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Avocado-tuna boats

19 Jul

Avocado tuna boats

Avocado-tuna boats are a longstanding lunchtime favourite around here.

The tuna filling is entirely flexible, varying with the contents of the fridge and preferences of my lunch companions.

Radish can stand in for celery, fresh tomatoes for sundried, green onion for red, sliced olives for capers…

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Crab linguine

3 Nov

Crab linguine

This simple, delicious crab linguine takes me back to the week we spent camping in Cornwall, at the tip of the Lizard peninsula.

Once the seven-hour drive and rigamarole of pitching camp was behind us, we spent our days cliff walking, beach lazing, and body surfing, and our nights toasting marshmallows and sipping whisky round the campfire.

Before leaving London, I’d had the brainwave of freezing a few meals in large ziplock bags. These served as ice blocks for the cooler, keeping the milk and butter cool while they slowly thawed (a system that worked surprisingly well) until I heated them up on our little gas burner.

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Ed’s clam chowder

5 Oct

Dad's clam chowder

My dad Ed cooked only a few recipes – spaghetti, hamburger mince gravy, sourdough bread, clam chowder – and he cooked them very well.

His clam chowder is as good as any I’ve ever had. The much-loved and lamented clam chowder that the BC Ferries used to serve wasn’t a patch on my dad’s version.

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Spaghetti puttanesca

30 Jul

Spaghetti puttanesca

Sugo alla puttanesca – or “whore’s sauce” – is a savoury, spicy, lip-smacking combination of tomatoes, chilli, capers, anchovies and olives. Usually served with spaghetti, I’d choose it over a bolognese sauce any day of the week.

The Neapolitan version of puttanesca doesn’t include anchovies, so I’ve listed them as optional. I love the depth of saltiness they bring to the dish (and once they’ve cooked down, the girls are blissfully unaware they’re in there) so I usually sneak some in.

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Grilled sardines (sardinhas assadas)

6 Jul

Grilled sardines

I fired up the barbeque for first time this season to grill these sardines for our dinner. You can fry sardines in a grill pan or in a hot oven, but they are so much nicer cooked over an open flame.

These were delicious served with a squeeze of lemon, some crusty Portuguese bread and the traditional grilled pepper salad. The only possible improvements would have been a seaside table and a chilled glass of vinho verde. Continue reading

Prawns alla busara

3 Jul

Prawns buzara

I’ve been wanting to cook prawns alla busara ever since I saw Rick Stein prepare them on the Croatia segment of his Venice to Istanbul cookery show.

By the time he’d rustled up a delicious-looking plate of prawns bathed in a wine-rich tomato sauce, my mouth was watering. Continue reading

Cod with egg and butter sauce

14 Jun

Cod with egg-butter sauce

Iceland’s presence in Euro 2016 is a dream come true. Much as I’d like to see their unlikely success continue, it seemed expedient to fit an Icelandic meal into the schedule early on.

After some research, I settled on roast cod fillets with egg and butter sauce. It was delicious, and couldn’t be simpler to make. Continue reading