Adrian Ackroyd’s recipes!

Former CAOKS Dinner Secretary and Honorary Secretary, Adrian Ackroyd OKS 1974 has recently shared some of his favourite recipes with us. Adrian is a great chef as many of you will know from having sampled his delicious cuisine at the many newsletter ‘stuffing’ sessions he has hosted over the years.

Being ‘locked down’ has given many the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen and Adrian has himself been busy creating chocolates and petit fours as well as pickling and preserving a variety of produce, including vine tomatoes in Herbs de Provence, garlic and extra virgin olive oil and black cherries in a vodka syrup! He’s also planning to replant his vegetable, fruit and herb garden next year. Adrian has kindly shared one of his favourite recipes from a CAOKS gathering he hosted.


We hope you enjoy reading it and maybe giving it a go yourself


“This is an easy 3-course show-stopping dinner party or special occasion menu. It may look complicated to do it all on the night but most elements can be made well ahead and kept covered in the fridge. Only a few elements need cooking or assembling on the day but can be pre-prepped and kept covered in the fridge for up to a day or, ore before cooking or assembling. You can then spend 90% of your time with your family and friends at your celebration and then wow them with your food!!”


Beetroot cured salmon, crab salad and smoked salmon pâté with pickled cucumber and beetroot cubes

  1. Beetroot cured salmon (8) – make a week ahead

Peel the beetroot and cut into 3 cm cubes. Blend the beetroot, fennel seeds, tarragon, sugar and sea salt in a food processor to make the cure.

Pin bone, de-scale and trim the 2 salmon sides, put ¼ cure in a deep dish, lay 1 salmon side skin down, pour ½ the cure over, lay second salmon side on top (head to tail) with skin uppermost to make an even sandwich, pour remaining cure over. Cover with cling film, place a 500 g weight on top and refrigerate. Turn the salmon over every 12 hours. Ready in 5-7 days. Wipe off cure and pat dry then very thinly slice to serve.

2 matching salmon sides 500 g each 1 kg of raw beetroot 6 g of fennel seeds bunch of tarragon 500 g of caster sugar 1 kg of sea salt

  1. Crab salad with fennel and apple (4) make the day before (keep in lemon juice and water in the fridge to prevent discoloration), add the crab a few hours before serving

Combine white crab meat with the diced apple, chives and fennel in a bowl and season to taste with lemon juice and salt. Cover and chill until required.

100 g of white crab meat 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced 20 g fennel bulb, finely diced 1 dash of lemon juice salt 1 tbsp of chives

  1. Smoked Salmon Pâté (4) – make the day before

Blend smoked salmon with the lemon juice in a food processor for 1 minute.

150 g of smoked salmon ½ lemon

Scrape down the side of the bowl, add the yogurt and cream cheese and blend for 2 minutes.

50 g of natural yoghurt 50 g of cream cheese Wasabi (or horseradish) sparingly to taste

Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and chill until required.

Cornish sea salt pepper ½ lemon

  1. Crab Mayonnaise (4) – make a few hours before serving

Blitz the mayonnaise with two tablespoons of brown meat, white crab meat, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Decant into a polythene flexi-bottle with an 8–10 mm nozzle. Chill until required.

2 tbsp brown crab meat 100 g white crab meat 150 ml mayonnaise 2 tbsp very finely chopped tarragon salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Pickled cucumber (4) make a few hours before serving

Peel and thinly slice (3 mm) the cucumber into 24 discs. Place in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 2 hours. Squeeze the cucumber dry then put it in a small mixing bowl with the vinegar and sugar and mix well. Add the chopped dill and chill until needed.

1 cucumber 4 tbsp white wine vinegar salt 2 tbsp caster sugar 2 tbsp dill

  1. Beetroot cubes (4) – make the day before

One ready-cooked golf ball size beetroot per person (not pickled).

Dice into ½ cm cubes and put in a bowl. Finely chop the shallot and garlic, add to the bowl, season and add the vinegar and mix. Cover with olive oil. Chill until needed.

1 banana shallot 1 garlic clove 10ml of cider vinegar 100ml of olive oil sea salt pepper

  1. To serve – make earlier but do not cover or chill

Plate an overlapping circle to one side using 6 pickled cucumber slices, add a portion of the crab mayonnaise to the centre to make it look like a flower head. Add 3 thin slices of cured salmon, fill a 5-6cm presentation ring with crab salad to one side, then add a quenelle of the smoked salmon pâté alongside. Add 6-8 of the beetroot cubes to the side. Serve with thinly cut (3mm) slowly toasted or oven dried sourdough triangles.




