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Posts Tagged ‘Seafood’

Slow cooked squid in brandy and cream

This is cooked quick and hot, then low and slow. A bit disconcerting if your used to cooking squid quickly to avoid the rubber band effect but have faith the result is tender squid in a rice sauce.

Wine Suggestion: This went perfectly with a Bodegas Tradición dry Oloroso VORS whose very refined character plus muscle and body stood up to the rich brandy, cream and tomato flavour, while the deep nutty flavours complimented the squid. A dry, smooth and round wine with a gentle and persistent texture.

Squid with Brandy & Cream – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 garlic loaves, chopped
  • 300ml passata
  • 1kg cleaned large squid
  • sunflower oil
  • 125ml brandy
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (to serve)

Melt the butter in a casserole dish, then add the onion, thyme and bay leaves with plenty of black pepper. Fry gently for about 15 minutes or until the onion is soft and golden. Stir in the garlic. Turn the heat off and stir in the passata, then leave to stand while you fry the squid.

Cut the squid in half lengthways, then chop each half widthways into ribbons. Cut the fins and tentacles to a similar size. Dry the squid well with paper towels.

Put a large frying pan over a high heat and wait until it get smoking hot. Add a glug of sunflower oil and about a third of the squid with a good pinch of salt. Fry hard, stirring occasionally, until well coloured. Repeat until all the squid has been browned. Put each batch into the casserole dish with the tomato sauce.

Put the casserole back over the heat and add 100ml water. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Add 100ml of brandy and put the lid back on. Simmer very gently for 40 minutes, then a further 20 minutes with lid ajar so the juice reduces a little. When the squid is tender stir in the rest of the brandy and the cream. Serve with chopped parsley sprinkled over.

(Original recipe by Valentine Warner in BBC Good Food Magazine, March 2010.)

 

Good Food March 2010

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Buttery chilli prawns

Prawns in their shells are more often a holiday treat for us but they’re so easy to do and it’s nice to eat dinner with your hands. Finger bowls of warm water and lemon slices are useful – or you could lick them 😉

Wine Suggestion: If you are serving this as a special treat for two then go for a good pink sparkling. We had this as on a Friday night and luckily had a half-bottle of Billecart Salmon Rosé champagne which turned it into an extra special evening. On nights when this isn’t an option you should find a good Fiano, Verdicchio or Alvarinho.

Buttery Chilli Prawns – serves 2

  • 25g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (leave the seeds in)
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 12-20 large raw ing prawns with shells (12 should be enough for a starter for 2, for a main course about 20 is better)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (plus a few extra slices for finger bowls if using)
  • ½ a small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • crusty bread – warm it in the oven before serving

Melt the butter & oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, chilli and paprika and cook for a coupled of minutes or until golden. Turn up the heat and throw in the prawns. Fry for a few minutes until they turn pink, don’t be tempted to cook them for any longer. Take the pan off the heat, season and stir in the lemon juice & parsley.

Serve with warm crusty bread for wiping the bowl.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Moules Marinière

We love this Normandy classic and have been known to make Moules Marinières as an impromptu supper served with some skinny fries or crusty bread. No other dish is as reminiscent of holidays in France and mussels are also very cheap. What could be better? 

Wine Suggestion: You can’t go wrong with a good old Muscadet here. Just the thing to complement the dish and shouldn’t blow the budget. Unfortunately Muscadet has had a few good quality but low quantity vintages so it may be a bit more scarce than usual. 

Moules Marinière – to serve 4

  • 2kg mussels
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  •  50g butter, chilled
  • 150ml water
  • 150ml dry white wine

Melt half the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and shallots and sweat for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the water, wine and half the parsley and simmer for 5-10 minute. 

Add the mussels, cover the pan quickly with a tight lid and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, giving the pan a good shake occasionally. Check if the mussels are open, if most of them are still closed, cover and cook for another minute or two, or until opened. 

Drain the mussels in a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid and discard any that haven’t opened. Cover the mussels with a pan lid to keep them warm. Pour the mussel liquid back into the pan and boil until it has a strong concentrated flavour. Reduce the heat. 

Cut up the remaining butter into small pieces and whisk into the sauce, piece by piece. Taste and season. 

Transfer the mussels to a serving bowl, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. 

(Original recipe from Leiths: How to Cook, Quadrille, 2013.)

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This is a lovely, warming dish, despite being both low-fat and low-calorie. The garlic bread works a treat so don’t leave it out.

Creamy seafood stew – to serve 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 175ml white wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp cold water
  • 400g mixed seafood, we used some defrosted prawns and some cubed salmon but frozen mixed seafood would work well
  • small bunch dill, chopped
  • 5 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
  • garlic bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and celery for about 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine and simmer on a high heat until it has almost evaporated.

Pour in the stock and cornflour mix and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly until thickened. Season and add the seafood and most of the dill. Simmer for a few minutes until piping hot, then stir in the crème fraîche.

Meanwhile, cook your garlic bread according to the pack. We find shop bought garlic bread way to garlicky so we buy a part-baked baguette and make our own garlic butter. Just mix some softened butter with one crushed garlic clove and lots of chopped parsley and some seasoning. Cut slices into the baguette and stuff in the butter. Bake in the oven according to the pack.

Serve the stew in bowls and scatter with the rest of the dill. Serve with the garlic bread.

Wine Suggestion: Careful not to go for anything too light and crisp with this dish as it is quite creamy and rich. We had a chardonnay which worked really well.

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