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Fish

Ma Jong SquidMany years ago, we used to frequent a Chinese restaurant on Pembroke Road in Dublin. To my shame, often, we would hang in pretty late, having “just one more bottle of wine” before making any decisions about falling into a taxi.  As night would inevitably turn into early morning, the staff would put us under pressure to finish up and leave. Repeated visits to the table to see if we wanted the bill would be met with orders for “definitely the last” bottle of house red. 

Salt and pepper prawns (14 of 15)

This is the second in my mini series dedicated to showing some really easy and extremely tasty Chinese inspired dishes. But, before we get into that, I have a bit of a problem. A few years ago, one of the media statisticians in our business was presented with a list of numbers and a simple question; Which is the odd one out?

2

4

9

16

27

28

31

44

Being a bit of a boffin (no relation) he got to thinking about the problem. He opened a spreadsheet and got to work…

Smoked salmon, goat's cheese and chive ravioli (9 of 14)Any of you enthusiastic cooks or chefs reading this know the feeling. My eldest talked me into driving her to T K Maxx so she could get (I could buy) some clothes. I found myself willingly agreeing. That store always has an eclectic mix of cooking stuff. There are often interesting end-of-line items at a decent price. It’s a great place to find something that will make a difference to the cooking. While eldest daughter worked the rails downstairs, sucking the life out of my current account, I was upstairs, spending the princely sum of €3 on my latest culinary treasure, a ravioli cutter. 

Crab cakesThe long chive? “What is he writing about now?” you say. There are four of us who know all about the long chive. When the girls were only knee-high to a herb patch, the Wife and I tried many things to get them to eat anything green. One of my more successful ruses was ‘the long chive’. If I asked them to eat scrambled eggs with chives, they would both refuse. The conversation every parent knows “Ugghhhhh, I hate chives.” “Have you ever tasted a chive?” “No, but I hate them.” would ensue. My answer; The long chive.

Salmon with ancho chili rub (4 of 6)This is another post using Richard McGary’s parcel of chilis. It is a celebration of simplicity. I had originally thought I would do some fancy pants writing about Texas and Ireland. That would allow me set up a few jokes and ribald comments, poking fun at their propensity to eat extremely hot chili based food while gently admonishing us Irish for our ‘meat and two veg’ approach to things culinary. That was until I saw the beautiful colours in this ever so simple dish. So let’s park that and go for simplicity instead.

John Dory with fennel purée…to try this dish. It’s too good to keep to myself. In recent times, I have been making the case for keeping it simple. This has been more of a reflection of how I am trying to live my life (trying and failing) than for any higher gastronomic purpose. In an effort to prevent world shortage and escalating prices, I have tried to dissuade you from buying beef short ribs. You discouraged yourselves when it came to monkfish cheeks. So you might be surprised when I highly recommend you try something of truly spectacular quality and ease of preparation. 

Crab and Spinach Ravioli (1 of 1)He’s a nice chap. Helpful, knowledgable about his fish and a pretty good salesman too. I was in George’s Fish Shop last weekend to get a couple of pieces of fish. We had a chat about the blog and classic cars (as men do). Graham mentioned that he had some lovely fresh crab claws and he would let me have them at a very good price….

SmokerCough, cough, splutter, cough…….. Wheeeze, cough, cough, wheeeeezzeeee. Yes. That was me every morning. I used to be a very heavy smoker. Not that I have ever been ‘very heavy’ in the weighing scales sense. Nor in the deep thinking department either. That would have made me a very heavy, smoker. In plain language, I used to smoke a lot. An awful lot…

Halibut and walnut dressing

Very simple ingredients of oil, balsamic, walnuts and fish.

I can be a bit of a feckin’ ejit. That’s Irish colloquial for fool. My favourite seafood on the planet is halibut. I laid my hands on two beautiful filets of that fine flatfish. I had little or no ideas what to do and less ingredients in the fridge. So, I decided it was a good time for me to be ‘creative’.

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