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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Hot Smoked Trout & Dill Spaghetti

A lovely weeknight treat and so easy and quick to make. We used Barbecued Rainbow Trout from Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Kilkenny but any hot smoked trout or salmon will work perfectly.

Wine Suggestion: this works with lightly / judiciously oaked Chardonnay which gives structure and a touch of butteriness but retains the fruit and texture; your choice.

Hot Smoked Trout & Dill Spaghetti – serves 4

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 100g frozen petits pois
  • 100g hot smoked trout or salmon (see above), remove the skin and break into bite-sized chunks
  • a small packet of dill (about 25g), remove any thickish stalks and roughly chop
  • 3 tbsp of crème fraîche

Cook the spaghetti in loads of boiling, very salty water, for a minute less than the time given on the pack. Add the frozen petits pois and cook for another minute, then drain and return to the pan. Reserve some of the pasta water to thin the sauce.

Stir the hot smoked trout, dill, crème fraîche, salt and lots of black pepper into the pasta. Add a couple of tbsp of pasta water to the pan and toss everything together over a very low heat. Keep adding pasta water until you have a silky sauce, then serve in warm bowls.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Barbecued Prawn Kebabs with Harissa & Couscous

A healthy, weeknight dish with lovely flavours. Another recipe for using up bits and bobs you may already have which is our primary motivation for cooking mid-week.

Wine Suggestion: a fresh white or a crisp, dry rosé would be our choice for this dish. We had a glass of the Chateau Pesquie Terrasses Rosé from Ventoux (and quite Provençal in style) and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Barbecued prawn kebabs with harissa & couscous – serves 4

  • 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, halved lengthways, then each half quartered into 4 chunks
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 200g couscous
  • 400g raw prawns
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 2 tsp tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • juice ½ lemon, plus wedges, to serve
  • handful mint leaves, roughly chopped

Put 1 ½ tbsp of olive oil into a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured, they’ll fall apart and that’s fine. Scoop them out of the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the same pan, add the cumin seeds and toast for a few minutes until they smell good. Tip the carrots into the pan and season, then cook for a few minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl, then pour over the couscous and 400ml hot water. Cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your barbecue going. Put the prawns, cherry tomatoes and softened onions in another bowl, season, then stir in the harissa. Thread the prawns, tomatoes and onions onto metal skewers (you can use wooden ones either but you need to soak in water for 20 minutes first). Barbecue the kebabs for a couple of minutes on each side, or until the prawns are cooked through.

Mix the tahini, yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning to make a sauce. Fork the mint though the couscous, transfer to a platter and place the skewers on top. Serve with the sauce and lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spiced Salmon Skewers with Parsley Oil

We started these kebabs from the Falastin cookbook on the barbecue and then finished in the oven. Oh my goodness, they’re delicious. This is the best cookbook we’ve bought in ages!! You can make the parsley oil and marinade the salmon well in advance.

Wine Suggestion: to avoid fighting the spices we opened a La Source de Chateau Vignelaure Blanc from Provence. A blend of Vermentino, Semillon and Sauvignon it was uncomplicated joy in a glass; pure freshness with light fruits and a textured core.

Spiced salmon skewers with parsley oil – serves 4

  • 800g salmon fillet (no skin & bones), cut into 4cm chunks
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 3½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved lengthways, then each half quartered into 4 chunks
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, quartered into wedges, to serve

PARSLEY OIL:

  • 40g parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 90ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut off the ends, then remove the skin and cut between the membranes to release the segments

Put the chunks of salmon into a large bowl with the cardamom, cumin, paprika, turmeric, sumac, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, ¾ tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Mix to coat the fish, then leave in the fridge for at least an hour but it will be fine made earlier in the day and cooked when you need.

Put 1½ tbsp of olive oil into a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured, they’ll fall apart and that’s fine. Scoop them out of the pan and set aside.

To make the parsley oil whizz the parsley, garlic, oil, ¼ tsp of salt and plenty of pepper in the small bowl of a food processor for about a minute, or until, smooth. Add the lemon segments and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 230ºC and get your barbecue going (if you don’t want to barbecue you can use a well-greased griddle pan).

Put a tomato onto 4 long metal skewers, then alternate chunks of salmon with pieces of onion. Finish with another tomato at the end.

