• Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Traditional British Recipes

By , Cooling Your Jets Contributor
July 25, 2012

At its best, traditional British food is simple, comforting, and pairs well with a pint. But over the past ten years, the capital’s dining scene has developed serious street cred with the likes of Fergus Henderson, Heston Blumenthal, and seemingly dozens of Gordon Ramsay restaurants. With London calling, Galavante has created a menu rooted in the classics but updated enough to impress your mates. When Olympic fever arrives, invite the family over for a Sunday roast, kick back, and enjoy the games.

Pea Soup with Cheddar Croutons


4 (1/2-inch thick) slices sourdough bread
3/4 cup English cheddar, shredded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup shallots, chopped
1 cup spinach
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock, heated
4 cups shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup heavy cream
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
olive oil, for frying


During a rainy lunch hour in London, nothing beats a simple but stunning English pea soup that tastes of spring. It’s simultaneously light and rich, if that’s possible, and the vibrant green color evokes the essence of the season.

Yield: 4 servings

Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Add 3/4 inch oil to a sauté pan. When oil registers 375˚F on a candy thermometer, add bread. Cook until croutons are golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove croutons from oil and drain quickly. While croutons are still warm, add to a bowl with cheese. Toss well and season with salt and pepper.

Add butter to a 3 or 4-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until wilted. Add hot stock and peas to pan. Cook until peas are just tender, about 5 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in food processor until smooth. Return soup to pan and add heavy cream. Warm soup, if necessary, and adjust seasoning. Serve with croutons. 

Smoked Haddock and Chorizo Cakes


1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for sautéing
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 large red pepper, diced small
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
4 oz. chorizo
1/4 cup white wine
6 oz. smoked haddock, skin and bones removed
1 tablespoon parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
breadcrumbs, for dusting cakes


We’ve taken the traditional fishcake and fancied it up a bit, adding chorizo for yet another layer of smokiness. Don’t be shy with the lemon; its acidic punch keeps the cake interesting bite after bite.

Yield: 3-4 servings

Add potatoes to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and put through a ricer. Cover potatoes and set aside.

Add oil to a sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add red pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add chili flakes and chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes, followed by white wine and haddock for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add reserve potatoes, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix well and adjust seasoning. Form mixture into 2-inch cakes. Refrigerate cakes for 5 minutes.

Toss cakes in breadcrumbs. Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a nonstick sauté pan on high. When oil is hot but not smoking, add cakes. Sauté until light golden brown, about 1-2 minute per side.  Serve with a lemon wedge.


Horseradish-Crusted Filet of Beef with English Mustard Sauce


1 (3lb.) beef tenderloin roast, trimmed of excess fat and tied
1 cup grated, peeled fresh horseradish
1/3 cup shallots, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons English mustard
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


You can’t serve a proper Sunday roast without a nicely cooked piece of beef. This version relies on fresh horseradish and plenty of mustard for a spicy kick. Be sure to allow the meat enough time to rest before slicing or the juices will be lost.

Yield: 6 servings

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place a roasting rack on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Add horseradish, shallots, parsley, and olive oil to a bowl. Mix well. Pat tenderloin dry and season with salt and pepper. Rub mixture evenly on tenderloin before placing on rack. Bake until center portion of tenderloin reaches 125˚F on a meat thermometer, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow meat to rest at least 10 minutes.

Add cream to a saucepan and bring to boil. Add mustard and whisk until combined. Shut off heat. Add juices from rested tenderloin. Whisk well and serve. 

Salmon with Fennel and Radish Salad


4 (8 oz.) salmon fillets, skin on
6 radishes, stemmed
1 tablespoon chervil, minced
1 tablespoon chives, minced
juice of 1/2 orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulb
1 teaspoon fennel seed
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


This dish is gorgeous to look at but its texture is the real star—crispy salmon skin, crunchy salad, and melt-in-your mouth salmon meat are an ideal trifecta. Bust out the best olive oil you can get your hands on for dressing the salad.

Yield: 4 servings

Cut off fennel fronds and reserve. Cut fennel in half and remove core. Using a mandolin, shave fennel and radishes paper thin, and add to a bowl. Add chervil, chives, orange juice, reserved fennel fronds, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Grind fennel seeds in a coffee grinder until fine. Score salmon skin evenly and season both sides with salt, pepper, and ground fennel seed.

Heat a nonstick sauté pan on medium-high. When pan is hot, add oil. Place salmon into pan, skin-side down. Cook about 3 minutes and turn over. Cook an additional minute and, using a fish spatula, remove from pan.  Serve immediately with salad.

Apricot Scones with Tea-Infused Whipped Cream


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped fine
1 cup heavy cream
4 Earl Grey or other tea bags
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla paste
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt


Scones are an easy but elegant option for afternoon tea. Infusing cream with Earl Grey provides a subtle hint of tea to the overall dish. Feel free to substitute a preferred kind of leaves.

Add flour, sugar, zest, salt, and baking powder to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add butter. Mix until the chunks are no bigger than a cranberry, about 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, whisk 1 egg. Add cream and mix. Add egg mixture to dry mixture and combine. Add apricots and mix for several seconds.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Dust work surface, hands, and rolling pin with flour. Gather dough into a ball and roll out until it is an inch thick. Cut dough into circles with a cookie cutter and place on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk other egg in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Brush egg wash on top of scones. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown.

Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan, add tea bags, and shut off heat. Allow tea to steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove bags and transfer cream to an airtight container. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours. Pour cream into a bowl. Add sugar and vanilla paste. Using an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks have formed, about 3 minutes. Wrap and refrigerate until serving.

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