Braised Duck on a sweet potato and carrot mash, a Madeira jus with redcurrant and gooseberry sauces

A simple but very pretty indulgent main course marrying the rich duck and Madeira jus with root vegetables, the two fruit sauces cut through the rich centrepiece.

  1. Braised duck (4) – make on the day

Place duck legs snugly in a single layer in a shallow casserole. Add duck or goose fat and make sure the duck is half covered (top up with vegetable oil if needed). Scatter thyme over. Cook very tightly covered by foil at 150-160C (140-145C fan) for 3½-4½ hours. Uncover and increase to 200+ C for 30 min to crisp skin or broil under a hot grill – but keep an eye on them! Reserve the fat.

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme 4-8 duck legs (depending on breed and size) 340 g tin or two of duck or goose fat

  1. Sweet potato and carrot mash (4) – make on the day

Steam the sweet potato and simmer the carrot in water until both tender. Pass the sweet potato through a potato-ricer. Blitz the carrots into a chunky semi-puree. Combine both with butter and nutmeg, season well.

400 g sweet potato in 25 mm chunks 400 g carrot in 5 mm dice 1 generous tsp freshly ground nutmeg a generous knob or two of Jersey butter

  1. Redcurrant Sauce (4) – can be made the day before

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook at a medium temperature and after 10 min lower to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. Blitz thoroughly with a stick blender. Decant when cooled into a polythene flexi-bottle with an 8–10 mm nozzle.

150 g red currants 75 g soft brown sugar 1 generous tbsp white wine vinegar

  1. Gooseberry sauce (4) – can be made the day before

Tip gooseberries into a pan with a tablespoon of water and the sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the gooseberries are soft. Add sea salt and more sugar if required, though you do want it to be quite tart. Blitz thoroughly with a stick blender. Decant when cooled into a polythene flexi-bottle with an 8–10 mm nozzle.

200 g gooseberries 20 g unrefined caster sugar sea salt

  1. Madeira jus (4) – can be made up to three days ahead

Simmer covered for 6+ hours. Pass through a colander lined with a double thickness of muslin. Chill the liquid overnight and remove solidified fat from the surface. Reserve the fat.

1 kg chicken wings roasted in a single layer at 220 C (200 C fan) for 45-60 min or until well browned (reserve the fat) 2 large leeks chopped 2 large carrots chopped 1 generous tbsp concentrated tomato paste 20 g finely ground dried porcini mushrooms 750 ml water to cover the chicken wings easily

Add the Madeira and bring stock to the boil and reduced to a ¼. If needed slowly add enough arrowroot mix to slightly thicken the sauce. Whisk in a knob of butter.

600 ml fresh dark chicken stock from above 6 tbsp medium bodied Madeira 1 tbsp arrowroot powder in 45 ml water (arrowroot gives a clear finish to a sauce unlike cornflour which makes it look like Bisto gravy!)

  1. To serve

Fill an oiled 7-8 cm presentation ring in the centre of a plate with the vegetable mash, top with duck leg(s) (for a neat presentation first carefully hold each duck leg down using a folded paper towel and twist the protruding bone and remove – use a spatula to lift the duck legs to the plate as they are very delicate and will easily fall apart). Add the sauces in four small circles, alternating around the edges of the plate. Drizzle 2 tbs of the Madeira jus over each duck leg.

Combine reserved fat from chicken wings and duck legs. Store covered in glass jars in the fridge and use to coat roast potatoes.





Tropical Fruit Salad and Ginger Cream

  1.  Peel and de-core as appropriate and then chop all fruits into bite size pieces, combine in a large serving bowl (peel and discard seeds if using fresh lychees). Toss gently to combine. Cover with fruit juice. Chill until needed (if this will be more than 2 hours then either omit the bananas or pre-prep them by tossing in lime juice and adding them just before serving). Make on the day

2. Cantaloupe melon 1 large super-sweet pineapple 1 ‘ready to eat’ mango 2 ‘ready to eat’ kiwifruit 2 firm yellow bananas 1 ‘ready to eat’ papaya or 450 g tinned papaya 1 bunch (400g) seedless black grapes halved 10 fresh or canned lychees 1+ litre orange, mango & passion fruit juice to completely cover

3. Beat together cream and icing sugar until firm. Stir through ginger. Decant into a serving bowl. Chill until needed.

4. 500ml double cream 4 tablespoons icing sugar 4 tablespoons glace ginger very finely chopped or 3 stem gingers in syrup blitzed