Cook Arford

Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Tag: Fish (page 1 of 3)

Fairly painless paella

If you thought making a paella involved constant attention and meticulous fussing, this is not that recipe. All made in a large frying pan, preferably one with a lid. This is for two people (generous portions), easily scaled.

  • 0.5 onion, chopped
  • 0.5 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped

Put oil in the pan and saute the above for a few minutes until soft.

  • 50g chorizo, cubed
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into strips – or monkfish, bass, gurnard for the 100% seafood version

Cook until the chicken colours

  • 175g paella rice

Add to the pan and swill around for a minute

  • 50ml white wine
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Add to the pan and sizzle for a minute. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Make up 500ml stock (chicken, veg or fish)

Add 300ml to the pan, get to bubbling and put the lid on. Cook for 15 minutes. Check every few minutes after the halfway mark and add a splosh of stock if it is drying out. After 15 minutes check the rice, if it is still a bit hard cook a few minutes more. It still needs to be slightly wet but not liquidy.

  • 2 squid tubes, sliced into rings
  • handful of frozen peas
  • 6 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 4 langoustines or 4 large or 6 medium prawns
  • Optional – a few shellfish such as clams or mussels

Add to the pan and keep the heat on for two minutes with the lid on. Turn the heat off, lid still on, and leave for 3 minutes.

  • Chopped fresh parseley
  • Quartered lemon

To serve.

Totally awesome seafood feast

This is a feast to be enjoyed by sharing a single pan! You will need a large roasting tray. It can be scaled for as many people as your pan can supply. For four people:

  • Cut 16 small waxy potatoes (e.g. Charlotte) hasselback style*

Slug some olive or vegetable oil into your pan, roll the potatoes around and roast at 180C (fan) for 20 minutes

  • Two sweetcorn cobs

Slice into four rounds per cob (halve and halve again) and add to your pan. Roast for 5 minutes.

  • 4 squid tubes
  • 8-12 large prawns, crayfish or langoustines
  • 1 pack of mussels in wine and garlic
  • 150g  ring chorizo, sliced thickly
  • 100g butter
  • 1 lemon, zested then quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • Handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika

Hasselback the squid tubes. Slice open the backs of the prawns, remove the black line. Mush together the butter, lemon zest, parsley, garlic, paprika and stuff the squid tubes and prawn backs. Add everything to the pan. Ramp up the heat to 200C (fan) and cook for 10 minutes. Check everything is cooked, if in doubt cook a bit longer. Scatter over chopped parsley and serve with plenty of good bread to scoop up the amazing juices. Prepare to feel stuffed!

*Hasselback tips:lay two wooden chopsticks either side of the potato. Slice the potato across into  £1 coin thicknesses. The chopsticks stop you slicing all the way through by mistake. To Hasselback a squid put a wide knife blade into the tube and slice one side down to the blade with a second knife.

 

Salmon, harrissa and grains

Serves 2, takes about 10 minutes.

  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs harrissa paste

Mix the harissa with the lemon juice and olive oil and rub all over the flesh. Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill for 5-6 minutes without turning until cooked through, then leave to sit off the heat for a minute.

  • 200g bag baby spinach

Wilt the spinach in a pan with just a drop of oil and some seasoning.

  • Pouch of pre-cooked mixed rice and grains
  • 2 tbs chopped chives
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • half a chilli, seeded and sliced
  • 1tbs lemon juice

Heat the grains pouch in the microwave. Tip into a bowl with the chives, chilli, parsley and lemon juice. Season and toss everything together.

  • Sliced avocado
  • Greek Yoghurt

Spoon the grains onto a plate. Add the salmon (leave the skin behind), some spinach, sliced avocado and Greek yogurt.

Husspi

I like breaded scampi. I catch too many dogfish. Last weekend I caught dozens, all went back but one was deeply hooked so I tried an experiment. It worked, so I’ll share it here.
Take one dogfish, skin and fillet it to remove the backbone. I always freeze dogfish for a week but some would say that is unnecessary. Anyway, I did.
Thaw the fillets and slice into scampi-sized pieces.
Beat an egg and put in a bowl. Put to one side.
Make a mug of breadcrumbs by whizzing up a few slices in a blender.
Mix in a teaspoon of garlic salt, a fierce grinding of black pepper and a violent shake of cayenne pepper. Forgot to mention, if you have some parsley, add a small handful to the breadcrumbing process and whiz that in too.
Pour some cooking oil into a pan to a depth of 2cm and heat to 190C (or when a cube of bread goes brown in 30 seconds)
Dip your fake scampi in the egg then in the breadcrumb mix then drop in the hot oil. After a minute flip them over. After another minute they should be brown and crispy. Remove and drain on some kitchen paper. They should look like this and taste extremely good, with or without embellishment of tartar sauce or lemon juice.

Herring Brunch

This is very quick and easy – or at least it is once you have caught and butterflied your herring. Three to four minutes of actual cooking time. For one brunch:

  • 2 herring – scaled, gutted, head removed and butterflied (slit open, squash the back down on a board then peel away the backbone and ribs)
  • seasoning of choice: sprinkle with Potlatch, lime and chilli rub, Cajun or any seasoning mix you fancy

Head some oil in a frying pan until smoking hot. Fry the herring fillets until crispy on the surface. Meanwhile, toast a slice of bread and poach an egg. Assemble as in the photo and sprinkle on some fresh chives.

Smoked Mackerel Pate

You will need:

The easiest dish in the world. Take your best-ever smoked mackerel as described here, and remove all bones and skin. Mix with cream cheese (Philadelphia or supermarket equivalent) in a ratio of twice as much fish as cream cheese. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, but go easy on the salt and pepper until you have tasted it – your brine may have made the fish spicy enough already. Serve with toast fingers, or, if you really want to impress, make canapés with little circles of toast topped with smoked mackerel, a sliver of gherkin, and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley. Very posh.

