Morito, Exmouth Market, London
Article
11 comments

London: Seafood Festival at Morito

Morito, Exmouth Market, London

Morito, Exmouth Market, London

London is a very big city. That is not news but it frequently annoys me. It is the best and worst thing about London. I love that I can pop across to the other side of London and have a whole new and interesting experience. I also hate that I have to do that. I am a bit spoiled by it, I think we all are.

Morito Seafood Festival Menu

Morito Seafood Festival Menu

I used to live in the North East of London, so popping to Morito for tapas and a swift sherry was always easy. I have written about Morito before, if you are new and unaware of it, Morito is the smaller sibling of Moro, and is just next door. Now that I am down sarf, popping to Moro is a little trickier. It needs to be planned, and you know I hate to plan anything (as much of a key skill that is for any sociable Londoner). However, Morito’s annual seafood festival is a must, so I made sure I didn’t miss it.

Fino at Morito

Fino at Morito

Morito’s Seafood Festival runs only until October 6th. Lots of dishes that aren’t on the regular menu are available, and suggested sherry matches too. This year the menu isn’t set (as it was last year) so you can go a bit meaty too and I suggest that you do. The chicharrones de cádiz are unmissable (tender melting pork belly spiked with cumin and lemon) and the lamb chops are excellent too (I didn’t have the lamb chops this time but I have many others). The prices are very good, and you will want to order a lot. Do that too. I would suggest booking a table too (at lunchtime only – dinner is first come first served), as it is popular and always busy.

Gilda - pincho of anchovy, olive and guindilla chilli

Gilda – pincho of anchovy, olive and guindilla chilli – spiky and rich. Perfect appetiser.

Ceviche - wild sea bass ceviche with seaweed, dill, sesame and cucumber

Ceviche – wild sea bass ceviche with seaweed, dill, sesame and cucumber – the cucumber acted as a delicate relish and the seaweed emphasises the taste of the sea and freshness of the fish

Octopus with Potatoes

Pulpo a la Gallega – Octopus with Potatoes – slow cooked tender octopus with spiced potatoes

Montadito de cangrejo - toast with crab and oloroso sherry

Montadito de cangrejo – toast with crab and oloroso sherry – the oloroso added a layer of richness

Puntillitas - deep fried baby squid

Puntillitas – deep fried baby squid – perfect tiny octopus – loved this

Tortilla

Tortilla – one of the best in London

Quail eggs with cumin and sea salt

Quail eggs with cumin and sea salt

Chicharrones de cádiz – pork belly, cumin & lemon

Chicharrones de cádiz – pork belly, cumin & lemon – a must have – yielding fatty pork belly with a spiked cumin & lemon crust

Morito, 32 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE

http://www.morito.co.uk/ 

Article
2 comments

A BBQ in Halifax & a Recipe for Foil Wrapped Halibut with Garlic, Oregano & Lemon

BBQ Halibut with Oregano, Lemon, Chilli & Garlic

BBQ Halibut with Oregano, Lemon, Chilli & Garlic

A quick post for you today with a few photos. I am in Halifax now, staying with a fond old friend. When we both lived in London we often met over food and wine. Things are not much different now. We had planned a large dinner with her family, lots of dishes using the best of local produce. I was going to make my bacon fudge. Five minutes into cooking the propane went out. We had no cooker and oven.

What to do? It became a BBQ. Not one dish that we had planned could be made on the BBQ so:

Cajun prawns with grits became lemon & chill prawn skewers. The grits can wait for another session.

Chilli & Lemon Prawn Skewers

Chilli & Lemon Prawn Skewers

Halibut with chorizo, breadcrumb and herb crust became two dishes. Chorizo (the soft fresh cooking kind), tomato & pecorino koftes perched like little spicy torpedoes on the edge of the grill. Oregano, garlic and lemon woke the halibut from its slumber. We portioned it and put put each in an individual foil parcel with a simple marinade. The halibut was local (and bought in the lovely Seaport market in Halifax mid tropical storm) and beautifully tender and sweet, 15 minutes later it was perfectly cooked and delicous.

Chorizo, tomato & pecorino koftes

Chorizo, tomato & pecorino koftes

Chorizo, tomato & pecorino koftes

Chorizo, tomato & pecorino koftes

Halibut with Lemon, Oregano, Garlic & Chilli

Halibut with Lemon, Oregano, Garlic & Chilli

Asparagus and ruby chard met over an open flame instead of in a pot, and I even managed to kinda candy bacon in maple syrup on the BBQ and we served that, chopped into small bite size bits, on top. With more space and the right pot it is of course possible to make fudge, at this point, I decided to leave it though.

