Friday, 21 June 2013

Week 20- Other Fish to Fry

This made us laugh!
This week has been a busy one-guests at each end of the weekend, from home and abroad- and Father's Day to boot.

This called for Man Food.

Strangely though, whilst the pubs and restaurants were all offering Father's Day meals of ribs steaks and burgers - my crew were asking for fish, shellfish and surf n' turf.

Happy to oblige.

We live on the South coast of England= fish aplenty still.

Of course, if you are cooking fresh you need to look at what is is in season and in June round here that is: flat fish such as Dover sole, megrim, Lemon sole, plaice and turbot and oily fish which are just coming into season such as sardines and mackerel. Also crayfish, scallops, lobster and palourde clams.
Best Chippie in Eastbourne

Cod is still OK- and if you want to eat out, rather than in,  then you can't beat fish and chips from a good fish and chippie. I struggle to cook better than fish cooked in a commercial fryer- although I will try. For the moment I concede victory to my local chippie for battered cod and chips!
Proper cod and chips

Meanwhile, here is my three course Man Menu: for starter I've done scallops with black pudding and pea puree, followed by grilled sardine salad and finished with raspberry wonton millefeuilles.

Masculine- but still notching up 5 a day- (fruit and veg that is.)

The starter is simplicity itself- cook a handful of peas per person in boiling water until tender. Fry 3 slices of black pudding per person in  a little sunflower oil. I like to use Clonakilty black pudding, as it is made all the crumblier with the addition of oatmeal - but if you can't find it, any good black pudding will do. Put aside and keep warm. Drain the peas and blitz with a stick blender until pureed. Quickly fry the scallops in the same pan as the black pudding was cooked and then assemble your starter: a bed of pea puree, your black pud and then the scallops, drizzled over with the juices from the pan.
Scallops with black pudding and pea puree

For the main course- again , the simpler the better. Arrange your salad in a deep dish and dress with a lemony vinaigrette. Heat some oil and fry off some leftover bread cubes ( I hope you kept the crusts from your afternoon tea sandwiches last week and made them into cubes for croutons.) Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with some fleur de sel or coarse sea salt. Heat up your grill and cook the sardines whole (obviously cleaned, gutted and scaled - by your fishmonger usually). Cook until sizzling and starting to brown. Voila!
Sardine Salad

Pudding is dainty- but not too sweet.

Wonton wrappers baked and dusted with icing sugar
Line a baking tray with silicone paper and lay 6 wonton wrappers per person on it. Brush with melted butter or liquid Flora and bake for 10 minutes in a medium oven (180 degrees) until golden.Watch them carefully. Cool them in the tray and sprinkle with icing sugar when cool. Mix up a tub of creme fraiche with a sachet of vanilla sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla essence. Layer up your  milles feuilles: bottom layer wonton, then cream, then raspberries, then wonton etc. Finish with fruit and dust with more icing sugar.

Keep the wonton wrappers in the freezer and only defrost what you need. Keep them under a damp tea towel as you work- just like filo pastry (which of course you can use instead.)
Raspberry Wonton Millefeuilles

So, I hope you enjoy these simple but pleasing dishes.I've started pinning my recipes on Pinterest - still a work in progress but you can take a look at That is, if you don't have bigger fish to fry!

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