Vlad shares warming winter recipe inspiration

As the cold and dark nights set in, there is nothing better than coming home to a cosy house, a roaring fire and something warm and delicious in the oven…

With his love of local fresh seasonal produce Vlad Kruus has developed the Metro Bar and Brasserie at Apex Grassmarket Hotel into a relaxed, welcoming and friendly restaurant with an excellent selection of winter warmers on the menu.

Vlad, who has more than 14 years’ experience as a chef – working for the likes of Radisson Blu and Edinburgh’s Tigerlily as well as Apex Hotels – is highly skilled when it comes to creating fabulous recipes bursting with flavour.

Thankfully he is able to share some of his best recipes to blast away those winter blues at home.

Alternatively you could book a stay here and let him do the work for you…

Vlad Winter Warming Recipes

Roast fillet of West Coast cod


  • 120 g of Cod fillet, skinned and pin boned
  • 50 g of kale

For the sweet potato & carrot clapshot

  • 50g of diced potato
  • 50g of diced carrot
  • 20g of butter
  • A pinch of salt and pepper for taste

For the saffron butter cream sauce

  • 50ml of cream
  • 10ml of white wine
  • ½ finely chopped shallot
  • 15g of butter
  • 3 stems of saffron (diluted in the white wine for 10 mins)


Bring a small pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add in the diced sweet potato and carrots and boil for 12-16 minutes until they are soft. Drain the liquid and empty into a bowl and leave to the side.

Place the pan back on a medium heat, add butter and heat until golden brown, then add both sweet potatoes and carrots back to the pan along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and gently bash together (not to mash, just looking to break up the potato and carrots).


Lightly salt your cod and leave to one side for five minutes (this draws out moisture and helps with beautiful browning of your fish).
On a medium heat, heat up your non-stick pan with about two tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Gently place your fish on what would have been skin side down and cook for about 3-4 minutes, add a teaspoon of butter, then turn over. Lightly season. Remove from heat and lightly season. Leave to rest for about two minutes.


Place a small pan on a medium heat and add 5g of butter and the chopped shallots. Sauté them off until they are a light golden colour, add the white wine and diluting saffron into the pan and bring to the boil for around 20 seconds. Add the cream and bring back to the boil again.

Add the remaining butter piece by piece each time shaking the pan rather than stirring, as this will save the sauce from splitting.


Wash and tear the kale into bite-size pieces, place in a pan of seasoned boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and drain ready for plating, best served warm. Serve and enjoy a delicious seasonal winter warmer.

Vlad's cod winter recipe