Sticky Lemon And Thyme Monkfish

Meaty monkfish with a sticky, sweet and sour sauce. Flavoured with soy.

sticky lemon and thyme monkfish

I can still remember monkfish first appearing on restaurant menus in the early 90’s. For years it was just discarded by fisherman who were only interested in the species they could sell. And who can blame them they had to make a living after all.  it was once called a poor mans lobster, and maybe it still should given how much lobster costs.

But it was adventurous chefs putting monkfish on their menus that has made this once rarely eaten species one of our most popular fish dinners. We seem to have fallen in love with monkfish, though not for its good looks (do a google search or click here to see what I mean) I think this scarey looking sea creature has probably been on nearly every menu I’ve written, and I’ve cooked it in most restaurants where I worked.

The Americans call it goose fish. A unique name for a very unique fish. Its firm, meaty texture is quite unlike any other fish. It can handle some of the tougher cooking methods too and It’s ideal for a soup or a stew because it won’t flake apart like most of its fishy counterparts. Read More

Hake Kiev

Flakey fillets of hake, packed with a herb and garlic infused butter, then fried till crunchy and golden.

hake kiev

My original plan was to make this recipe with cod, but Fergal my fish monger had these beautiful fillets of thick, flakey hake. They looked so fresh that they might have just jumped out of the sea and onto the counter. So I just had to buy some.

Hake is now cheaper than cod but I can remember when the opposite were true. I suppose the laws of supply and demand mean that cod been the more popular has increased in price as the cod population has diminished. But you can make this dish with any large fillet of flakey white fish. Cod, hake, whiting or haddock would all work well.

This is a fishy version of the classic Russian dish that’s normally made with chicken and was really popular in restaurants during the 80’s. I made my first Kiev at age 15 when I had a job washing pots in a local steak house. Chefs been chefs they’d ring in sick or simply not turn up for work so I was often called on to do some of the more boring jobs.

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Smoked Haddock, leek and butterbean bake

Chunky flakes of  haddock encased in a smooth, smoky sauce. Loaded with rustic leeks and butter beans, topped with golden, crunchy parmesan.

smoked haddock, leek and butterbean bake

I Love good friday. Its one of two days during the year that i know for sure I won’t be working. The other been christmas day. Bars, restaurants and cafe’s the length and breadth of the country are forced to close due to the fact they serve alcohol. This gives hard-working restaurant chefs the chance to relax and put the feet up.

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Crab Linguine With Orange And Tarragon

Sweet, succulent crab with a light and zesty citrus sauce. This pasta is ideal for lunch or as a late supper.

crab linguine

I don’t watch much tv, just football and the food network. I do enjoy documentaries though, and I’m a big fan of the deadliest catch. You know the show on the discovery channel? Sometimes when I’m cooking with king crab I think about those guys out on the bering sea in alaska, risking life and limb just so we can enjoy this scary looking sea creature.

The crab I used in this recipe was caught in the much calmer waters off the irish coast. Its the native brown Irish crab. Its sweet, succulent and massively expensive at a whopping 42 euro a kilo. I agree that is a ridiculous price! but trust me, its a real treat!

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Fish Burger

fish burger

You never know when inspiration for a recipe will strike. Driving back from work the other night I saw a billboard for Mcdonalds. On it was a picture of their fillet o’ fish burger and in a moment of weakness I had a massive craving for one.

Ever since I saw Morgan Spurlock’s super size me I rarely eat at the golden arches. Thats not to say I don’t eat fast food, I do.  I’m no food snob and like a lot of chefs can be really lazy when it comes to cooking at home. Believe me, after working in a hot kitchen all night cooking for others, the last thing you want to do is cook for yourself. So I’ve been known to enjoy  the odd burger and am a big fan of the coernals.

Unfortunately a trip to Mac D’s would mean a 20 minute detour so I decided to go home and make a sandwich.

But fish burgers were still on my mind, so I’ve decided to do my own version of the fillea o’ fish.

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Mussel Gratin With Lemon And Parsley Butter

Sweet, garlicky mussels topped with crisp breadcrumbs – if you reckon you don’t like mussels or have never tried them before then this classic recipe is sure to convert you.

mussel gratin

Given the name of this blog I figured its about time I featured some of the ingredients the blog is named after. And theres no better place to start then with this recipe… a classic and a crowd pleaser.

Mussels have always been a poor mans meal. Free food scavenged from the shallow, coastal water where they grow. I can still remember as a kid in short trousers picking them off rocks a long Galway bay. Looking in rock pools and under seaweed was always much more fun than eating them. Nothing much has changed, mussels are still the most inexpensive seafood around. A kilo costs 4 euro at my fishmonger but you could definitely pick them up for less at one of the big supermarkets. We farm loads of them here in Ireland, along the north atlantic coast, and there was 1.8 million tonnes consumed worldwide last year.

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