Ruby chard with asparagus (which later met garlic, evoo, sea salt and lemon)

Ruby chard with asparagus (which later met garlic, evoo, sea salt and lemon)

Israeli cous cous was briefly sauteed in olive oil before the propane went out. I covered it in boiling water from the kettle in a shallow pan (to about an inch above it). It soaked it all up and then I quickly steamed off the excess water on the BBQ in a foil tray. It then became a salad with goats cheese, confit tomatoes, chorizo (sauteed in a foil tray on the BBQ), red onions and herbs (which I forgot to take a photo of but I was more interested in the wine at that point :)

Prawn skewers & chorizo torpedoes - ready to eat

Prawn skewers & chorizo torpedoes – ready to eat

Sometimes, with a twist of fate and some quick thinking, things just work out better. Enjoy.

RECIPE: BBQ Halibut with Lemon, Oregano, Chilli & Garlic

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes (depending on your BBQ)
Seres: 1 (obviously many more if you want to)
[Read more]

Article
18 comments

Recipe: Siri’s Thai Seafood Green Curry Recipe Step by Step with Photos

Seafood Thai Green Curry ingredients

Seafood Thai Green Curry ingredients

Green curry is misunderstood in many places outside of Thailand. Often perceived as a mild curry that you would give most chilli phobics (certainly in the UK and Ireland), it is often bland and dull, full of green peppers and mushrooms and to my mind, unless you are somewhere very good, not very interesting.

In Thailand, green curry is hot. Very hot and aromatic. Packed with flavour (which is the signature for most Thai food in my experience), you can choose the heat level you want if you make it yourself, so when we made this at the cooking school at the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market, we went for a compromise medium heat which was just perfect and not medium for our palates at all. Hot, so fresh and really delicious.

Several things make this recipe flavourful: fresh homemade coconut milk and cream, fresh pounded curry paste (you must – so much better than shop bought), the wonderful herbs and aromatics, the fish pounded to a paste with fish sauce (which Thais use instead of salt on the table) and lots of chilli.

It won’t be possible to replicate this entirely outside of Thailand but I will suggest where you can make substitutions as you go. As long as you make the paste from scratch – this is key – you will have a great dish. Everything else is a bonus.

Enjoy – it is a fantastic curry. I have adapted this recipe, but it comes from Siri, so thank you, Siri!

Note: if I don’t suggest an alternative, the ingredient is relatively easy to source via Asian supermarkets – some are online too.

Recipe: Siri’s Thai Seafood Green Curry [Read more]

Article
14 comments

Summer Pasta #1 – Crab Linguine

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 but that’s another story.

You don’t need to go to such enormous lengths for this dish. You can buy perfectly good fresh crabmeat already prepared for you. It seems expensive at roughly £5 for a small tub, but this goes a long way, especially in this dish. If you can, it’s better to get a fresh live crab, then you have the benefit of it’s gorgeous fluffiness and the deeply savoury brown meat. I had mine delivered along with an Abel and Cole veg box, they now do lots of other things, and one of these things is fresh Cornish crab meat, which was delivered very cold surrounded by ice gel packs. Very handy for a busy girl like me. Which brings me back to the recipe, which is also very handy for a busy girl like me, as it’s super quick and tasty. This made enough for three, add more crab meat if you’ve got it.

crab linguine

Ingredients:

300g linguine
the very best unwaxed lemon you can find
flat leaf parsley, a handful, chopped
White crab meat (100g)
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
nice fruity extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Cook your linguine according to packet instructions so that it’s just shy of al dente (it will cook a little when you add it to the crab).
Heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the chilli and stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the crab and stir until it’s nice and hot.
Add the linguine to the crab and chilli, and stir through, ensuring that the pasta is nicely coated, drizzle with some more oil if it’s dry. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste, and some lemon zest with the parsley. Season with fresh ground S&P. Stir through and serve immediately.

It’s a keeper, I think!
Add the cooked linguine

Article
8 comments

Clam Linguine

Clam linguine is one of those dishes that I love but am extremely fussy about. Hang on, isn’t that every dish? I digress… I won’t order it out unless I am absolutely certain that the restaurant is reliable and uses fresh clams (fresh = very fresh) and not tinned or jarred clams.

