A Miserable Fishmonger, Where I Found a New Taste Sensation

So near where I work is one of the few remaining fishmongers south of London (at least it’s the only one I can think of). But in the 12 years I have frequented the area I had never stepped inside. The wife, being that rare breed (a pescetarian), this week asked for, no demanded, a fish creation.

So, sick of salmon from Tesco, and prawns from Sainsbury’s, I dragged my sorry arse out of the office and set off, with high hopes, to the nearby fishmongers.

The window was stuffed with gigantic prawns that looked like lobsters, and lobsters that looked like…well whatever the next size up from a lobster is. Large slabs of cod and what looked like a whole side of tuna (although it was shrinked wrapped).

So I gamboled in and…

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Fish and Chips Redux

In the UK we eat 748 million burgers every year. That equates to one a month for every man, woman and child.

Fast food is a serious business, as we all know. But of all the different types (Chinese, Pizza, Fried Chicken and so on) Fish and Chips stands tall as the original, the Grandaddy if you will, of instantaneous culinary satisfaction.

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Smoked Haddock Soufflé Pancakes

I watched the Great Gordon (Ramsay) the other night on Hell’s Kitchen USA. It’s usually great entertainment – a fiery Scot facing up to an equally fiery 3rd generation Italian American running a pasta joint somehwere.

But there was something a bit sad about this particular restaurateur. He missed his parents and even Gordon couldn’t be that shouty at him, although the meatballs that were being served had been frozen for longer than an Eskimo’s dangly bits.

So I warmed to Gordon and decided to search the archives for a Ramsay-inspired creation, and found this - Smoked Haddock Soufflé Pancakes.

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Deconstructed Fish Pie

I was watching ‘Masterchef, The Professionals, The Best Bits’ (they really do love dragging the maximum televisual delight out of food programmes don’t they) and there was a discussion about ‘food smears’.

Chef Michel Roux Jr (the skeletal Michelin star chef who obviously has eating issues and mad staring eyes) made an unsavoury (sic) comparison between one poor cook’s chocolate-smeared plate and something else which I won’t mention because I’m British.

However he was making a serious point about presentation. And all this about 10 mins before I was going to hit the pots and pans and make a fish pie. Fish pies are nice enough to eat but from a visual perspective can be a bit bland I think – the contents often end up looking like the insides of the android ‘Ash’ played by Ian Holm in Alien.

With that pleasant analogy in mind I decided to create a fish pie which didn’t deteriorate into a homgeneous gloop once cooked.

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Bowie is everywhere these days…

And that required the construction of a Deconstructed Fish Pie! The ingredients are the same as for a a standard fish pie – the difference is in the…well there isn’t any really but anyway…

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Mediterranean Fish Stew with Garlic Ciabatta

New Le Creuset soup bowls. With lids! A gift from the wife for my birthday back in June. Had to try them out.

We decided on a fishy creation rather than standard soup and went for a tomatoey base rather than creamy. And (shock, gasp) this dish is actually quite healthy!

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