Zest Harbourside

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We regularly get asked to share our recipes. We also regularly get asked if we mind sharing our recipes because it is like giving away our trade secrets. The answer is that we like to spread the gospel, especially if it helps to give someone the confidence to cook at home.

1. Smoky Joe's Meatballs

Serves 6


1kg pork mince

2 heaped tsp smoked paprika

2 heaped tsp dried sage

1 flat tsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tsp salt


A firm favourite in the restaurant in recent years.  Here's an easy version to try at home


Preheat the oven to 200 C


Combine all of the ingredients together.  Shape into meatballs.

Place onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for fifteen minutes.


Ricky’s tips –


Lots of other flavours may be added to the meatballs such as fennel seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander, garlic, fresh herbs etc.   I have purposely kept my recipe simple for quick preparation.


Substitute ketchup for the sweet chilli sauce if you do not like spicy food.


The meatballs are lovely served with pasta in a tomato sauce – either homemade like ours or shop bought.  We also give the option of adding melting mozzarella cheese in the restaurant.


2. Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

Serves 2


For the sauce:


50 g plain flour

50g butter

400ml milk

100ml vegetable stock

Double cream to finish



For the garlic mushrooms


4-6 x large flat mushrooms

3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped)

Squeeze of lemon juice

Knobs of butter

Drizzle of olive oil


Salt and pepper


Pre heat oven to 200 C


Place the mushrooms in a roasting tray and scatter with the garlic, lemon juice, knobs of butter, oil and salt and pepper and bake in the oven 10 minutes until golden brown and cooked right through.


For the sauce:


Place the milk and vegetable stock in a pan and bring up to a simmer.


Place the butter in a sauce pan, melt over a medium heat then add all the flour and ‘cook out’ for 4-5 minutes.  Continually stir the mixture so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.


Add the milk and stock mixture gradually to the flour mixture whisking after every ladle-full until smooth.

Once all of the liquid has been absorbed, allow the sauce to bubble over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.


Season the sauce to taste, add the mushrooms and a dash of cream to finish








3. Yorkshire Puddings

Serves 8


150g plain flour, sifted

4 eggs, beaten

375ml milk

Salt and pepper

Oil or dripping

Nothing makes a beef dinner better than a good Yorkshire pudding.  We once knew a little girl (who since has grown up and works with us) who ate more than ten in one sitting.

At our Harbourside restaurant Yorkshires are big business.  We serve them atop our hugely popular pulled beef – and even just on their own in a big bowl with some gravy.

To give you an idea of scale, each batch of Yorkshire pudding mix is made using 48 eggs.

Thankfully, we’ve scaled it down somewhat here to offer you a version that is much more user friendly on a domestic basis.


Put the flour into a large bowl with some salt and pepper.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg.  Combine together by gradually drawing the flour into the egg, whisking well.

Gradually add the milk and whisk everything together until you have achieved a smooth batter with the consistency of single cream.  Our chef’s top tip here is to add a dash of oil to the batter as it gives a shiny sheen to your Yorkshires.

Set aside to rest for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 220 C

Place the oil or dripping into two 12 hole Yorkshire pudding trays and put on the top shelf of the oven for 5 minutes to get hot.  This helps the puddings rise and stops them sticking to the tray.

Transfer the pudding batter to a jug and give it a stir.

Remove the trays from the oven and pour the batter into the trays so that the batter comes half way up the sides of each hole.

Return the trays to the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the Yorkshires are well risen, crisp and golden brown.

If you have more batter left then you can do another batch of Yorkshires.  

4. Chilli Prawn Pasta

Serves 4


  • A little butter or oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • ½ green pepper, sliced
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 250g cold water prawns (the type you’d use for a prawn sandwich)
  • Velouté sauce
  • 3 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Dash of whipping or double cream
  • Handful of fresh chopped coriander
  • Cooked pasta - see notes
  • Salt and pepper

One of our classic pasta dishes from our Harbourside restaurant. No longer on the menu, but fondly remembered.


