How to cook the perfect battered fish….

This is an ideal dish for your guilt free Friday treat – Enjoy!

The secret of the bubbles – whether you prefer pollock or cod, with the skin on or off, everyone agrees that good batter should be light and crisp, which means getting some air into the mixture. There are two principal methods for doing so: adding a raising agent, such as baking powder or yeast, or making up the batter with a carbonated liquid, such as sparkling water or beer.

Perfect battered fish

Proper fried fish needs little in the way of fancy embellishments. Beer and raising agents, for flavour and volume, and good hot fat are all you need for pure, unadulterated happiness. (Oh, and a piece of fresh fish, of course.)

Serves 4

Dripping or oil, for frying
400g plain flour, put in the freezer for 15 minutes before using
3tsp baking powder
550ml very cold beer
4 pieces of sustainable white fish (I used pollock)

1. Heat the fat in a deep-fat fryer or chip pan to 185C. Whisk the baking powder into the chilled flour, along with ½ tsp salt, and then quickly whisk in the cold beer until you have a thick paste. This needs to be done just before you cook the fish.

2. Position the bowl next to the fryer or pan. Have a plate lined with kitchen paper ready. Dip your fish into the batter and then carefully lower it into the hot fat, and agitate the frying basket to prevent the fish sticking to it. This will also give the batter a more interesting texture. Do this one or two pieces at a time: don’t overcrowd the fryer.

3. Cook the fish for about 4–6 minutes, depending on size, keeping a watchful eye on it; it should be crisp and golden. Lift out of the fat and drain on kitchen paper then serve immediately.

Is battered fish an art best left to the professionals, or can you beat the efforts of your local chippie? Which recipe do you use, and what fish do you honour with it? And can anyone suggest a good recipe for proper mushy peas?

Mussels For Home

Hi to all

Here is a mussel recipe to follow up my video from earlier this week that will work great at home for you to try.
(If you haven’t seen it, click here!


Ingredients

  • 24 fresh, small to medium-sized mussels
  • 3 tablespoons  100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ lemon to squezze over
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Hand full of fresh fennel herb

Directions

Place mussels with herbs in large skillet without water. Cover and cook over medium heat, removing the mussels to a warm platter as they open. Discard any that do not open.

Reduce liquid in the skillet to about 2 or 3 tablespoons. Return mussels to skillet. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Heat for 1 minute.

Serve immediately with crusty bread for dunking.

Enjoy
Randy

Spaghetti with Mussels: Spaghetti con Mitili

This is a delicious recipe using local mussels and is simple to make in less than 40 minutes.

With fresh mussels de-beard them and leave them in a bowl of water, then lift them out carefully to keep the sandy sediment at the bottom of the bowl exchange the bowl for a clean one and repeat the process a few times and this will filter most of the sand from them.

Ingredients
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried red chilly flakes
5 rashers of extra streaky bacon
2 tablespoons salted capers
1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
2 pounds black mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 cup dry white wine ( for this I use New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc )
Directions
In a large stockpot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and stir so they don’t stick.

Firstly grill the bacon until it is nice and crisp.
In a large stockpot , add the extra-virgin olive oil and lightly saute the red onion. When the onions are translucent, add the sliced garlic and chile flakes. Saute until fragrant. Chop bacon into small pieces and stir into pot . Add the salted capers, parsley, mussels and white wine, and cover quickly, so the steam cooks the mussels. Shake the pot after 1 minute, and again after 2 more minutes. Check the mussels, if they are open and plump, they are cooked.

Drain the pasta in a colander and divide between 4 warmed pasta bowls. Divide the mussels between the 4 bowls of pasta, and pour the wine sauce over, leaving any sandy sediment in the pot.

SeaFood Chowder

seafood chowder

With this time of the year we have a few sure things , the surf improves, the weather starts cooling down and a bowl of chowder will be sure to warm your soul.

Thankfully in my line of work I have been able to travel and work in all parts of the world. In previous years it was more global, but now I reside in West Clare Ireland. This has been my schooling as I am discovering, learning and sharing many treasures and secrets that I have learned around the globe.

Many people have their own idea of what should and should not be in an Irish Seafood Chowder but general rules seem to be lots of great local white fish, easy on the salmon, shellfish, potatoes  a given   fresh herbs and a great white sauce.

So when it’s a bit chilly outside and the waves are crashing the beach wall treat yourself to a bowl of fresh seafood chowder where ever you are in the world.

Calamari

I don’t remember at what point in my life I started to eat calamari. I know there was a time where I wouldn’t eat it. My experience had only been tough, chewy, overcooked calamari and I thought it was all the same – flavorless and unappetizing. It wasn’t until I worked in a Greek restaurant where I discovered how delicious calamari cooked briefly in a light batter was. Tender, tasty and an item that I has always been popular on the menu. We serve our calamari with our own homemade chunky tartar sauce.

calamari