Showing posts with label SEAFOOD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SEAFOOD. Show all posts

Lemon Sole with caper and lemon butter sauce

Fresh Sole, baked to perfection and topped with a buttery, citrus, sweet and vinegar caper and lemon butter sauce. My recipe is borrowed shamelessly from a classic Sole Meunière recipe which uses Dover sole and parsley in the lemon butter sauce.
This is another regular dish from the restaurant, simple and quick to make, the skill is in the timing of the dish and ensuring the temperatures are correct, follow the recipe carefully to get a perfect sauce and ensure your fish is as fresh as possible as it is served slightly rare to capture the flavours of the fish.
This can also be used for John Dory and Plaice, for Megrims and Dover Sole get your fishmonger to skin the fish before cooking. Ensure all fish used comes from a sustainable source, Megrims are a great local South West alternative to Dover Sole which are becoming scarcer.

Serves 2

Butter sauce

100g unsalted butter
1 Lemon
tblsp Capers

Heat the butter moderately till it foams, when the foaming stops reduce the heat and add fine zest from the lemon, as soon as the butter colours turn the heat off.
Wait till the butter cools and then add ½ the juice of the lemon (no sooner or the butter will burn) and the capers before reheating till the sauce foams again, immediately taking off the heat when it foams.
Serve warmed over the cooked fish

For the Sole
1 Sole
Vegetable oil
Plain flour

Gut and rinse your fresh Lemon Sole
Slash the skin in crossed diagonal strips (as per the picture) on both sides
Drag the sole in a plate of seasoned flour and lay on a oven tray, (hint: use a teflon sheet to ensure you can get it out of the tray !)
Pour about ½ cup of oil over the fish and rub it into the fish on both sides to cover.
Bake in hot oven for 10-15 minutes
Probe the middle of the fish and remove from the oven when the centre of the fish reaches 60C degrees, crisp for a few moments under the grill.
Plate and pour a generous portion of the sauce over the plate

Serve with some samphire and fresh salad (foraged sea vegetables work great if you have a source for them).

Simple sweet chilli dipping sauce

Classic dipping sauce for Thai fish cakes, I often use this with a squeeze of lime to cook squid ... one of my favourite quick dishes. Once you've made this you won't ever go back to bottled sauce ... only takes a few minutes and lasts well in the fridge.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (can be white wine)
  • 1 red birds eye chilli
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove

Simmer vinegar and sugar gently to reduce to a syrup
Add chilli, finely sliced on an angle to look pretty ... leave the seeds in. One is plenty hot enough.
Add the garlic
Leave on low heat for a few minutes to infuse

That's it ... very simple. You can try adding fish sauce or using some palm sugar but I find it better to leave it simple and add the other ingredients to the dish rather than the sauce.

Great for cooking with, squid, vegetables ... but to save you an experiment ... don't try it with crab meat ... it doesn't work ! The two different sweet flavours clash horribly ... mine went in the bin.

Easy Mayonnaise recipe

Forget dripping oil and whisking endlessly ... you don't have to ... this takes 30 seconds !

This has taken all the pain out of making mayonnaise for me ... use a blending stick. A version of this recipe was with my new Bamix blender but I only just tried it after three months of Bamix ownership. I have also tried using my trusty old philips stick blender and it works a treat too.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • seasoning (i use tabasco and fine salt)
  • rapeseed/sunflower/olive oil
  • white wine vinegar
  • lemon juice

As usual I'm not giving exact quantities ! ... it requires about 300ml of oil. Be aware that olive oil gives a lot of flavour so I use mostly sunflower with a little olive oil for a nice balance. Rapeseed oil makes a wonderful bright yellow mayonnaise.
Put the eggs into a container just wider than your stick blender (I often use a large mug) then add 150-200ml oil ... blitz.
Add more oil once it starts to bind to a mayonnaise and stop when you reach the texture you like (it gets thicker the more oil you add).
The mayonnaise will now taste of egg and oil so season first then add some acidity, I like a dash of vinegar and add lemon to suit.
Taste - but use a new spoon each time as this is a cold dish and you risk contamination.

You can then add other flavours, chopped wild garlic, dill for fish, capers for shellfish ... feel free to add suggestions ! Worth noting that flavours intesify over a while so be cautious with garlic especially as it will get much stronger in flavour after an hour or so.

This uses fresh eggs so treat with some caution ... keeps fine for a few days but I make it fresh as its so easy.

