Three comforting fall fish recipes for a cozy night in

Fish gratin: a quick and delicious alternative to a traditional fish pie (Redfish)

Fish gratin: a quick and delicious alternative to a traditional fish pie (Redfish)

No one knows fish like Mitch Tonks.

After a brief stint as an accountant, the now award-winning restaurateur returned to a life by the sea to open a specialist fishmonger in Bath.

This quickly turned into a series of hugely popular restaurants, mostly on the south coast, several seafood cookbooks, and guest appearances on everything from Saturday kitchen at Chef.

On top of all that, his restaurant chain and online marketplace Rockfish have made superb quality seafood available at home – as well as his expertise.

So it seems only fitting to turn to Tonks for her favorite seafood recipes. Here are three:

Fish gratin

This hearty fish dish is a quick and delicious alternative to a traditional fish pie recipe, and perfect for enjoying with family or friends in the comfort of your home this fall.


1 x Redfish (or commercial) fish pie mix (monkfish, smoked pollack, whiting and ling)

100g prawn shells (some shelled, some unshelled)

2 leeks

2 spring onions

25g butter, plus extra for grating

150 ml fresh cream

300ml milk

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 teaspoon English mustard

A few black and pink peppercorns

A handful of grated parmesan

A handful of breadcrumbs

A handful of chopped parsley


Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add bay leaf, a few black and pink peppercorns, English mustard and fish pie mix. Bring to a boil then simmer.

Finely chop the leeks and add them to a dry frying pan – keep stirring to prevent them from sticking to the pan.

Once the leeks have softened, add the butter and stir until completely melted. Add the flour and mix.

Keeping the fish in the pan, slowly add the milk to the leeks, while stirring, to form a sauce.

Add the fresh cream, chopped spring onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring as you add the fish and then the shrimp.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, then top with grated butter, Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Broil on high power until crispy and golden on top.

Remove from the oven, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a crisp salad and some new potatoes.

Roasted Turbot with Hollandaise Sauce

Turbot is the king of all flatfish (Rockfish)

Turbot is the king of all flatfish (Rockfish)

Turbot is the king of all flatfish, its texture is firm and it has a special stickiness that comes from the natural fat and membrane between the thick flakes of fish that melt during cooking. The bigger the fish, the simpler the cooking, that’s the rule I apply to turbot.

Serves: 2


2 T-bones of turbot, around 300g each

Sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 egg yolks

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of water

150g unsalted butter, melted

1 lemon

Pinch of cayenne pepper


1. Heat the oven to 220C. Season the turbot with salt and brush it with olive oil before roasting it on a baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the cooking time if the turbot weighs less/more.

2. To make Hollandaise sauce, place egg yolks, mustard and water in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the eggs have doubled in size and thickened. While continuing to whisk, gradually pour in the melted butter and mix into a smooth, thick sauce. Remove from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon, a little salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper to serve.

3. Place the turbot on a warm plate and pour the hollandaise sauce on the side. Serve simply with whatever vegetables you prefer, spinach or dark leafy greens and buttered potatoes are good.

mackerel tagine

The perfect belly warmer after a dip in the sea (Redfish)

The perfect belly warmer after a dip in the sea (Redfish)

Use only the freshest mackerel and ideally buy from the fishing boats at the beach, take a small camping stove or make a beach fire and cook it in a pan there and eat, perfect warming but some light foods for the whole family to eat after a dive in the sea.

Serves: 2


2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

2.5 cm chopped fresh root ginger

½ red bell pepper, chopped

4 cherry tomatoes, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 mackerel, around 350g, gutted and cut into 5cm pieces or left whole

Sea salt

Fresh cilantro, finely chopped

40 black olives

Squeeze the lemon to taste

For the spice mix:

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1½ tbsp ground coriander

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon of turmeric

2 teaspoons ground cassia

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon chilli flakes


Combine all the ingredients for the spice mix and store in an airtight jar.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the ginger, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion and sauté gently for 4-5 minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of your mixture. ‘spices. Add the mackerel, cover with water and simmer for 7-8 minutes for mackerel pieces and 12 minutes for whole fish.

Before serving, season with plenty of salt, then add cilantro, olives and a squeeze of lemon to taste.

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