Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Tag: Fish (Page 1 of 3)

(Dog)Fish Tacos

Dogfish (huss) is a good meat for this dish. It is firm and holds its shape well, and can take a strong seasoning. Some would say it needs strong seasoning – I’m not going to argue with that. Nor am I going to argue about freezing dogfish. I always freeze dogfish for at least a week before cooking and have never experienced an ammonia taste. Let others argue for or against!

Quite simply, these are marinated, spicy, flash-fried fish strips served on a flour tortilla with all the trimmings. One small dogfish makes a generous meal for one. Simply scale up for more people. Here goes.

First prepare your fish strips: take your skinned dogfish and cut two fillets from either side of the central bone. Then cut prawn-sized strips from the fillets. Now make your marinade:

  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs cider vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp paprika
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch dried oregano

Mix well and toss your fish strips in the marinade. Leave to infuse while you prepare the rest of the meal. Make some garlic sauce:

  • 3 tbs mayo
  • 1 tbs cold water
  • 1 tsp garlic puree or 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • pinch salt.

Mix well and set aside. Now shred a few lettuce leaves, slice half an avacado, slice a small tomato, chop some fresh coriander, slice some red onion and find a quarter of a lime. Now warm two or three small tortillas or one big one ready for the final cook-off.

Heat 1tbs oil in a frying pan. When smoking hot, tip your marinated fish strips in the pan and spread out. After about a minute flip the strips over, they should be nice and charred. The honey in the marinade will help. As soon as the strips are cooked – literally a minute or two – you can assemble your fish tacos as pictured above.

Spider Crab Bisque

This is a lovely rich, smooth soup worthy of a very posh dinner party. I actually made this for a weekday lunch. The family don’t realise how lucky they are. This is made with a self-caught crab or you could buy one. I am sure it could also be made with crayfish or lobster shells.

First catch your crab. The one in the photo was an impressive specimen weighing 1.5Kg even without all his claws and legs. To cook a crab like that, despatch it humanely then boil in salty water (30g per litre) for 20 minutes. Cool and extract all the lovely white and brown meat. This recipe uses the shell so you can use the meat in something else! Keep all the shell bits and guts, except the feathery gills or “Dead Man’s Fingers”. Bin them, they can harbour toxic bugs.

To make a crab shell bisque, first make the crab stock. I used the Instant Pot pressure cooker, or you could use a large stockpot on the stove. Some people advise roasting the shells first but I didn’t and the result was still superb.

  • Crab shells and bits from one very large or two smaller crabs
  • Enough water to just cover (about 1.5 litres)
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 peeled onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot
  • Optional – more herbs: thyme, parsley etc.

Cook in the instant pot for 20 minutes or simmer very gently on the stove for one hour. Allow to cool, then strain the lovely crabby liquid. There is bound to be some grit at the bottom, try not to include that! Now for the bisque. Serves 4 bowls.

  • 3 shallots
  • Butter or oil

Saute very gently in a large stockpot or sucepan to soften. Add

  • half a cup white wine (or a dash more!)
  • 3 cups crab stock (you will have more – freeze the rest)
  • 2/3rds cup of passata or three tablespoons tomato puree and make up the liquid difference with more crab stock.
  • 1/3 cup white rice

Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add

  • 1 cup of cooked prawns – keep a few back for garnish

Cool slightly then blend with a stick blender. Add

  • 2/3rd cup of double cream
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Blend again. Reheat very gently so the cream doesn’t separate. Serve, garnished with the reserved prawns and maybe some chopped chives or parsley.

Swedish-style Salmon and Spinach Bake

This was unexpectedly delicious! Quantities make four portions. It is basically layers of wilted spinach, salmon, creamy lemony sauce topped with sliced potato and baked.

  • 600g waxy potatoes, such as Desirée, not peeled

If the potatoes are large you can cut them in half or quarters. Boil 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slip the skins off. Set aside.

  • 350g young leaf spinach

Place in a collander, pour over boiling water until wilted. You may have to do this in two batches. Set aside to drain.

  • 60g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk

Make a white sauce. When thickened, add

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 10-15g fresh dill, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • pinch of ground white pepper

Now assemble your pie in a suitable oven-proof dish. Squeeze all the remaining water out of the spinach and lay it out in the bottom of the dish. Add

  • 700g skinless salmon fillets (about 4) cut into bite-size chunks

Pour over the white sauce. Slice the potatoes and layer over the top, overlapping.

  • 2 tbs mleted butter

Brush the top with melted butter and bake 30-40 minutes at 180C. This is a meal in itself but goes well with some fresh bread and a green vegetable if you wish.

Shrimp Gumbo

One from Aedy, she made an ace gumbo.

  • Celery, diced
  • Green pepper, diced
  • White onion, diced 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup okra, sliced
  • Shrimp shells (or any kind of stock if you aren’t making your own)
  • Vegetable oil
  • All purpose flour
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Andouille sausage (or kielbasa)
  • Bay leaves
  • Shrimp
  • Parsley, chopped
  • White rice (to serve with)

Start by chopping some celery, green peppers, and onions. Then mince six cloves of garlic and slice some okra.