When the barbecue (or griddle) is smoking hot, add the skewers and grill for 3-4 minutes, turning so they’re charred on all sides. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment and put into the preheated oven for 6-7 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked.

Drizzle over the parsley oil and serve the lemon wedges on the side.

(Original recipe from Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, Ebury Press, 2020)

 

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Mussels with Ditalini & Tomatoes

We love mussels on a Friday, so cheap and quick to cook, but still so special and luxurious. We halved the pasta to serve 2 but kept everything else the same – a feast!

Wine Suggestion: Digging into the lockdown cellar again and the Sugrue, Trouble with Dreams 2014 came to hand. A beautifully precise and focussed sparkling from the South Downs in England. If this isn’t to hand a good traditional method, double fermented sparkling would be a good choice too.

Mussels with Ditalini & Tomatoes – serves 4

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed, remove any beards and throw away any that are open and don’t close when tapped
  • 250g ditalini pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 80ml red vermouth, we used Martini Rosso
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cook the pasta according to the time on the pack in lots of very salty water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide pan that has a lid. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes to soften, over a medium-high heat.

Add the garlic, chilli and sea salt, then keep stirring until the tomatoes start to melt and make a juice. Add the vermouth and bubble up to get rid of the alcohol, then stir.

Add mussels and cover with the lid. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until the mussels have opened, give the pan a good shake now and then. Throw away any mussels that haven’t opened.

Drain the pasta and reserve a little cooking water. Add the pasta to the mussel pan with 2 tbsp of the pasta water. Stir everything together, put the lid back on and leave for a minute or two off the heat. Stir in most of the parsley, then scatter the rest on top.

(Original recipe from At My Table by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2017.)

Mussels with ditalini & tomatoes

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Spiced Haddock with Bombay PotatoesThis is really simple but full of fresh and spicy flavours. Great for a weeknight as it only takes 30 minutes to cook.

Wine Suggestion: matched with a perrenial favourite, the ALLO by Quinta Soahleiro from northern Portugal. Enough fruit for the spices and complimentary texture and vibrancy.

Smoked haddock with Bombay potatoes – serves 2

  • 2 thick skinless haddock fillets
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • groundnut oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • lemon wedges, to serve

FOR THE POTATOES:

  • 500g waxy potatoes, diced (peel if you prefer)
  • sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 100g cherry tomatoes

Boil the potatoes in salty water until just cooked, then drain well.

Put the haddock in a dish. Mix the curry powder, groundnut oil and turmeric together with a good pinch of salt. Rub all over the fish and leave for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Gently cook the shallots until softened then add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Fry until fragrant, then stir in the turmeric and potatoes. Stir to heat through and coat in the spices, then add the tomatoes and cook until they start to break down. Season with salt. Stir in half the coriander.

Grill the haddock for a couple of minutes on each side until just cooked, it will flake easily with a fork. Divide the potatoes between two plates and gently place the haddock on top. Scatter with the remaining coriander and serve with a lemon wedge.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, May 2013.)

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Monkfish Stew with Tomatoes, Garlic, Chilli & Black Olives

This is delicious served on some toasted sourdough and drizzled with your best olive oil.

Wine Suggestion: The dish is from the Marche and from near the region’s capital, Ancona s grown some of the best Verdicchio and we’re lucky to be friends with the Sartarelli family who make some of the best. Our regular is their Tralivio made from the oldest vineyards in the property, though if you push to the Balciana you’ll get one of the best Verdicchio’s in Italy and something quite special. Both work with this dish.

Monkfish stew with tomatoes, garlic, chilli & black olives – serves 6

  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 mild red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 4 tbsp black olives, stones removed
  • 1.5kg monkfish fillet, cut into chunks (make sure the fishmonger removes the grey membrane for you)
  • 70ml white wine
  • 500ml good fish stock
  • 4 tbsp tomato passata
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved

To serve:

  • 6 large slices of good bread, toasted
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large deep sauté pan with a lid. Add the garlic, chilli, rosemary sprigs and chopped rosemary, and sauté for a minute.

Add the olives, then the fish and season. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring.

Add the wine and bubble to burn off the alcohol, then add the fish stock, tomato passata and tomatoes. Cover with the lid and cook for 10 minutes or until the fish is tender. Discard the rosemary sprigs and  transfer to a large serving dish.

