Recipes from Jean-Christophe Novelli

Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Ahead of the Durham Food Festival, Jean-Christophe Novelli shares some of his favourite recipes from his new book ‘A Mad Frog And An Englishman…Go Fishing’ with The Bubble.

Fish Cakes and Cranberries

Serves 6–8 people

Prep time 15 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes


  • 300g haddock
  • 100g cod
  • 400g potatoes
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 crushed juniper berries
  • 80g cranberries
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • Small bunch of thyme, stalk removed
  • Small bunch of sage
  • Salt and pepper

For the coating

  • Flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg beaten with ½ tsp smoked paprika


1. Boil the potatoes until they soften, drain and leave to one side.

2. Cook the garlic in a little olive oil and leave to cool down.

3. Skin and cut the fish into small pieces, place in a bowl with ¾ of the lemon juice the oil and garlic mix and the crushed juniper berries, mix and leave to marinate for 1 hour.

4. Mash the potatoes, and season with a little olive oil or butter, mix in the egg yolks, the drained fish, and season; make sure it’s all combined. Shape the mix into flattened balls; Coat in flour, dip in to the egg and finally in to the bread crumb. In a frying pan, heat up some oil on a high heat and fry the fishcake for a couple of minutes on each side, until nicely coloured, finish them off in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. Mix the cranberries with the snatched parsley, sage, thyme and a rest of lemon juice; when the fish cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and, add the cranberries mix to the tray whilst it’s hot to deglaze. Serve the fishcake topped with the cranberries.

Lemon Sole with Ratatouille

Serves 4 people

Preparation 8 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes


  • 12 new potatoes (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped in to small cubes
  • 2 small courgettes cut in half the in to slices
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 300g cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 4 lemon sole, gutted, and descaled
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of olives
  • 4 anchovies fillet
  • Flour
  • ½ tsp Harissa
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • 8 garlic clove cracked
  • Squeeze of honey


1. If used, boil the potatoes slowly in salted water. Once cooked, drain and leave on the side.

2. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and add some honey, 4 garlic cloves, ½ of the thyme, seasoning, olive oil, harissa and mix well, cover and leave to infuse for at least ½ hour.

3. Heat a pan large enough to accommodate the fish, and add some oil, coat the fish with flour and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side. When cooked, remove from the pan and keep warm.

4. In the same pan, on a high heat, add the vegetables and cook until slightly coloured and the tomatoes become soft. If used, cut the potatoes in to quarters and add to the pan. Add the olives, anchovies, basil and the rest of the garlic and thyme.

5. Place some the fish over the vegetables and serve with the lemon.


Trim the fish in the pan when it is cooked.

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