All posts filed under: Shellfish

Taste Portugal: A Day on the Algarve Clam Digging & Cooking with Heinz Beck [Part 2: Heinz Beck’s Recipe for Green Tortelloni with Frutti di Mare]

Making Heinz Beck’s Green Tortellini with Fruitti di Mare  So,  you have just been out foraging for clams with a 3* chef. You have fallen over on the boat (just a few scratches), and you have a wicker basket full of clams. What do you do next? Head to the kitchen, of course. Getting a chance to cook with Heinz Beck in his kitchen at Gusto at The Conrad, Algarve was a treat. He is (obviously) talented, but he is also very thoughtful, helpful and open to food writers blundering around his kitchen. We cooked 2 dishes, Bacalhau with Herbs, Pepper sauce and Fennel and Green Tortellini con Frutti di Mare, both flavourful, light and healthy, and just what my body is screeching for at the moment. I am on a bit of a fresh pasta kick – you will have noticed – so I will share the pasta recipe with you now. It seems complex, but it is all achievable, and it is a perfect lunch for friends. Just give it time, perhaps get your …

Ras El Hanout Prawn Kebabs with Cous Cous & Chilli Tomato Sauce

It is hot. It is muggy. I know we aren’t supposed to complain, but hey, I have no air con and I work from home. I do love the bright light and long evenings, and firing up the BBQ, though. For the first time in 12 / 13 years in London, I have a little garden (same one as last year, but I am still rejoicing in it). Summer has been busy, in a good way. I have had work related travel, travel related work, and lots of recipe development to get on with. Project Bacon is nearly there. I had forgotten how traumatic writing a book can be, or I thought that the second would be easier. Right now, I am the bottleneck and I have to finish it and let it go. I have a fabulous team who are waiting for me too, and have other projects that they are juggling. Project: Bacon means a lot to me. It is a very personal project that will be a limited edition, firstly. So, it …

Recipe: A little Indulgence with Chorizo, Smashed Pea, Mint & Scallops

We don’t eat enough fish. We really don’t. I don’t know why, for islanders, we have such an aversion to it and why it is so difficult to source good fresh fish. Of course, there are great fishmongers and we need to support them. Fish is so good for us, healthy and quick too cook too. It’s an ethical minefield but your fishmonger will advise what is good to eat. Ethical fish is often inexpensive too, there’s a lot of fish which we usually don’t eat – and therefore over fish – that tastes great too. Now, you hear scallops and you probably think ‘eeeek, they’re so expensive!’ And they are. Especially if you buy the ones that don’t harm the sea floor and taste better – and please do buy hand-dived scallops from your fishmonger if you can. However, there are ways of serving a scallop dish where it becomes a bit of a bargain. And that is to serve them with other ingredients that suit and also bring down the cost of the …

Crab Claws with Wild Garlic & Chipotle

Crab claws are very common on restaurant menus by the sea in Ireland, but I rarely see them here. Perhaps this is because I don’t spend enough time by the sea here (I don’t), or perhaps we just love them more in Ireland. Either way I bet many of you don’t cook them much at home? I don’t either. I don’t know why that is. At the market at the weekend, the fish stall had 1 kg of crab claws just sitting there, and I thought, oooh, I bet they would be lovely in a wild garlic butter sauce! They were, they were really good, but not just because of the wild garlic but also because of the robust smokey and warm undertones provided by some chipotle that I had brought back from the US with me on my recent trip there (you can get it very easily online here too). They look like a lot of work, both to cook and to eat, and they are a little bit for both. I had to …

Where’s my pork chop?

Eh? Brainchild of Dan of Food Urchin and wild garlic distribution fame, where’s my pork chop is a side project, born out of frustration from reading our collective tweets about our dinners, while poor Dan is stuck at work, working late shifts and watching hungrily from the sidelines. He came up with a solution, and asked if we’d be willing to offer him our leftovers and he’d give us something in return. I thought it sounded great and was only delighted to take part, and that’s how I found myself at Oxford Circus one lunch time, cradling leftover prawn curry. That’s also how I got my free tickets to Taste of London, I’ll blog about that another time. Thanks Dan! Why prawn curry? It’s one of my favourite dishes, homely and comforting, fruity and fragrant. Light and perfect for summer, with a fruity tomato base, and creamy cocnut overlay, it seemed a good fit for a man stranded in an office, watching life go by on the internet as he slogged away, all the while …

