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Fish

Haddock in breadcrumbs (1 of 1)When I go out to buy the ingredients for our meals, I tend to not have a hard and fast list for the meats and fish. I like to see what looks good and choose the best available ingredients (subject to affordability and availability). When it comes to the fish, haddock tends to get overlooked. It is not a particularly fashionable fish. Fashion plays a role in all these things. 

Gravadlax with Beetroot and Ginger (4 of 6)A Christmas Miracle, I hear you say. To answer your unasked, and possibly even unthought, question. No, I haven’t found religion. Though, there seems to be more of it about at this time of year. I will enter into the festive spirit and avoid going off on a rant about the damage organised religion seems to do to our world. Instead, I will get back in the kitchen and prepare a true miracle of flavour, texture and colour. That miracle is Gravadlax with Beetroot and Ginger.

Thai Green Curry (13 of 13)I get mad when I see recipes that include “ingredients” that really should be made up, from scratch, by the cook, to get a half decent result. When researching Thai Green Curry, I got depressed to see the BBC (UK state broadcaster), RTE (Irish state broadcaster), Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) and a raft of other popular (more popular than this) websites promoting recipes that call for a measure or two of ‘Green Curry Paste’ as part of authentic Thai curry recipes. Without a recipe for the paste, we have to assume they mean from a jar. This is not cooking. This is culinary laziness and will lead to ineptitude in your kitchen if you swing with it. If you are happy to slop some manufactured sludge from a jar into your home cooking, go for it. But, if you want to prepare a delicious, tasty, easy, Thai Green Curry, read on my friends, read on…..

Cold smoked salmon (6 of 6)What a mouthful of a headline. But, what a mouthful of delicious home smoked, Irish whiskey flavoured, Irish salmon. The words are carefully chosen to avoid ambiguity. I could go on a rant here about authenticity of food origins. But, there is little point. Food companies spend a lot of money to fool the unsuspecting consumer that their products are something other than as presented. In Ireland, one can buy ‘Irish’ salmon that has been reared in Scotland. The practice is totally legal. The food retailers and producers are just that bit smarter than the legislators. The average consumer doesn’t seem to care as long as the price is right. Anyway, I promised to not rant so, let me tell you about my salmon smoking experiment instead. 

Crab and prawn pasta (18 of 21)I am a pretty well organised person. Too well organised, some might say. Often, I hear the family muttering of OCD as I arrange neat rows of tins in kitchen cupboards. I must have a list when I go shopping. I like to have it in ‘Notes’ on my phone so I can delete the items as I pop them into my trolley. Nothing left in the note means everything I need has been purchased. However, I have a blind spot. A big blind spot. My weeks’ thinking starts on Sunday (my usual blog post cooking day). As a result, I have everything planned for Sunday breakfast, Sunday’s Family Dinner and for evening meals for the early part of the following week. I do the shopping on Saturday morning. I have a dreadful habit of forgetting to get anything for Saturday evening. If I lived alone, this would not be a problem. However, I live with the Wife….

Steamed Monkfish Oriental Style (9 of 9)It’s a while since I have posted something from further east than Howth (A fishing port on the far side of Dublin Bay). This is a slight variation on a classic, served in some of the best Oriental restaurants around. It is not dished up in the average Chinese where the height of culinary ambition matches the diners’ desire for a gooey sauce and a slice of pineapple with their sweet and sour chicken balls. This dish has finesse. It has class and refinement. It does not go well with beer and it will never become a post-pub favourite in the way that chicken chow mein or prawn curry with fried rice have. This is a good thing.

Mussels (5 of 6)Vanity. It has the potential to be the undoing of the best of us. I work hard to be both selfless and self-aware. However, I was wearing a skimpy tee-shirt (it was a hot day) in the middle of a French market. I heard a clear (too clear for my finely tuned Irish ear) English accent. “Ooooohhh. Look at those muscles. They are wonderful.” I blushed, as one of a fine physique and a self-deprecating attitude should. However, the owner of the sharp voice pushed by us and went to the seafood stall. I followed, somewhat crestfallen, joined the queue and bought a kilo for myself.

Squid in Tomato Sauce (4 of 18)Sorry for the long-winded headline. But, there is an undeniable truth appended to the oversized introduction. That is “If you want a magnificent tomato sauce, you have to use fantastic tomatoes. “Snicker, snicker, snicker.”, you may reply. That’s because you wouldn’t recognise a magnificent tomato if you met it in the street. On our recent French holiday, while attending the Saturday market in St. Foy Le Grande, I met plenty of fine tomato specimens right there on the thoroughfare. Rather than tell you, let me show you.

Ray with oven chips and tartar sauce (12 of 12)“How..”, I hear you ruminate, “…can the baldy little man consider himself to be lucky?” It’s true, I do face as many challenges in my life as the next guy (or gal). But, this time, the ball broke the right way and my ship came in (if you will pardon me mixing my metaphors so blatantly). I had taken a weekend off. I really was just not in the mood to plan and cook a meal. I hadn’t the enthusiasm to get the camera out and really didn’t fancy writing anything new. I was on the couch and I was staying there. 

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