For the Shrimp Stock: Saute the shrimp shells in a little vegetable oil for five minutes and then add five cups of water, letting it simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain it and you should end up with 4 cups of shrimp stock.

For the roux: Start by heating ½ cup of vegetable oil over medium heat until it’s almost smoking, then add ½ cup of all-purpose flour. Stir rigorously and constantly while it goes through the different phases of roux until it becomes a nice dark chocolate color.

Pour the mix of chopped vegetables (celery, green peppers, and onions) into the pot and stir.

After stirring a few times, add the sliced okra and saute everything together until nice and soft before adding the minced garlic and sauteing some more.

Once soft and fragrant, add the 4 cups of shrimp stock. Make sure to add slowly while constantly stirring at first. Once half of the stock has been added, go ahead and pour the rest of the stock in.

Season with some paprika and cayenne pepper.

Add in some andouille sausage (if you can’t find andouille sausage, you can use some smoked kielbasa) with two fresh bay leaves.

Stir and let simmer for 1 solid hour.

Remove the bay leaves and add the raw shrimp to cook for four minutes.

Add some freshly cut parsley and stir it all together and letting it cook for 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and prepare to serve with some white rice.

Ladle the gumbo around and over a mound of rice and garnish with green onions and freshly cut parsley.

The best seafood chowder

This is even better if you make your own fish stock from the frames of white fish. This recipe is for a substantial soup for four people. We upped the quantities of the solid ingredients and it became a main meal for three. Use a variety of seafood: 350g serves four. We used a salmon fillet, two whiting fillets, a smoked pouting, a handful of prawns, a handful of frozen mussel and a few frozen clams. The inclusion of some smoked fish makes all the difference.

  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1tbs oil

Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the bacon and onion until the onion is transparent and the bacon looks cooked.

  • 1-2 tbs plain flour

Stir in. Use more if you like a thicker soup, less if not.

  • 600ml fish stock (use a cube if you don’t have your own)
  • 250g new potatoes, quartered

Add to your pan, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

  • 300ml milk
  • Pinch of ground mace
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Mixed fish fillets cut into chunks

Bring to the boil and simmer for four minutes.

  • Shellfish, prawns
  • 4 tbs cream

Simmer for another minute. Serve in deep bowls garnished with chopped parsley and with crusty bread on the side. You may need to adjust the seasoning depending on the seasoning in your stock and smoked fish. This was rated 10/10 in a recent family meal.

Crumble-topped Fish Pie

This is from Mary Berry. You can use any combo of white fish, or a combo including salmon or smoked fish. I like to add prawns and hard-boiled egg too. Here’s how to make a very generous pie for two. Firstly make your sauce base:

  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour

Melt the butter in a sucepan and stir in the flour. Heat a bit more then add

  • 250ml milk

Heat and stir until the milk thickens to a sauce. Add

  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp chopped chives or parseley
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 25g cheddar cheese grated

Mix well. If you have raw fish in your mix :

  • 250g fish pieces

Add to the sauce and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. If it is cooked fish then go straight on without needing to cook the raw fish in the sauce. Add:

  • Handful of cooked prawns
  • season with salt and pepper

Now put

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

in a pie dish, and then pour over the fish and sauce mix. Now make the topping:

  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 30g porrige oats
  • 1 tsp chopped chives or parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped dill
  • 25g cheddar cheese grated

Mix in a bowl until it looks even and crumbly. Sprinkle over the pie mix to make a crumbly topping. Bake in a pre-heated oven 180C Fan/200C conventional for about 25 minutes until it is bubbling and crispy brown on top (like the picture). Serve with a green veg.

Prawn Pasta

Very quick and tasty. For two people:

  • 170gm pasta of your choice

Get it boiling according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile…

  • dash of olive oil
  • Half a chilli deseeded and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove sliced

Add to a frying pan and saute gently for 3 minutes.

  • 100g chorizo, sliced (or bacon, or salami)
  • half tsp fennel seeds

Add to the pan, fry for one minute

  • 150gm cherry tomatoes, halved

Add to the pan, cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid, if it dries out add a splash of water.

  • 150gm raw prawns

Add to the pan, fry until pink (about two minutes)

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Chopped parseley

Add to the pan, stir in. Adjust any seasoning. The pasta should be done by now. Drain the pasta, stir into the sauce and serve.

 

Smoked Salmon Pasta

Great for Christmas leftovers. Serves 2. You can play with the quantities, this is just a guide.

  • 170g pasta (spaghetti is good)

Boil according to the pack instructions. Meanwhile…

  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml cream
  • 25g-50g parmesan cheese grated

Beat to a creamy sauce. When the pasta is cooked, drain, add the creamy sauce are return to a gently heat. Stir until the sauce thickens

  • 150g smoked salmon bits
  • 1 tbs parsley, chopped

Stir into your sauce. Adjust seasoning and serve.

 

 

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.

 

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