The base for the sauce in this recipe is a velouté. That is a basic white sauce made from stock and a roux (butter and flour mix). It is a useful recipe to have in your arsenal as it can be used in so many dishes by just adjusting the type of stock to suit. Here we have used vegetable stock, but you could also use fish.

Velouté sauce

50g butter
50g plain flour
500ml hot vegetable stock (made with cubes

Melt the butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add the flour and mix it into the butter. Cook very gently until the mixture has a sandy texture but does not colour.

Very gradually, add the stock to the butter and flour mix, stirring or whisking after each addition to eliminate any lumps.

Once all the stock has been added, bring the sauce up to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for fifteen minutes. Stir the sauce regularly to make sure it does not catch on the bottom of the pan.

Set aside until ready to use in your pasta dish.

Cooked Pasta

For this dish we usually use penne pasta and account for roughly 75g raw pasta weight per person. Cook according to the packet instructions then drain and set aside until ready to use.

Heat a little oil or butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, peppers and chillies and sweat them over a medium heat for around two minutes so that they have started to cook but still have a little bite.

Add the prawns, the lemon juice and sweet chilli. Add the velouté sauce and a splash of cream to your taste.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and cook it through until it is piping hot. Just before serving taste the sauce to check if you need to adjust the seasoning with some salt and pepper then sprinkle over the fresh coriander.

5. Wok Chicken Wrap

Serves 2


For the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp water

For the Chicken

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g strips of boneless
  • skinless chicken
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • handfuls fresh coriander, chopped

For the Wraps

  • 1 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 large handful of rocket, leaves
  • 1 cucumber, sliced

Ricky makes easy work of this quick and simple lunch idea.


For the sauce mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl until well combined.

For the chicken heat a wok or large frying pan until nearly smoking, then add the oil. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown all over and cooked through.

Add the chilli to the wok, then stir in the sauce and toss well to coat. Add the spring onion and cook for a further minute, then remove the wok from the heat and stir in the coriander.

For the wraps spread the crème fraiche over the two tortilla wraps and scatter over the rocket leaves and cucumber. Spoon the chicken mixture over, then tightly roll up into a wrap. Serve.

6. Zest Harbourside's famous Lemon Curd cheesecake

Serves 12


  • 1300g full fat cream cheese - at room temperature, which makes it easier to work with
  • 1 x 411g (or thereabouts) jar lemon curd - or use homemade Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 5 large sheets gelatine
  • 50ml cointreau or other citrus liqueur
  • Sugar to taste - we use approximately 100g

For the base

  • 1 x 250g pack digestive biscuits
  • 165g gently melted butter

By popular demand, we have one of our very own classic restaurant desserts. This cheesecake has been on the menu in our Harbourside restaurant since day one back in 2002.

It has proven to be so consistently popular that we have never dared try anything different. It is a great party dessert as it serves many people and all the preparation is done before serving so there’s nothing to do at the last minute.


Line an 8 inch spring form cake tin completely with cling film

Crush the biscuits either in a food processor or put them in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin. You want the biscuits to crush down to texture of fine breadcrumbs.

Put the biscuit crumb into a large bowl and add the melted butter. Mix together well to disperse the butter through the biscuit.

Press this biscuit mixture into the base of your prepared cake tin using the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Make sure the mixture is compacted so that it will be easier to cut into slices. Chill this biscuit base in the fridge whilst you get on with the rest of the cheesecake.

Put the cream cheese into a large bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and half of the lemon curd. Mix together thoroughly.

Put the gelatine leaves in a bowl and completely cover them with plenty of water. Leave them to soak for a good five minutes until they are very soft.

Discard the soaking water and put the softened gelatine in a small saucepan with the cointreau.

Melt the gelatine over a low to medium heat. Once it has completely dissolved, add this to the cream cheese mixture and combine thoroughly.

Lightly fold the remaining lemon curd through the cream cheese so that it has a slightly rippled effect.

Pour this cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base in the tin. Give the tin a slight tap on the work surface; this will get rid of any air bubbles in the mix.

Smooth the top of the cheesecake with the back of a spoon. Cover the tin with cling film, place in the fridge and leave, ideally overnight, to set.


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