Our monkfish threw heaps of watery liquid. If this happens to you, just scoop the fish out with a slotted spoon and reduce the sauce, then return the fish to the stew and continue to cook as above.

Serve the fish on top of the toasted bread, drizzled with your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from Made at Home by Giorgio Locatelli, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017.)

 

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Salmon with Greens & Crème Fraîche

It’s often fish at ours on Friday and this one tasted of Spring. The perfect end to a sunny day. We don’t freeze much veg but are never without frozen peas and broad beans. We served with steamed waxy potatoes with butter and mint but mash would be good too.

Wine Suggestion: a light, seafood friendly white. One of our favs is the Allo from Northern Portugal which has a salty tang and tastes of sunshine in a glass.

Salmon with Greens & Crème Fraîche – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 250ml chicken stock/fish stock
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 140g frozen broad beans
  •  4 skinless salmon fillets
  • small bunch of chives

Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan with a lid. Add the leek and cook gently for 5-10 minutes, until softened but not browned.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for a few minutes to reduce a bit.

Add the crème fraîche, peas and broad beans and season, then nestle in the salmon fillets. Cover and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.

Sprinkle over the chives to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Pan-fried Salmon with Curried Mussels

How disappointed we were when we left it too late to get mussels from our local fish shop last Saturday. So this ended up being dinner on Thursday – a bit fancier than what we usually serve on a weeknight but to be honest we’ve lost track of what day it is anyway! Plenty of pans needed for this dish but it’s worth it.

Wine Suggestion: this needs a white to match that can stand up to a rich, creamy base. Sometimes it also necessary to choose not only a type of wine but also a producer … we suggest cultivating a good wine shop to help with this. Tonight we had a Txakoli, a local wine from near San Sebastion in Spain made from Hondarrabi Zuri. Normally very light and with a spritz-freshness and great with lighter seafood dishes and other tapas. The Astobiza Txakoli we had was fuller bodied while still maintaining the texture, saltiness and freshness of a more typical wine of the region and thus able to step up to the rich creaminess of the food.

As Txakoli isn’t as easy to find we’d also suggest a fuller, textural Albarino as an option.

Pan-fried salmon with curried mussels – serves 4

  • 4 salmon fillets with the skin on, about 120g each
  • vegetable oil

FOR THE MUSSELS:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1kg mussels, scrub them clean, rip off any beards and chuck any that don’t close when you tap them
  • 225ml white wine

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 tsp medium curry powder
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • lemon

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

Start with the mussels. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large, heavy pan, with a lid. Add the onions and parsley and cook gently until soft. Add the mussels, salt and pepper and wine. Bring to the boil, then cover and give the pan a shake. Cook for a few minutes or until the mussels have opened (throw away any that don’t open).

Strain the mussels but keep the cooking liquid. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve to get rid of any grit. Remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, carrot and celery and sweat over a low heat, with the lid on, until softened, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for another few minutes. Stir in 150ml of the mussel cooking liquid and cook for another minute. You can turn the heat off now and leave the sauce aside while you cook the salmon.

Dry the salmon well with kitchen paper, then slash the skin diagonally a few times with a sharp knife. Season well.

Heat a non-stick, oven-proof frying pan over a medium heat, the add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Cook the salmon, skin-side down for 4-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy. Don’t be tempted to move it around. Turn the salmon fillets over and put the pan in the oven for another few minutes to finish cooking.

Stir the double cream into the sauce and bring back to the boil, add the potato and cook until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the mussels to the sauce and warm through briefly. Add the chives and a squeeze of lemon to the sauce and taste for seasoning. Serve the sauce with the salmon on top.

(Original recipe by Bryn Williams in Olive Magazine, April 2011.)

 

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Paprika & Oregano marinated fish with Cherry Tomato Salsa

We made it too late to the fish shop to get mussels. I tried to sign through the window to get something for the barbecue instead and Oralith (age 6) opened the door and yelled – try and get a lobster! Entertained the fishmonger anyway and we had tuna steaks in the end. Little did he know that she wanted to bring the lobster home to keep as a pet.

Wine Suggestion: We never get over how the Rustenberg Chardonnay so completely over delivers for its price and perfectly works with food, but as we’d not had some for ages opened this on a whim and we weren’t disappointed. Another successful match for this wine.