Crab Thermidor

OK ... its a simple dish to make but its all in the tasting like so many of my dishes. I don't put amounts in many recipes as I cook by taste the best way is to start with the basics and try for yourself. Different cheeses, stocks, crabs etc will have different tastes so the only way to make a dish you love is to taste as you cook.

A brown crab is not expensive, should be about £4. Ingredients for the stock should also be free from a decent fishmonger when you buy your crab.

First make a really good seafood stock with flatfish bones, scallop frill and a few prawn shells. Read about making stocks in a previous post here .

One good crab, spider tastes best but brown can be used for everyday
Seafood stock (about 300ml per crab)
Gruyere cheese
Parmesan cheese
English Mustard powder

Clean the crab, extract the meat and clean the shell ready for use as a bowl.
Make a veloute with the stock, by making a roux with some butter and plain flour then adding heated stock slowly mixing till the consistency of double cream.
Season then add some gruyere and parmesan to taste ... should be a nice balance of cheese and sea flavour.
Add tabasco and some english mustard to bring in a nice heat to the dish.
Add the meat to the shell then pour the sauce over.
Add a little extra cheese on top then bake for 20min or so.
It should be cooked through and slightly browned on top.

Serve in the shell, use some green veg to balance the shell or some foil.

enjoy !

Smoked Scallops with Wild Garlic Butter

I've just given this recipe to my local paper as one of my Masterchef recipes from the 1/4 final.

If you can't get dived scallops then try this with some monkfish or mackerel as both have strong flavours that the smoker will not overpower. Please don't use dredged scallops as the damage caused by dredging is horrendous to see. Farmed scallops are ok but be careful of the amount of water added to frozen ones.

Make wild garlic puree from early wild garlic shoots or flowers, the flowers give the best flavour, the season is March to June. Harvest sustainably from a spray free location and do not take more than one leaf or flower head from any plant or you may damage the plant. Wild garlic freezes really well as a puree so harvest some in season and freeze. Only a dot of the puree is needed per scallop.

Smoking can be done in a pan with some foil over the wood chippings then place the scallops on a rack so they don't make direct contact with the base, put a lid on the pan to keep the smoke contained. There are very good commercial products available to use if you like the flavours and want to do more smoking. One to two minutes is all that is needed to infuse the scallop with smoke flavour as hot smoking is very intense, then place in a moderate oven for 3-5 minutes to bake, bake in the shell which will bring out lovely salty, sea aromas from the baked shell (don't put the shells in the smoker or they go black).

  • Six Hand Dived Scallops
  • 200g Butter
  • 1 tsp Wild Garlic puree
  • Flat leaf parsley

Lightly smoke Scallops, then bake in the shell for a few minutes till firm to touch
Bring Butter to foaming hot, add a little wild garlic, pour immediately over scallops.
Serve hot with parsley.

Fish sausages

These taste ok so far ... brainwave with a good mate who's my butcher and has a little fishmongers alongside ... would a fish sausage taste good ?

Made a strong stock and mixed with some rusk to hold it all together.

Added chopped white fish and squid then pulled it all together.

Tasted good ... but not great ... so we're going for version 2

Drop the rusk and add some flavour ... wild garlic pesto tasted pretty good ... will update when we've done the next batch !

Scallops and seaweed

I've been working on this for a while ... Arame seaweed (about £3 at an asian supermarket for a 30g bag of dried seaweed which will make approx 10 portions) tastes amazing with miso and a strong beef stock but I've struggled to get a balance to match the strong umame flavour of the seaweed. I matched it with some scallops, ginger, garlic and chilli.
Three pans to cook, one for the seaweed, one with some sliced garlic, ginger and red chilli cooked in butter and finally cook the scallops in butter and oil. Bring the dish together using a large ring like so:
Then add the seaweed and remove the ring ... the garlic and seaweed juices mix together for an amazing flavour and the scallops lift the whole plate with their sweetness ...

Now back to the Texturas ... made some lemon drops and added them to vodka ... amazing but none lasted long enough to photograph !

Caviar ... sort of

How stunning do these look ! Little dots of mock caviar on a plate. Made with the Texturas, I used a fish base made with Miso and Seaweed stock ... they taste amazing as they have a thin skin that bursts in your mouth to create an amazing taste sensation. Still needs much more practice to perfect but I am so pleased with my first attempt !