Lighter Christmas snacks from Mark Hix

Boiled egg with Mottra caviar

Serves 8

I’ve been working with a sustainable caviar company called Mottra (available from Selfridges or, which produces Sterlet and Osetra caviar in Latvia. Caviar from wild fish is going to be a thing of the past, because there just ain’t that many sturgeon out there any more. On top of the sustainability aspect, the eggs are much less salty than traditional kinds, so you get a good taste of the actual eggs.

Apart from the traditional way on toast or on blinis, I do like caviar piled up on a buttery baked potato or on a scrambled egg. You can pass these round in egg cups or just flatten the base of the egg by crushing it and let your guests just hold the egg and eat it with a teaspoon.


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8 small free-range eggs (hen’s or duck’s)
A couple of knobs of butter
2tbsp double cream
Salt and white pepper
50g-100g Mottra Sterlet or Osetra caviar


With a pair of scissors, cut the top quarter off the eggs and tip the contents into a bowl. Discard the top bit, neatly trim the main shell and give it a rinse under warm water and place in egg cups. Beat the eggs, add the cream and season. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan on a low heat, add the eggs, and stir on a low heat until they’re lightly scrambled and still very soft. Spoon out of
the pan immediately into the eggshells or they’ll continue cooking. Spoon the caviar on top and serve immediately.

Trealy Farm-cured pork cheek on toasted sourdough with shaved Wiltshire truffles

Serves 8

One of my great foodie finds this year is Trealy Farm in Monmouthshire, which produces the best cured meats I’ve come across in the UK, including fantastic cured pork cheeks.
I’ve always shied away from British truffles, as the ones I’ve tried in the past have no flavour.

However, the truffles we’ve been using in the restaurant have certainly changed my view-they’re dark and have a healthy amount of aroma about them. You can buy them from Tony Booth in Borough Market.


40g or so of black truffle
8 small slices of sourdough bread, cut about ½cm thick
Softened butter for spreading
8 or 16 slices of cured pork cheek
Freshly ground black pepper


Toast the sourdough on both sides and lightly butter it. Lay the cured pork cheek on top. Then, with a truffle shaver, the side of a grater or a mandolin, shave the truffles as thinly as possible on top.

Baked potato with lobster

Serves 4

It may sound extravagant, but I made this for supper with a lonesome lobster from my pots. I was experimenting with something for you to try on your Christmas-party guests-honest! Nothing wrong with a bit of self-indulgence, especially when you’ve gone to the effort of catching the damn thing yourself. Another time, I made little lobster tortillas with guacamole by just cutting up some bought flour tortillas into bite-sized pieces and toasting them, then topping them with guacamole, a slice of lobster and a smear of chilli sauce.


1 cooked lobster (about 500g)
4 small baking potatoes,  (about 200g-250g each)
50g-60g butter
½tbsp chopped chives
Salt and black pepper
2-3tbsp of decent mayonnaise


Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/Gas mark 5. Place the potatoes on a tray and bake for about an hour or until soft. Leave to cool a little, then halve them, scoop the potato into a bowl and mash with the butter and chives, and season to taste.

Remove the meat of the lobster and reserve the shells for a soup. Scoop any of the brown meat from the head and mix with the potato. Refill the skins and return to the oven to reheat for about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, cut the lobster tail into slices and the claws in half if they’re large.
To serve, lay the lobster onto the potato halves and spoon a little of the mayonnaise over.

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