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Autumn Recipe win lunch for two at The Dial House

Head Chef Joe Walker shares his recipe for this gorgeous autumn warming dish of cod and mussels. Can you replicate this at home to snag a Dial House lunch for two?

Cod, Mussels, Samphire & ‘Tartare’ Sauce

Serves Two


  • 2 x 160g cod loin portions, skinless
  • 30g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ lemon, for juicing
  • 150g live mussels, cleaned
  • 200ml white wine (use the best white wine possible, or your favourite to drink!)
  • 50g samphire
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced into thin rings

Tempura Batter

  • 40g plain flour
  • 60g cornflour
  • 80g soda water, fridge cold
  • 1 pinch salt

White Wine Cream

  • 2 banana shallot, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10g fresh thyme
  • 150ml white wine
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 pinches table salt

‘Tartare’ Sauce

  • 60g banana shallot, finely diced
  • 30g cornichons, finely diced
  • 30g capers, finely chopped
  • 10g dill, finely chopped
  • white wine cream (from above)

Dill Oil

  • 50g fresh dill, leaves only
  • 300ml rapeseed oil

Pickle Brine

  • 250ml water
  • 160ml white wine vinegar
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2g table salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 star anise


Dill Oil

Pick all the dill from the stems, place to one side. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, drop the dill into the water for twenty seconds, then place straight into ice water.

Squeeze all the excess water out from the ice-cold dill leaves. Place the dill into a blender, add the rapeseed oil. Blend on high power for two minutes, until the oil is almost boiling hot. Pour the oil through a muslin cloth lined sieve & leave to hang over a container, for all the oil to drip through. Discarding the puree left behind in the muslin cloth. (I recommend making the dill oil 2 hours before, so there is enough time for you to get the best yield. Keep in the fridge until required. This oil will freeze well in an air tight tupperware container, for another use at a later date.)

Pickle Brine

Mix all of the ingredients into a small saucepan, bring them to the boil. Leave the liquid to simmer for five minutes, before taking off the heat to cool down. Once the liquor is cold, pour over the sliced shallot rings, just enough to cover. Leave the shallot to pickle for three hours, before serving. (There will be some excess liquid left over, so you can use this to pickle anything that you would usually waste!)

White Wine Cream

Place a medium sized pan on a medium heat, add two tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Warm the oil, add the shallot, garlic and thyme. Cook on a low heat for two minutes. Add the white wine & increase the heat. Reduce the wine by half, add the double cream & salt into the pan. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, until reduced by one third. Season to taste. Pass the cream through a sieve to discard the shallot & garlic. Leave to one side to cool down.

Tempura Batter

Mix the flours and salt together in a bowl, whisk in the soda water until you have a smooth airy batter. The thickness you are looking for, will hold on the back of a spoon.

Battered Mussels

Place a small saucepan on the heat, warm until very hot, add Six mussels into the pan, then quickly add 75ml of your white wine into the pan. Place a lid over the mussels, to steam until they open, which will be around 2-3 minutes, then place straight into ice water. Once cold, pick out of the shells, discarding the shells too. Place the mussel meat into a bowl with 15g seasoned flour, ready to dip into the tempura batter to deep fry, just before you serve. To be ready to deep fry the mussels, turn a table top fryer to 170c, or put a medium sized pan, with 2 inches of Vegetable oil in, on a low – medium heat to warm. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop half a teaspoon of the tempura batter into the oil, if it rises to the top of the oil immediately, then the oil is ready.

At serving time, the battered mussels will be the last thing that you will do. Take the mussels out of the batter, allowing any excess batter to drip off, before dropping the mussels into the hot oil. Flip the mussels over after 45 seconds, to ensure that they fry evenly on both sides. After a further 30 seconds, they can be removed from the oil & placed onto a piece of kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.

To Serve

Firstly, take the cod out of the fridge & season with salt only, leave out for 10 minutes, to take the chill of the fish, to ensure even cooking of the flesh. Now, preheat the oven to 160C.

Next, place a medium frying pan, medium saucepan & a small saucepan on a medium heat, place 2tbsp of rapeseed oil in both the frying pan & the small pan. Once the oil is hot, place the cod, topside first, into the frying pan, pressing firmly down to ensure an even coverage. Once the cod has gained a lovely golden-brown colour on the top, place the cod into the oven to cook through, this will take 6 minutes.

Meanwhile the cod is cooking, in the medium saucepan, add all the remaining mussels into the pan, then quickly add 75ml of your white wine into the pan. Place a lid over the mussels, to steam until they open, which will be around 2-3 minutes, then add your samphire to this pan to cook through, which will be an additional 45 seconds, add 15g of the butter to pan, then swirl the pan in a circular motion to emulsify the butter into the white wine. Squeeze in the lemon juice just before plating up.

Also, whilst cooking the cod, in the small saucepan, heat the oil, add all the ‘tartare’ sauce ingredients apart from the white wine cream & dill. Cook on a medium heat to cook through the contents of the pan, you are wanting the shallot to be translucent. Add the cream, bring to the boil, add the chopped dill & 4 tbsp of the dill oil, you are wanting to split the cream sauce to boast a beautiful restaurant like appearance.

Now, the cod should be ready to remove from the oven. Place the remaining butter onto the cod’s flesh and leave to rest for one minute before placing into warmed bowls. Place the mussels & samphire next to the cod, pour the split ‘Tartare’ sauce over the mussels, top with the battered mussels & pickled shallot rings.

Let us see how you get on via instagram @thedialhouse @muddynorfolk and remember the cook with best interpretation gets lunch for two at The Dial House. Good luck!

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