though. We update the menu regularly so we can showcase seasonal produce. We have daily specials on the menu which allows the team and I to create dishes that suit the time of year and the produce on offer. We also like to create more elaborate specials for the weekends. We also have a daily market catch fish option which provides us with the opportunity to get creative with seasonal specialities.
‘Working at a busy place like the Ferryhill means a lot of hours are spent in the kitchen, so when I am off duty I try to relax at home’.
Nigel’s Cajun Blackened Salmon with sautéed potatoes, tomato sauce & grilled asparagus
Ingredients per person
One medium Scottish Salmon Fillet
8 Baby Potatoes – sliced
Fresh chilli – ½ teaspoon
Cajun spice – ½ teaspoon
3 Asparagus spears
One Onion – diced
Pre-heat the oven to 170oC/gas mark 7. Dust the salmon fillet in Cajun spice and roast in the oven for 8 minutes. Sauté the sliced baby potatoes in oil with the chopped onions and fresh chilli. Whilst the salmon and potatoes are cooking, char-grill the fresh asparagus in another pan. Heat the tomato passata sauce and, when hot, place in the middle of plate. Top the sauce with the potatoes and onions. Once the salmon is cooked, place the fillet on top and garnish with the asparagus. Serve and enjoy.
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