Now, I have had many a “discussion” with friends about this. They think I am a snob, but, hey, clams come in a shell, so why not eat them that way? With seafood generally, the fresher the better, that fresh sea taste, like the salt air, and none of the fishiness that arrives when the fish are out of the water too long.

I really struggle with anything that isn’t extremely fresh, and although I hate to admit it, I really can’t stomach alot of tinned fish. For this reason, I always go to good fishmongers when I can, like in Borough Market or Steve Hatts on Essex Rd in Islington.

I distinctly remember the first time that I had clams. I had been eating mussels for some time but was a bit squeamish about other unknown shellfish. On holiday in Croatia, whilst island hopping and on a visit to a gorgeous island called Vis, we had the most lovely seafood experiences. Fabulous fresh seafood and lots that I hadn’t tried before. Fish there is sold as either white fish or blue fish, white fish being the deep water fish like hake or pollock, whereas the blue fish swim closer to the surface and are a bit cheaper, like mackerel. When you arrive at most restaurants they bring a platter of fresh fish and you choose which one you want them to cook for you and pay by the weight.

We ate in one restaurant there, as we had started talking to someone across the road from it when I noticed a fisherman nearby gutting a large white fish, it turned out that his daughter owned the restuarant and this very fish was destined for the pot, immediately after gutting. How could I resist? It was delicious, a leerfish barbecued over hot coals, with oil brushed on it using herbs as a brush.

It was another lovely local restaurant down the road where I had the clams, larger than palourde and full of meat as they were wild not farmed, they were cooked simply in tomatoes and wine and served with crusty bread, still the best way to eat them in my mind.

Back to the linguine. Clams are a little high maintenance, although this is balanced by how quickly they cook. Before using, soak in several changes of cold water for 5 minutes at a time, so that the clams release any sand contained within the shell. Then scrub the outside shell, they’re usually pretty clean, you just want to get rid of any excess grit that may affect your lovely pasta dish. This really is worth the time and effort.

I treat my clam linguine simply, like the clam dish mentioned above. Some shallots and garlic, sautéed in olive oil, followed by diced, peeled & seeded tomatoes, then some white wine and the clams, stewed with the lid on until the clams open, and finally some lemon to lift the flavour and some parsely to finish.

On this occasion, I got some palourde (or carpetshell) clams from Borough Market. You can get clams at any good fishmonger, and I’d recommend that you treat yourself to some.

Some notes on the recipe:

  • I like this dish fruity so I use alot of tomatoes, feel free to decrease if you don’t feel the same. Alot of recipes use more clams and less tomatoes, you could do this here too and easily increase the amount of clams (up to double) and at the end remove some of the meat from the shells so that you are not fighting with the shells while eating.
  • To peel the tomatoes, score a small cross at the bottom, barely piercing the skin and cover with boiling water for 15-30 seconds or so, as soon as you see the skin start to peel back.
  • You’ll need a dish with a tight fitting lid for the clams.

This dish, as always serves two or one hungry person. I was hungry tonight :-) The recipe follows.

[Read more]

2387808984_461a73eaed_b
Article
56 comments

Prawn Curry (again)

So, round about the time I started this blog, just under a year ago, I blogged one of my favourite dishes – Prawn Curry. We were eating it about once a week, it’s tasty, healthy and quick, and fit in perfectly on those evenings where you’ve had a long day in the office and all you want is something quick and tasty with a glass of wine. On some of these evenings, the wine may even be the most important part ;)

Now, when I like something, I tend to talk about it, and friends of mine were hearing alot about this prawn curry. Then they started to think that perhaps I was making it up! How can she be making a curry from scratch after work when she only leaves the office at 7pm? How?! So, to salvage my reputation I had to gather some of them together and cook it for them. Then they would see!

The recipe is based on a Goan recipe I found online some years ago. It requires using masses of fresh tomatoes and a fresh coconut. I urbanised it by using a tin of tomatoes and a tin of coconut milk, which makes it quick and convenient – almost a storecupboard dish. It really is super quick once you’ve ground the spices, I would estimate no more than half an hour, although try to buy peeled prawns to save your self time. I vary the amount of coconut milk depending on whether I want the fruity flavour of the tomatoes or the creaminess of the coconut milk to dominate. This time I went with the tomato so used one tin of tomatoes and half a tin of coconut milk. It works well 50/50 though if you prefer that.

The recipe serves 2 hungry people. [Read more]