Category Archives: FISH & SEAFOOD

Marinated eel

Marinated eel

Eel swim thousands of miles from their birthplace in the Sargasso Sea (off the American coast) to the rivers of Europe. In Italy they are found at the mouth of the river Po, in the Tiber, and in Sicily and Sardinia. A favourite Roman recipe at Christmas is capitone, a mature female eel which is cut into chunks, marinated and cured in oil, vinegar and herbs, then grilled over charcoal. This recipe is using smaller eels and reversing the process, frying the eel chunks first, then marinating them. Marinated fish are popular in Italy and are usually eaten at the start of the meal as an antipasto. Eels are most often sold live, although they are sometimes available as steaks. A live eel is quite something to manage, so ask your fishmonger for advice. There are serious concerns surrounding the sustainability of eels, both wild and farmed (as even these are raised from wild elvers).

Marinated fresh anchovies

Marinated fresh anchovies

Fresh anchovies are fished all over the Mediterranean, as well as the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain. Fresh anchovies are an oily fish that look and taste similar to sardines. They vary in size and can be bought either fresh or cured. Cured anchovies were originally left whole and packed in salt, but now they tend to be boned, cleaned and preserved in salt or oil and sold in cans or jars. Fresh anchovies don’t travel well so are best eaten in the Mediterranean. They’re not easy to find in the UK because there isn’t a great demand for them, but try Italian or Spanish delis. Otherwise buy them cured or preserved – supermarkets do a limited range but delis tend to sell a wider range. Italy’s gastronomy often incorporates this salty little fish into a variety of different recipes.  From appetizers to pastas, main dishes to pizzas, anchovies, or acciughe in italian, are quite common. You will need very fresh fish for this simple dish, with perhaps just some breadto mop up juices. The dish can be kept refrigeratedfor up to three days.

Kedgeree

Kedgeree

Kedgeree is Anglo-Indian breakfast dish made with long grain rice baked with smoked haddock, hard boiled eggs, cream and lemon juice. It is widely believed that the dish was brought to the United Kingdom by returning British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and introduced it to the UK as a breakfast dish in Victorian times, part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine. It is one of many breakfast dishes that, in the days before refrigeration, converted yesterday’s leftovers into hearty and appealing breakfast dishes, of which bubble and squeak is probably the best known. The dish can be eaten hot or cold. Other fish can be used instead of haddock such as tuna or salmon, though that is not traditional. Some kedgeree recipes include ingredients such as sultanas, curry powder, onion, coriander, fresh ginger etc.

Spicy prawns

Spicy prawns

This spicy prawns recipe comes from Morocco. M’hammar is one of the four basic flavour combinations of Moroccan cuisine, with its main ingredients being garlic, paprika and cumin. With the addition of chopped red chilli, this prawn dish is worthy rival to the popular garlic prawns. In this recipe the spice gives a flavour, not heat. Prawns are available either raw or cooked, in or out of their shells. Cold-water prawns (which are the smaller, more standard prawns) are usually peeled, cooked and frozen on board ships. The most sustainable sources are from the North East Arctic and Canada. Warm-water prawns, such as tiger and king prawns are farmed and it is best to choose those that are organic or from a certified fishery.

Pasta with swordfish, aubergine and mint

Pasta with swordfish, aubergine and mint

Pasta with swordfish, aubergine and mint is very distinctive in taste and quite fulfilling. The swordfish is a firm, succulent and meaty fish whose texture can be compared to that of tuna. Swordfish is a bill fish with a deep iron-grey skin, slim body and long ‘sword’ or bill as the upper jaw. Available as steaks both fresh and frozen, although fresh swordfish is usually better. Swordfish is most often filleted or boned into loins at point of landing; the loins are usually cut into steaks and sold with skin already off, as it needs to be removed prior to cooking. Best char-grilled, pan-fried or barbecued, swordfish stands up well to strong flavours including chilli, ginger, sesame, soy, nam pla and garlic. Although it is an oil-rich species of fish, it benefits from being marinated or brushed generously with oil prior to cooking as this helps prevent it from drying out during cooking.When making this dish you can use busiate (traditional pasta from Trapani area), but this sauce works well with any pasta you have.