Paprika- and oregano-marinated fish with cherry tomato salsa – serves 4

  • 4 tuna steaks
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

FOR THE SALSA:

  • 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (we only had a green one which worked fine too)
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, paprika and some seasoning together in a bowl. Put the tuna steaks into a ceramic dish and pour over the marinade. Cover the dish and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

To make the salsa, mix the tomatoes, scallions, oregano, chilli and vinegar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the tuna over a hot barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side.

Serve the tuna with some salsa spooned over and some lemon wedges to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from Holiday by Bill Granger, Murdoch Books, 2007.)

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Fennel, Pernod and Red Mullet Parcels

We cooked this the night that further restrictions were placed on Ireland. We were a bit unsure how it would all work and if we would still be able to get fresh produce in the local shops or if we’d be stuck with supermarkets. Yesterday we heard that we’d be home for another few weeks but thankfully we can still get fresh fish and almost anything else we need (except plain flour!) from our local shops. We served this with some steamed waxy potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Light, white and minerally. Our choice is the Allo by Quinta Soalheiro from northern Portugal made from Alvarinho for texture and body, and Loureiro for the fruity, aromtic white flowers. All at 11.5% abv.

Fennel, Pernod and red mullet parcels – serves 4

  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp chopped herb fennel leaves
  • 180ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp Pernod
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 fillets of red mullet or sea bass

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

You need large 4 pieces of double thickness  tin foil – probably bigger than you think. Divide the sliced fennel between the sheets – keep the edges turned up so you don’t lose anything. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the parcels and lay the fish fillets on the top with the fennel leaves sprinkled over. Season everything well with salt and pepper.

Fold the foil up around the ingredients to make parcels, twisting the edges together to seal, make sure you leave some air inside.

Place the parcels on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish and ingredients from the parcels and arrange on warm plates. Pour the juices from the parcels over the top.

(Original recipe from Herbs by Judith Hann, Nourish, 2017.)

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Spicy fish soup

We often have fish on Fridays. It’s quick to cook and light enough that we’ve room for cheese afterwards. Mussels are a favourite too and they’re fantastic value. This soup by Nigel Slater is crammed with them, and full of flavour.

Wine suggestion:  an old favourite white wine, the always versatile ALLO by Quinta Soalheiro. Light bodied so it doesn’t overwhelm the delicate play of flavours in the dish, but textured and concentrated at the same time. A wine that is the sommeliers’ secret weapon for matching.

Spiced fish soup – serves 2

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, chuck any with broken shells or that don’t close when you give them a sharp tap
  • 2 large banana shallots, peeled and separated into layers
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g white fish fillet – we used hake – cut into 4 pieces
  • a handful of chopped coriander

Put the cleaned mussels into a large pan and add 500ml of water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook until the mussels have opened (a couple of minutes).

Remove the mussels from the liquid but keep the cooking water, you need to strain this through a fine sieve. Remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a deep frying pan, then fry the shallots over a gentle heat until softened. Add the mustard seeds, chilli powder and turmeric, and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour in the reserved mussel stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Lay the pieces of fish in the liquid and cook briefly until opaque (just a couple of minutes should do it). Return the mussels to the pan, season to taste with salt, and stir in the coriander.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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Spaghetti with Roasted Red Mullet

It feels a bit weird posting recipes like this but at the same time we think its important to remember that there are no food shortages. The fish shops are open and fishermen continue to fish and while this continues, we’re going to make the most of it.

Wine Suggestion: a good rule of thumb when matching wines is to look at the source of the food and see what is being grown nearby. Today, an Italian seafood pasta drags us to the Poggio ai Ginepri Vermentino, grown on the Tuscan coast; both floral and salty in equal amounts with a good dollop of tasty fruit in the middle.

Spaghetti with roasted red mullet – serves 2

  • 4 small fillets of red mullet – ask the fish shop to fillet them for you and make sure you check them over for tiny bones
  • a handful of black olives, pitted
  • a dried chilli or half a tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • your best extra virgin olive oil
  • some fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • 200g spaghetti

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.

Prick the cherry tomatoes with a fork, then toss with a little olive oil, season and spread over a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Put the fillets of red mullet in a single layer in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with thyme and the dried chilli, then season. Drizzle with oil and roast in the oven for 5 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti in loads of salty water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.

