2 sprigs thyme and 1 bay leaf, tied together with cook’s string
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the deep-fried whelks and cockles
4 potatoes, peeled and shredded into fine straw fries
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 free-range egg
50g/1¾oz rice flour
50g/1¾oz potato flour
20 cooked whelks, picked from their shells
150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
drizzle olive oil
200g/7oz Tenderstem broccoli
To make the beetroot ketchup, heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and sweat the shallot and garlic together with the herbs. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened. Season to taste. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Set aside.
Arrange the shredded potato into the birds nest basket mould. Fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with the oil. Heat to 180C (a cube of bread should turn brown in one minute when dropped in.) CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.
Carefully lower the potato basket into the fryer and fry until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
Mix together the egg, flours, salt and 150ml/5fl oz of water to make a batter. Dip the whelks and cockles into the batter, shake off any excess and fry until golden and crisp. (You may need to do this in batches.) Drain on kitchen paper.
Heat a griddle pan until hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the Tenderstem broccoli until charred.
Pile the cockles and whelks into the potato basket. Serve with the griddled broccoli on the side and the beetroot ketchup for dipping.
Put the cockles and wine into a saucepan over medium heat, cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the cockles have opened. Discard any that do not open. Pick the meat from the shells.