Arford Cooks

Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Tag: Fish (page 1 of 3)

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.


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.


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.

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