Add the olives and tomatoes to the pasta with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season. Add the red mullet and toss gently, then serve.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes form the London River Cafe by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006)

 

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Sardines & Peppers on Toast

This was my lunch on the strangest Mother’s Day ever. I was supposed to be cooking lunch for my own Mum but we couldn’t do that due to social distancing, and we live too far away to drive up and chat through the window. But we did FaceTime twice and that was good. Meanwhile, Mother Nature looked after everyone in Dublin with a gorgeous sunny day and this lunch reminded us of holidays. It’s also an easy lunch to do on a weekday – we can do these things while most of us are at home – turn it into an opportunity as my Dad would say!

Sardines and peppers on toast – serves 2

  • 2 large roasted red peppers from  a jar, torn into pieces
  • juice of a lemon, plus some extra lemon wedges to serve if you like
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, halved
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • a pinch of sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 large slices of sourdough bread
  • 1 small tin of sardines, drained

Put the peppers into a bowl with the lemon juice, 1 tbsp of olive oil, the garlic, parsley, paprika and some salt and pepper. Leave aside while you toast your bread.

Toast the bread and put onto warm plates. Top with roasted peppers, followed by the sardines, then drizzle the liquid from the peppers over the top.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, March 2016.)

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Fishcakes with Tartare Velouté

These are definitely a bit fancier than your average fishcake. Jam-packed with fish, not too much potato, and a stunning sauce. We’ve put a few in the freezer and can’t wait to have them again. The recipe is by Tommy Banks, of The Black Swan in Oldstead, and he suggests serving a poached egg on top. Do as you wish.

Wine Suggestion: We actually had another Jura Chardonnay with this, the Berthet-Bondet, but we’re conscious that these aren’t easy to find. We’d also suggest a sparkling from a cooler climate, especially if it has some autolytic bottle age; or a Chablis, Vermentino or good Albariño.

Luxury fishcakes with tartare velouté – serves 6

FOR THE FISHCAKES:

  • 1 red-skinned potato, about 250g
  • 250g smoked cod or smoked haddock
  • 250g hake
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 100g mixed white and brown crabmeat
  • 2 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
  • poached eggs (optional), lemon wedges & pea shoots, to serve

FOR THE TARTARE VELOUTÉ:

  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 50ml double cream
  • squeeze of lemon
  • large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped

Prick the potato a few times, then bake at 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 for about an hour or until soft.

Scoop the flesh from the potato into a bowl and mash until smooth.

Meanwhile, put the cod or haddock and hake into a large, shallow pan. Add the bay leaves, mustard and milk, and season. Bring to a simmer over a high heat, then cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and leave for 10 minutes.

Put the mash into a large bowl and stir in the egg yolk, butter, a pinch of grated nutmeg, the lemon zest and juice, the cheese, the crab and the scallions. Stir together well, then add 1 tbsp of the poaching milk and some seasoning.

Lift the fish gently from the milk and pour the milk into a jug (throw away the bay leaves). Flake the fish into large pieces and stir gently through the potato mixture. Shape the mixture into 6 fishcakes.

Now put the flour, egg and panko crumbs into 3 separate bowls. Coat each fishcake lightly in flour first, then dip into the egg to cover and finally into the panko crumbs. You want them to be totally covered in the breadcrumbs. You can freeze them now if you like or put into the fridge for cooking later.

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes, then gradually add the reserved poaching liquid, stirring all the time. Keep adding liquid until you have a silky sauce, then stir in the cream and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in some lemon juice, parsley, capers and seasoning. Keep warm.

To cook the fishcakes, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until dark golden and crispy. A metal skewer into the centre helps to check they’re piping hot, particularly if they’ve spent time in the fridge. You can cook them in batches if easier and keep warm in a low oven.

Serve the fishcakes with plenty of sauce, a handful of pea shoots and a lemon wedge. You can also add a poached egg if you would like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Fish Pie

Fish Pie

This is an excellent fish pie recipe by Marcus Waring. It makes a generous portion so great for feeding a crowd or you can divide it between two dishes and freeze some for later.

Wine Suggestion: A full-bodied Chardonnay is our choice for rich fish pies. Tonight it was Domaine Labet’s “en Billat” an ancient vine, jurassic soiled classic we are fortunate to have a few bottles of from holidays last year. Think of a majestic white Burgundy with altitude, and a concentration that 100 + year old vines can achieve.

