Mussels With Cider And Speck

The one must have to go along with this recipe is a big, crusty loaf of bread. You’ll need it to mop up all the sweet, briny juice that collects at the bottom of the bowl once you’ve finished devouring all the mussels.

mussels with cider and speck

This is a take on the french classic moules marinière. The cool thing about mussels is that there cheap, cook quickly, and are a sustainable form of aquaculture.

If you reckon you don’t like mussels then try my gratinated mussels in garlic butter. It’s another classic and the dish that turned me on to them when my uncle cooked it for me as a teenager. Shell fish and garlic butter, you can’t really go wrong! And that’s the aroma you get wafting through your kitchen when you start to cook this too. The smell of garlic been gently cooked in olive oil really gets the juices flowing.

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Buying Fresh Fish – Don’t Waste Your Money On Last Weeks Catch

When I’m cooking a piece of fresh fish for my dinner I like to imagine it was swimming around in the briny sea that very morning, or at least within the last 24 hours. So you can imagine my disappointment when I opened up some mackerel I’d just bought at the supermarket to find some fillets that were a bit smelly, dry and a little past their best.

I’d failed to follow the advice I’m about to give you here. Not only that, but i’d gotten a bit bamboozled at the fish counter.

how to buy fresh fish

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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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