Hake with Chorizo and Olives

Image of Christmas baubleI love Christmas – wrapping the presents; the ritual of decorating the tree, a process which in our house usually extends to smothering the entire ground floor of the house with garlands and glitter; collecting the turkey from the farm; making the stuffing, the pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and all the other essential elements of our family Christmas dinner; setting the table with bits and pieces of inherited and precious silver and glassware (I don’t much enjoy polishing these but hey, they usually only come out once a year); the sound of car doors slamming as the extended family arrives and piles into the house with luggage and presents and wine and boxes of crackers and hugs all round; the laughter and jokes, the inevitable is-the-turkey-underdone-or-overdone moment, and the after dinner tradition of charades around the table, which only one of the family is actually any good at (take a bow, Alice). Continue reading

Sardina Pilchardus

It sounds a bit like something Harry Potter would shout, pointing his wand desperately as the minions of evil swarm towards him in the nether regions of Hogwarts. It is, however, the Latin name for the European pilchard, known for marketing reasons these days as the Cornish sardine (or as Voldemort might say, ssssardine). Continue reading

Sesame-crusted Miso Cod

Image of Mike Warner and Chris Wightman

I’m lucky to have some very good fishmongers in my part of the world, including Chris Wightman from Maximus Sustainable Fishing. That’s him on the right in the photo, with Mike Warner from East Coast Avocet, at Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival. You can’t tell from my picture but they won Best Stand, a tremendous accolade given the number and quality of producers attending. Continue reading

Lobster Salad and the Kitchen Sink

Image of Mike Warner

Mike hauls in lobster pots aboard the Avocet

Some months ago I was having dinner with a group of food writer friends when one let slip that he went lobster fishing and in a rash moment offered to take me with him. It’s a comment he has probably regretted since. Continue reading