Fish Pie – serves 6, generously

  • 1kg fish fillets (a mix of salmon & cod/haddock), skinned
  • 600-800ml whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 75g butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100ml white wine or white vermouth if you have it
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 150g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 300g raw tiger prawns, shelled
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into chunky pieces
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1.2kg potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 50g butter
  • splash of milk
  • 100g grated Cheddar cheese

Remove any bones from the fish with tweezers, then put into a large pan and pour in enough milk to cover. Add the bay leaves and some salt and pepper. Gently bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer for 5 minutes or until just cooked. Remove from the heat.

Melt a third of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and onion and cook gently until softened. Remove the leeks and onions from the pan and set aside. Melt the rest of the butter in the same pan and when it bubbles stir in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the wine or vermouth and stir to form a thick paste. Tip the leeks and onions back into the pan.

Strain the milk from the fish fillets into a measuring jug. Gradually add about 600ml of the milk to the leek mixture, stirring until the sauce bubbles and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the crème fraîche and season again.

Flake the fish into chunky pieces and gently fold through the sauce along with the peas, prawns and parsley.

Spoon the mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Scatter the eggs and capers evenly over the top.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180fan/gas 6.

To make the topping, put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with water,  add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Drain the potatoes and mash with the butter and enough milk to make a spreadable mash. Season.

Spread the potato over the fish and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

(Original recipe from Marcus At Home by Marcus Wareing, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016.)

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Smoked Haddock & Hollandaise Bake with Dill & Caper Fried Potatoes

We love hollandaise but very rarely make it. This is going to change now we know how to do this cheat’s version. It can be adapted very easily for Béarnaise sauce for steak by adding some fresh tarragon. It’s a revelation!

Wine Suggestion: matching milder haddock and the creamy hollandaise requires a delicate touch and we’d suggest a white with a touch of oak, but not too much. The easiest choice is a Chardonnay which we duly went for; a Château de Beauregard Saint-Véran. Medium bodied, this is made partially in stainless steel and the other half in oak and has a lovely apple, citrus and brioche flavour and a mineral freshness to balance.

Smoked haddock & hollandaise bake with dill & caper fried potatoes – serves 2

  • 150g baby spinach
  • 2 x 140g smoked haddock fillets (boycott the artificially dyed orange stuff)

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 100ml double cream, plus a bit extra in case you need to rescue the hollandaise
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

FOR THE POTATOES:

  • 500g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus a bit extra
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • small handful of dill, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon, zested, then cut into wedges to serve

Put the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then season with salt, cover with a lid, and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Drain and leave in the pot to steam dry.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the potatoes and fry for 15 minutes or until crusty and browned.

To make the hollandaise you need to put the egg yolks into a bowl and whisk in the cornflour until smooth. Add the cream and the vinegar, and season well. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously, until it resembles a hollandaise sauce (like thin custard). If the sauce looks like it’s going to split or it’s getting too hot, just add another splash of cream and keep whisking. Check the seasoning and add a bit more salt or vinegar if needed.

Heat the grill to medium-high.

Heat a splash of oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, season with salt and black pepper. Turn the heat off and spread the spinach across the base of the frying pan. Lay the haddock fillets on top of the spinach, then pour over the hollandaise sauce. Put the pan under the grill for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked (it should flake easily) and the sauce is browned.

Toss the capers, dill and lemon zest over the cooked potatoes. Serve the potatoes with the fish and put the lemon wedges on the plates to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Baked salmon parcels with ginger, soy, honey, toasted sesame seeds & broccoli

We love a simple salmon recipe and this one, by Neven Maguire, is particularly handy as it’s all cooked in a tidy parcel in the oven. Serve with steamed rice with a some scallions sprinkled over.

Wine suggestion: delicious with a good, dry Riesling like Weingut Korrell’s Slice of Paradise from the Nahe in Germany which has a delicate dance of fruit, aromatics and a wonderful core of bright acidity and texture.

Soy and honey salmon parcels with tenderstem broccoli – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (just toast them gently in a dry frying pan)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • rapeseed oil, for brushing
  • 4 x 100g salmon fillets, skin and bones removed
  • 250g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • finely chopped scallions, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Whisk the sesame seeds, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and garlic together in a bowl, then set aside.

