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Miguel de Cervantes

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Entries in fish (3)

Sunday
Mar242013

Dad’s Provençal Seafood Soup

 

Continuing the French theme, here is my Dad’s take on a Provençal fish soup or stew. It's similar to a bourride, using many of the same aromatics, but without the egg yolks. Also, a traditional bourride is usually just fish, but Dad uses a range of seafood.

I asked him to send me the recipe, which was characteristically vague – a pinch of this, a slug of that, “loadsa garlic”. Having eaten it many times when I was younger I was able to guesstimate, but I have tried to make it more user-friendly for you. However, there are some things that are hard to quantify and that are really up to you. For example, the amount of stock depends on the consistency you want; how much saffron depends on the quality of the saffron and how much you like the taste of it; what seafood you use is up to you, which means it is hard for me to give accurate cooking times.

I made this for my flatmates a few weeks ago and they both thought it was fab. I didn’t think it was quite as good as Dad’s, but then these things never are when you try to replicate them, are they?

“What do you think is missing?” asked Jen.

“I don’t know. A little bit of love?”

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Sunday
Oct312010

Pan-fried plaice fillets with chunky salsa verde, puy lentils and garlic croutons

I tried out this dish for the first time the other night and it was fan-f**king-tastic. Wow! I would say this is the closest I have got to perfection for a while.

I thought it would be nice to follow up the salsa verde post with a dish that uses it, albeit not quite in its pure form. I would like to take full credit for the recipe, but I have a vague recollection of eating something like it at The Giaconda Dining Room last year. I was plied with several glasses of albarino (albarino, albarino) at the time, hence the hazy memory, but there are a few details which I remember clearly; white fish, lots of herbs, capers and croutons. The croutons were the key to the dish, giving it a wonderfully dynamic texture and providing a perfect contrast to the delicate flesh of the fish.

I have used this as the basic premise and taken it a step further by replacing the simple mix of herbs and capers with a roughly chopped salsa verde and I think it works, well, fan-f**king-tastically. The lentils I added for substance and because they go well with parsley. I found their earthiness well balanced with the tart, citrusy dressing.

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Thursday
Sep232010

Zapecena Riba, hrvatski for baked fish

I had originally intended to spend this week celebrating the last of the summer sun by recreating all my favourite seafood dishes from my week in Croatia. However, there was a slight flaw in this plan: seafood, or lack thereof.  

I work 9 to 5 and the only decent fishmonger in my corner of London is open 8.30 to 5, which doesn’t leave a very large window. So I have had to make do with Sainsbury’s, which means sacrificing not only on flavour and freshness, but also on range. I didn’t really expect to find octopus or scampi on the Sainsbury’s fish counter, but I thought mussels would at least be a safe bet. Well, apparently they are out of season at the moment, although I have read other sources that suggest otherwise. I hope to make it to the fishmongers this weekend, but in the meantime, rather than substitute ingredients for the dishes I had planned, I have decided instead to find some alternative Dalmatian recipes to suit what was on offer.

Of the various recipes I found online, this one was the most reminiscent of the food I experienced on the Dalmatian coast; fresh produce cooked simply with minimal seasoning so that the flavours speak for themselves.

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