Summer Pasta #1 – Crab Linguine

I adore light summer pastas, so I thought that I would do a little series, starting with one of my favourites, crab linguine. Crab is a wonderful delicate meat. Light and fluffy and tasting of the sea. One of my favourite restaurant dishes ever, was a River Cafe starter of crab on toast with a light salad. It was so simple and gorgeous, with stunning fresh ingredients. Growing up in Ireland, I thought that eating crabs was plain insane. Our elderly neighbour used to catch enormous ones in a bucket at a rocky beach near our house and boiled them up for her alsatian dog. I envy that dog now but at the time I felt it was an act of cruelty. I was also terrified that she would come near me with her bucket of living sideways walking friends. I was afraid of crabs, and really anything living in the sea, I remember standing on an isolated rock shrieking with horror as the crabs ascended. I thought that they would eat me. They didn’t …

A decadent Saturday – Selfridge’s Oyster Bar

My sister and her fiancée were visiting this past weekend and we wanted to do something nice. We ended up being extremely decadent indeed, starting in the morning at Ladurée in Harrod’s, moving onto the Oyster & Champagne Bar in Selfridge’s for smoked salmon and champagne and finishing with a beautiful Japanese meal in Sushi-Say in Willesden. It was more decadent than I have ever been in my life, I really must make more of a habit of these little treats. Occasionally, of course ;) I am going to talk about Sushi-Say in it’s own post later as it deservss it’s own space and I have a few pictures of the beautiful food to share. I only had macarons in Ladurée and I’ve done that before so we’ll get back to that at another time. For now, I want to talk about the smoked salmon in Selfridge’s. I have passed by the Oyster and Champagne bar in the Selfridge’s Food Hall countless times but it never appealed to me, it seems quite clinical thrown to …

Prawn Laksa – an interpretation

Laksa is food for the soul. It’s delicious – spicy and fragrant and packed full of goodness. I always feel so good after eating it! It’s messy, it’s true, but I think that adds to the value. Although, I did have to suffer through an afternoon at work recently with laksa all over my top having treated myself to one for lunch. My lunch partner, who shall remain nameless, was also drenched in laksa. I think we pulled it off. Looked like it should have been there! Erm, maybe not. There are several types of laksa originating from Malaysia and Singapore. It’s essentially a spicy noodle soup, usually containing seafood, sometimes chicken. It’s hugely popular in Sydney which is where I came across it. There are many types, the ones I normally make (and haven’t blogged yet) are penang & singapore laksas – I’ll blog these soon. This one is a little different, fruity with the addition of tomatoes with a lovely sourness provided by the tamarind. Laksa recipes seem fiddly and time consuming but …

Prawn Curry

You’ve probably noticed that I like prawns. Alot. I would say that we have them at least weekly if not twice a week. They’re so tasty and so quick to cook and are perfect for something speedy and healthy after work. I also love Indian food so a prawn curry is a real treat. Some people don’t like to make curries from scratch because they think that working with the spices is an ordeal, but all you need to do is bung all of the spices in a pestle and mortar and grind them before adding them to the pot. It couldn’t be easier. This recipe is based on one that I found online – Caril de tomato, a goan prawn, tomato and coconut curry. I have adapted it to my taste and to suit the ingredients available to me. It’s an old favourite and requires about an hour in total for prep and cooking and once you’ve sorted out your spices it’s relatively painless. I buy my prawns with their shells removed and deveined …

Prawns with chilli, garlic & parsley in cava

I am calling this a tapa but, in truth, I didn’t have something like this in Spain. But, Spain inspired me to make it. And, I am using cava. Can I get away with that? It seems like something you would get in Spain, perhaps with less chilli? Anyway, here it is. I love prawns. We eat them really often, preferably from raw. I don’t like buying the precooked ones – they’re too tough and overcooked. I can be quite lazy and frequently buy the ones that are uncooked but have been deshelled & deveined for you to save time. We usually have them in a curry or in pasta with the occasional breakout to piri piri or a fish pie. This time they’re cooked briefly in cava with chilli, garlic & parsley and served on toast.