Red Mullet with Clams and Chorizo

Seafood, to my mind, is the original fast food. It cooks in minutes and given the number of species fished off our coast, there’s something for all tastes: delicate and flaky, dense and meaty, rich and oily. One of my favourites is red mullet, a fish I normally associate with warmer climes but which can be caught off our southern coast.

It’s a white fish but it will stand up to punchy flavours. I’ve cooked it here with rosemary, chorizo and clams and the resulting brothy sauce was so good we slurped it from our bowls. With spoons, we’re not heathens. Continue reading

Monkfish with Seville Dressing

I’m lucky when it comes to seafood. Spencer of Spen’s Fish will deliver to my door and my friend Mike Warner of A Passion For Seafood does pop-up sales at a local farm shop every Friday. I’m spoilt for choice, which is fortunate because I went through a lot of fish this week testing what is actually a very simple dish.

It is monkfish with a dressing based on Sicily’s salmoriglia, but using Seville orange juice instead of lemon. Sevilles are such a seasonal treat it seems silly not to. It’s essentially a punchy vinaigrette which acts here as both marinade, glaze and sauce.

Continue reading

Salmon Terrines

I hardly dare wish you a Happy New Year but I do sincerely hope the next 12 months will be an improvement on what has gone before. If you’d like to celebrate leaving 2020 behind (and who wouldn’t?) then this is a good start to a meal and to 2021. Continue reading

Devilled Crab Pasties

For an island nation we’re curiously uninspired when it comes to buying fish. Apparently the seafood us UK shoppers are most likely to sling into our shopping trolleys is salmon, tuna, cod, haddock and warm water prawns.

Nothing wrong with that, you might say, except that a good deal of it is imported (and in the case of the prawns fairly tasteless) yet we have so much amazing seafood available from our own waters. It’s madness not to take advantage of what’s on our doorstep and with coronavirus impacting our fleets’ exports it’s virtually a moral duty. Continue reading

A Coronavirus Christmas #2

My great-auntie Gertie, she of the rabbit-skinning speed record (Portly passim), used to keep a drawer full of gifts in her dressing table. Not ones she had bought in advance, the sort of thing you stash away on the off-chance you’ll match it to a suitable recipient, but ones she’d been given. It was not uncommon to get back the Christmas present you’d sent her a year or two earlier, neatly re-wrapped. Continue reading

Thai-style Mussels

I don’t have a lot in common with Nigella Lawson, sad to say, but from what I recall from one of her TV programmes, like her, I always keep a tub of Thai curry paste in the fridge. I am also fortunate in having a fishmonger who will deliver to my door, which during lock-down is an absolute boon. Continue reading

Nightingales and Roses

… possibly the most romantic title for a cookery book I’ve come across and what a joy it is to read. Maryam Sinaiee won the Guild of Food Writers’  First Book Award this year and she deserved it. This is clearly a labour of love. I’m a pushover for Persian/Iranian dishes at the best of times and Maryam’s recipes are so enticing. Continue reading

Freekeh with Hot-smoked Salmon

Less a recipe, more a fridge and cupboard raid, but a godsend when you want a summery supper with minimum effort. If it’s still raining where you are, put a woolly on and pretend you’re at the British seaside. A flask of stewed tea helps the illusion but a glass of wine would probably be preferable. Continue reading