Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Madsen, South Kensington

Roll Mop Herrings & Dill Potatoes

A couple of weeks ago we (me and Ben) went to Madsen for supper, a lovely little restaurant in South Kensington that serves up a mix of “modern Nordic dishes” as well as some of those old Scandinavian favourites. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant either but Ben was adamant that we try something new, having just interviewed Tom Kevill-Davies (The Hungry Cyclist) and discussed how he had just sampled cuisines from A-Z in restaurants around London. Madsen was his Danish addition and it happened to be just around the corner from Ben’s office, so along we went.
Having been looking forward to something a bit different, I ended up choosing an old favourite; thick bacon with creamy parsley sauce. I haven’t had this since I was little girl and I couldn’t resist it! Although delicious, it doesn’t really fit in with my plan of trying new and exciting things so I’m going to gloss over that and talk about my starter instead; rollmop herrings with dill potatoes. I’d never had rollmops before but I certainly have since! The starter was delicious and if my recreation is even a fraction as good then I will be very happy:
6 – 8 large new potatoes
2 heaped tablespoons crème fraiche
1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Healthy bunch of chopped dill
250g or a small jar of rollmop herrings (3-4 per person)
Handful of finely sliced radishes
Dried cranberries
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.       Scrub the new potatoes and cook until soft.
2.       Drain the potatoes, allow them to cool and then neatly cube to about 1 ½ cm width
3.       Mix the potatoes, crème fraiche, mustard, dill and lemon juice in a bowl until the potatoes are entirely covered. Season with salt and pepper.
4.       Heat some vegetable oil (about a cm deep) in a pan and when very hot, add a handful of dried cranberries. Fry for a couple of minutes and then lift out and place on kitchen roll to get rid of the excess oil.
5.       The presentation is down to you. I like to make a bed of watercress, pile the potato salad in the middle and heap with 3 to 4 pieces of rollmop. Top with the radish and cranberries and finish with a grind of black pepper and sprinkle of chopped dill.

Total Cost of Ingredients:             £7.46

This should serve two people for a light meal; I hope you enjoy! The cranberries are sweet and chewy and contrast the creamy, sharp potatoes and the bitter watercress very nicely. The herrings hold their own amongst these flavours and, to my mind, the whole thing is really quite nice!

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