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Friday, March 12, 2004

According to the chef Nico Ladenis, some other top chefs are going out of their way to be innovative just for the sake of it, not to create good food, but merely to win awards for originality.

Obviously this isn't true, and to prove it, Heston Blumenthal, head chef of 'The Fat Duck' (not a good subject for a Spoonerism) has published a new recipe for us all to enjoy. He says...

"This recipe might sound revolting, but it's just a question of perception. We associate the title 'ice cream' with desserts, and this alone creates a barrier to enjoyment. Serve it as a starter and think of it as a frozen soup/pate."

So put down the potato waffles and tomato ketchup, and egg whisks at the ready everyone...

Sardines on Toast Ice Cream

3 egg yolks
25g unrefined caster sugar
315ml milk
150g tinned sardines in oil
75g toast, buttered with 30g butter

1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until whitened - about 10 minutes. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat. Pour the hot milk over the eggs and continue to mix, then tip back into the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. It is vital that the mix never boils or even simmers, otherwise it will coagulate. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens - this can take up to 20 minutes.

2. Have ready a bowl large enough to hold all the custard mix; sit it in cold water or on ice. When the custard is ready, pour into the chilled bowl and continue stirring until the mixture begins to cool. Once cool, liquidise with the sardines and toast, then pass through a fine sieve and churn in an ice cream maker.

3. Serve with melba toast to provide a pleasant textural contrast, and a little tomato to provide some acidity. A sprinkling of salt crystals and ground black pepper finishes off the dish nicely.

Mmmmmm-mmmmm! Certainly gets those taste buds tingling doesn't it. I'm off to liquidise some fish.