Poached Haddock Timbale topped with a Quail’s Egg 

"I have mainly chosen this recipe because it showcases an oven baked element as the timbale and beetroot are baked which is vital for this competition.


This starter celebrates a variety of flavours as the poignant taste of smoked haddock is complemented by the rich and creamy dill filling, as well as the earthy beetroot with the acidity of the salad dressing.


In addition, it shows a variety of textures through the smooth filling and flaky haddock which are contrasted by the crunch of the walnuts and croutons."



  • 2 baby beetroots

  • Splash of olive oil

  • Butter for greasing

  • 150g (5½oz) skinned smoked haddock fillet

  • 200ml single cream

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1tbsp each chopped dill and chives

  • 2 quail eggs

  • 1tbsp lemon juice

  • ½tbsp olive oil

  • ½tbsp walnut oil

  • ½tbsp wholegrain mustard

  • 1tbsp caster sugar, black pepper

  • Small bag of rocket and watercress

  • Handful of walnuts



  • 2 thick slices rustic whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings or Herbes de Provence

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt



1) Preheat oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. Season the beetroot with oil and thyme and wrap in foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Butter 4 timbale moulds.


2) Poach the fish for 2-3 minutes in 100ml cream. Drain and reserve the cream and whisk with remaining cream, egg yolks, dill, chives and a pinch of black pepper. Divide the fish between the moulds, pour in the cream mixture and place in a roasting tray. Add 4cm (1½in) water to the tray. Bake for 20 minutes.

3) Poach the quail eggs for 30 seconds, then plunge into iced water. Whisk the dressing ingredients. Cool the timbales, then unmould. Dress the salad and arrange on each plate with the beetroot, topped with a quail egg.



1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.


2) Toss bread, oil, herbs, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl until evenly moist and the herbs are evenly distributed. Spread the bread cubes out onto the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake, stirring once until the croutons are crispy on the outside and starting to brown, 16 to 18 minutes’ total.


Cool before serving.