Cut out 4 squares of tin foil about 50cm square. Brush the foil with oil and put a piece of salmon in the middle of each one.

Blanch the broccoli for a minute, then drain and refresh in iced water.

Sprinkle the ginger over the salmon, then divide the broccoli between each parcel. Spoon over the soy sauce mixture and drizzle each piece of fish with about ½ tsp of oil. Fold the edges of the foil together to seal and place them on a baking tray.

Cook the parcels in the oven for 10 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked. You can leave it for a bit longer if you prefer your salmon well done but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Serve the parcels with a large bowl of rice sprinkled with the scallions.

(Original recipe from Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina)

There is a recipe for fish in tahini sauce in almost every Middle Eastern cookbook, and for good reason. The caramelised onions really complement the slightly sour tahini sauce. Serve with rice and salad.

Wine Suggestion: Not having had tahini with fish before we weren’t sure what to open, so went with our classic standby for seafood – Muscadet. The Domaine de la Chauviniere worked a treat and we would highly recommend this as a match.

Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina) – serves 2

For the fish:

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground Aleppo pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 fillets of white fish

For the sauce:

  • 80ml tahini
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt, to taste
  • 80ml water

For the topping:

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • a handful of coriander, chopped
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts

Mix the spices and oil and rub over the fish, then leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Caramelise the onions by frying them over a very low heat until soft and browned – about half an hour.

Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and water in a pan. Don’t worry if it curdles just keep stirring vigorously until it becomes smooth. Warm the sauce over a very low heat.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and fry the marinated fish for a few minutes on each side, then remove from the heat and place in a warm dish.

Fry the garlic and coriander in a pan with a little oil for a minute.

Pour the warm tahini sauce over the fish, then sprinkle over the onions, followed by the coriander, garlic and pine nuts. Serve with bulgar wheat or rice and a salad or vegetables if you like.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, Trapeze, 2017.)

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Scallop & prawn risotto

We brought in the new decade with this fabulous scallop and prawn risotto. Couldn’t be simpler to make but tastes really special. Scallops aren’t cheap but you only need a few for this and they are totally worth it.

Wine Suggestion: A special occasion with a special person requires a special wine. Made by the brilliant Dermot Sugrue, his Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan is multilayered, multidimensional and complex. To be honest this is the best English Sparkling we’ve tasted and it has a great roundness and weight alongside it’s natural freshness which allowed us to start with seaside, fresh oysters and then segue to a much richer risotto without breaking a sweat.

Scallop & Prawn Risotto – serves 4

  • 100g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 450g risotto rice
  • 750ml-1 litre, hot fish or light chicken stock
  • 350-400g raw peeled prawns
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • 12 scallops, orange roe and side muscles removed
  • a bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of basil, chopped

Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan and gently cook the shallot until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in butter.

Gradually add the hot stock, stirring all the time, until the rice is just tender – about 20 minutes. Add the prawns when the rice is cooked but al dente, then season and add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the prawns until they have turned pink all over, then add the mascarpone and gently fold in.

Allow the risotto to rest for 5 minutes while you fry the scallops for a minute on each side in a knob of butter in a frying pan. Add these to the risotto and sprinkle with the herbs.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, December 2015.)

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Carrot & Ginger mash with pan fried codSo, this is a full-on diet dish, but the carrot and ginger mash is spectacular and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough for nights when you need some restraint. We are a greedy household and require restraint on a regular basis – no wine for us tonight!

Carrot & Ginger Mash with Pan-fried Cod – serves 2

  • 2 large carrots (about 300g), thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 15g butter
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 thick, skinless cod fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dried chilli flakes

Put the carrots, garlic & ginger in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until soft.

Take the pan off the heat, reserve a ladle of the cooking water, then drain. Return the carrot mixture to the pan and add 3 tbsp of the reserved cooking water, the butter, and the lemon juice. Whizz the carrots to a purée with a stick blender, adding a bit more of the water if needed. Season with salt and black pepper.

Season the cod with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cod for about 4 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick they are.

Spoon the purée onto warm plates and serve with the fish on top and plenty of green veg.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Claire Bailey & Justine Pattison, Short Books, 2019.)

 

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