Monday, 30 April 2012

A fantastic fish course

If you love fish and want some help on how to prepare it, get yourself down to Brighton and Newhaven fish sales (Fish for short), just past Hove lagoon.

So, being someone who loves fish, I found myself falling through the door on a VERY rainy Wednesday evening. I bought with me a vegetarian (she really can't call herself this as she eats fish and admits to loving bacon, but that is a different story) and my phone for picture taking, hence the rubbish photos.

First up was the crab. Having done crab before I was quietly confident but it soon became like one of my lessons at school; a competition of 'who would be the expert and finish first'. However, Jason, our brilliant, friendly and well informed teacher, did not rush us and I was please to see that the vegetarian and I had more crab meat than the others (the veggie was the overall winner- grrrrr!). I also learnt that all crabs have tails, apparently you know it's a male because you cant get it up...........something I found bloody hilarious, but no one else did....
I always like to look my food in the eye

The competition begins.....
Next was squid. This caused much hilarity with the vegetarian not wanting to put her hand in the box of squid (and consequently me whacking her with some tentacles and squeezing guts on to her hand). We were shown how to prepare it by the oh so lovely Jason and were given some cookery tips at the same time (slow or very quick boys and girls!)

The evenings entertainment then carried on with skinning Whiting and then descaling and gutting black breem. I have never been so covered in fish scales and the vegetarian was looking less and less like a vegetarian by this point (she was loving it!).

Beautiful fish-you can't beat Fish for freshness
We finished off by filleting and butterfly filleting mackerel (the next day I stuffed the mackerel with Moroccan cous cous, recipe to follow at a later date)

The course was brilliant; very reasonable (£30 for two hours and a massive bag of fish and seafood) and informative. I would definitely recommend Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, both for the course and their fantastic array of Fish; they really are on top of their game. A massive thank you to Jason who ran it; you couldn't have asked for a more patient and lovely lad.

vegetarian with gut covered hands!

The fantastic Jason!
Just a one more thing to prove that the boy is a lucky man. I got home at 9.30 to him asking to see the fish. He then turned to me and asked which one I was cooking for dinner. Now, this makes the boy sound like a prehistoric male, he can look after himself but has become unaccustomed to cooking for himself since being with me. He did, apparently, feel that something 'wasn't quite right' and then realised it was hunger about 5 minutes before I came home!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

It's all me me me!

Right. When started this blog (albeit only 3 days ago) I decided I didn't want it to be 'oh. Get me, look at what I cook'. But I cooked my boyfriend a meal yesterday and he insisted I blog about it. Now, it may be because he thought that this particular dish was so magical and spectacular that I had to share with you fine people who read this (thanks Mum), however I have the sneaking suspicion it's because (as usual) he does not want to listen to me blabbing on about the highs and lows of this, a Monday nights dinner.

I've decided to humour him (or maybe I am me me me!) and add the recipe.

Sesame Tuna (serves a boy and a girl)

2 tuna steaks
a good lug of soy sauce (around 5 tbsp worth)
dried chili flakes
sesame seed oil ( 2 tbsp)3 cloves garlic (diced)
bunch of spring onions (sliced)
thumb piece of ginger

Noodles ( I used Tai Wan- simply because I liked the look of them in the Chinese supermarket, udon or any noodles that tickle your fancy would also be great)
what ever veg you like stir fried (I used spinach, peeled carrot and cabbage)

What you need to do!

Marinate the tuna in the the first 6 ingredients for around an hour (if you grate the ginger in directly you won't waste any of the fiery juice). Sprinkle sesame seeds on to a plate

Cook the noodles ( not too soft or you'll end up with soppy noodle mush)

When either the times up, or you've got too hungry, shake off any bits of onion etc. off the tuna and coat in the sesame seeds ( if you lay the steaks on top and then press firmly the seeds will stick) and put to one side.
Heat up two pans and in one chuck in your veg. Stir fry for literally a couple of seconds then wack the noodles in then straightaway put your tuna steaks on in the other pan. Give the veg a little shake then flip the steaks. Finally chuck the tuna marinade over the veg (another little hip working shake) and plate up with veggie noodle goodness topped with a lush tuna steak!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

A Fishy Sunday

I love fish. I really cant get enough of it. Big fish, little fish (and i'm not talking about the dance), flat fish, river fish- I love it all. However, having grown up in Norfolk and been lucky enough to have a mum that shared my love, I only want fish that's literally still flipping. So when on school holidays (the perks of being teacher is that I have blimmin 13 weeks a year, woop) I often find myself at Fish which is just past Hove lagoon.
Fish is a fishy heaven- Nemo and Flounder pray to end up here one day. The fish is glossy, the eyes are so clear they wink at you and better yet no pong. The guys and gals who work there are very informed and friendly. Recently I cooked a scrum seafood linguini with big old prawns, clams and mussels-very nice. But the 13 week holiday margin doesn't satisfy my fishy cravings enough so I decided so get a bag of their frozen fruit de mer for my times in need.

So on this glorious Sunday, having felt so guilty about seeing the marathon runners passing I had an apple for breakfast rather than a fry up, I had a fishy craving. I had some stock left over in the freezer from cooking lobster for the boy on Valentines and the shells so I decided on a risotto.
Dipping further into the depths of my fridge (sometimes a very dangerous thing to do) I found some tarragon and tomatoes, so decided to lob these in to.

Seafood Risotto (serves 1 greedy boy and 1 greedy girl)

Half a bag of fruit de mer
Couple of handfuls of arborio rice
1 onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves
basil (about 2 tbsp of both herbs but parsley would also be lovely)
handful of cherry tomatoes
glass of wine
stock ( I used left over lobster stock which I boiled up with some shells to intensify the flavour)

What you need to do!

Sweat the onion till soft and lovely in a bit of olive oil

Add the rice and give a good stir to coat the grains in the oil. Add the wine and let it have a good old bubble

When the wine has cooked into the rice, add a ladle of hot stock. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring the creamy starch out of the rice.

At some point throw the garlic and tomatoes in and then carry on adding the stock until rice is cooked ( I find this is a little personal- I like mine to have a very slight bite).

Because I was using frozen seafood I added it just before the end of cooking so it could literally defrost and cook- nothing worse then over cooked seafood!

Then stir in the herbs and a good knob of butter and some parmesan, then leave to rest for a few minutes. This little tip is what turns a bog standard risotto into a pretty sexy, oozing goddess of a risotto!

Now, I admit, frozen seafood was really useful to have BUT I did find the mussels a bit dirty and you do lose the amazing liquor that you get from using fresh. If given the option I would always use fresh.