For other fish recipes check out my Boat-Angling site

Swedish Pickled Herring

First catch your herring! (See www.boat-angling.co.uk) This apparently is a classic recipe for Swedish pickled herring called glasmastarsill, or glassblower’s herring. You need:

  • 450gm herring fillets (or as many as you can fit in)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 4 cups water

Mix the salt with the water (if you use boiling water let it cool completely) the soak the fillets in the brine for 24 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile…

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups distilled vinegar
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 3 cloves

Boil that lot for 5 minutes and let it cool completely.

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced

Drain the herrings. Now assemble the herrings, cooled pickling liquid, bay leaves, onions and lemon in jars, dividing the spices between the jars. Try and make the jars look pretty by showing the skin side of the fillets, lemon and bay leaves. Fill to the top and jiggle about to release any air pockets. Leave in the fridge for two days before sampling. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Lebanese Fried Fish and Tarator Sauce

We seem to be on a bit of a Middle Eastern theme at the moment. I had a solitary whiting and a hungry Olwyn on her way back from Pilates so I thought why not add a quick starter to our chicken with pomegranate molasses? You can use Tarator  Sauce for falafels as well. Nutty, lemony, garlicky, good. Here are the base ratios, add your garlic and salt as you like.

Tarator Sauce:

  • 2 scoops tahini paste
  • 1 scoop lemon juice
  • 1 scoop water
  • salt
  • garlic puree

OK if it helps I used a tablespoon for a scoop, with one garlic clove and half a teaspoon of salt. Just mix it all up. You can added chopped parsley if it looks a bit ordinary without.

Fried Fish:

  • Skinned, boned fish fillets cut into chip-sized strips
  • oil for frying
  • Enough flour. OK, for a more scientific measure I used 60ml for two medium-sized whiting fillets-worth of strips
  • Season with white pepper, salt and ground cumin. For the above I used 1 tsp cumin, half tsp salt, quarter tsp white pepper

Put oil in a pan to 1 cm depth and heat until a lump of bread goes golden in 30 seconds. Mix the flour and seasonings. Dip the fish in the flour then straight into the oil for about a minute or until it looks cooked. Serve with shredded lettuce, a lemon quarter and Tarator sauce.

 

Swedish Fishcakes

For four people you will need

  • 200g fish per person (800g): any boneless white fish or a combo with some cooked prawns, salmon fillet, even a mackerel fillet or smoked mackerel. Great for using up belly flaps, cod cheeks, and that stray rockling
  • 4 slices dry old white bread
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for cooking – veg oil or sunflower

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and couldn’t be easier because you don’t need to faff with potato or egg wash. It is 100% fish so the fishcakes will be fairly firm. If you like softer fishcakes, you can add in 25% cooked mashed potato to the fish mix.

You will need a food processor or be very diligent at chopping. Firstly take the crusts off your bread and whizz them to breadcrumbs. Set aside on a large plate. Take a tablespoon or two of the crumbs and put them  back in your food processor. Chop the parsley and put it in the processor. Grate the zest off the lemon and add that too. Add salt and pepper, and your chosen fish combo. Whizz to a chunky gloop.  Tip the lot onto a chopping board. Here’s a tip: to divide it easily mould it into a large round cake. Now slice your cake into four and four again like a Union Jack. Take each slice and mould it into a burger shape. You should have eight of equal size. Roll them in the breadcrumbs and pat them to stick. If you have time, put them all on a plate in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes, that helps stop them  falling apart.

Now heat oil in a frying pan, about 1cm deep. Heat it so a cube cut from one of your spare crusts goes crispy golden brown in 30 seconds (but not burnt nut brown!). Now add your fishcakes. You may need to play with the heat controls so it cooks them without burning. After 5-8 minutes turn them over and give them another five on the other side. Hopefully the side you see will be not pale, not black but golden brown.

When cooked through, drain on kitchen towel and serve with your favourite accompaniments. In my opinion new potatoes and peas are hard to beat.

Tip:

You can make a nice starter by making mini versions of these fishcakes. Do exactly the same as above but make the fishcakes smaller, starting with a ball of gloop the size of a heaped tablespoon, and allow three per person. Cook them about 2-3 minutes a side. Serve with salad leaves and a flavoured mayonnaise. What’s that you ask. Here are two suggestions:

Rocket Mayo:

  • 100ml good quality mayo
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 60g rocket (a small packet is 60g)

Zap your rocket into a paste with a stick blender. You may have to do this with the lemon juice to stop the rocket wrapping around the blades. Where did all that rocket go, you wonder. Mix with the mayo. Done. A spoon or two of rocket mayo can be blobbed onto the plate before serving.

Lemon and Lime Mayo:

  • 100ml good quality mayo
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Juice of one or two limes depending on size.

Mix. The problem with this one is the resulting sauce is a lot more runny than mayo so it needs to be served separately.

Smoked Pollack Hollandaise

This is a bit of a cheat but dead quick. You can use any smoked white fish or hot-smoked salmon. For two:

  • Two fillets of smoked pollack or equivalent, 400-500gms total
  • Half a packet of fresh spinach
  • Two thick slices of real bread – sourdough is excellent
  • Packet of hollandaise sauce
  • two eggs.

Get yourself ready, this is going to be on the table in five minutes. Make the sauce according to the packet. Wilt the spinach in a pan for three minutes. Poach the eggs until soft. Toast the bread. Heat the smoked fish in the microwave for a couple of minutes (it is already cooked). Assemble: base layer of toast, the spinach, fish, egg and sauce poured over. As an alternative to the toast I have also used sliced boiled new potatoes.

This can be a supper dish or a great brunch or lunch dish.

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