Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

Plateau de fruits de mer

Friday, September 30th, 2016 | Food


I’ve seen a couple of restaurants offering a fruits der mer platter recently, so thought i would give it a crack myself. The name is French and translates to “fruits of the sea”. It typically consists of a mix of shellfish, served over ice.

Mine included a lobster, cut in half down the middle, a crab, crayfish, prawns in the shell, muscles and clams. All of it was bought live from the fish market. I am not normally a lobster fan, but serving it on ice worked really well.

The downside of serving it all on ice is that it created a very slippy base: when carrying the platter the whole array of food slid from side to side, and I even lost a prawn or two moving it to the table.


I served it with two mayonnaises. This was not the plan, but my first one turned out too thin, so I did a second one. I also did a gribiche sauce, which is the pale one in the bowl and a honey mustard sauce (bottom left).

I won’t be doing it again in a hurry: it was too much of a hassle.

Fish Market, Reykjavik

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 | Food, Reviews, Travel


Fiskmarka├░urinn, known as Fish Market in English, is a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik.

They were fully booked when we rocked up and asked for a table. However, they said we could eat in the bar area. This was actually a stroke of luck. The seating was comfortable, and even a pregnant woman can eat at the little table. It was screened off from the main restaurant, giving us some piece and quiet.

We created our own tapas by ordering four starters and sharing them all. Each dish was carefully prepared and presented with it’s own unique accompaniments. These do not always get the attention they deserve in Iceland, but this was not the case here.


It was, in my opinion, the best food we had in Iceland.

They even have a cookbook, which I purchased a copy of. It is full of ingredients I think I will struggle to find in Leeds, so it’s even more impressive that they can source them in a country whose entire population is half that of Leeds.

The River Cottage Fish Book

Saturday, February 13th, 2016 | Books, Food

I have already written some stuff about January being fish month. See raw fish, turbot and shellfish. What was it all in aid of you wonder? I have been working my way through the River Cottage Fish Book. Co-written by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his aptly-named friend Nick Fisher.

It is a comprehensive book. Hugh talks a lot about conversation before moving on to fish skills. Things like how to prepare fish, skin them, clean them, dress shellfish, etc. There is then a large selection of recipes broken down by cooking method. Finally, the book finishes with an in-detail description of the fish you can find around Britain.

I have gone into detail about some of the recipes below.


Chinese fish parcels. You make a bed of vegetables, then layer up fish fillets and soy sauce. Wrap it neatly in kitchen foil and roast the whole thing. It is difficult to get out of the parcel gracefully, but great for eating outdoors when you can eat it straight from the parcel.

This was a great chance to try out the cutting blades on my food processor. They are pretty brutal.


Slow-cooked squid. While it does produce a rather tender squid, I was not a big fan of this dish. Even when I tried it’s close-cousin the stuffed squid.


I also tried the slow-cooked mackerel with similar results. It does have some bold flavours, but it was not quite to my taste.


The squid rings proved more to my taste. Even the homemade garlic mayo was acceptable. This was a good chance to attack my fear of deep-frying. I have always been dubious about doing it at home. At McDonald’s, I knew I had a ring to pull that would coat the entire kitchen in foam if things went wrong. Without that safety net the prospect of heating a large pain oil to 180 degrees Celsius has always been a frightening one. But I did it and the results were good.

Overall the book is excellent for those who love fish and want to do interesting things with them. Will the recipes make it into my regular rotation? Maybe. Though River Cottage Every Day still provides my every day basic fish recipes. It was also an interesting read though, one that you could do without even looking at the recipes.



Friday, February 12th, 2016 | Food

January was fish month, which really meant seafood month. As a result, we ate our way through a lot of shellfish too. Unfortunately, I’m not hipster enough to take a photo of every single dish I eat, but here are some thoughts.

We made the mistake of trying lobster again. It is disappointing every time. The taste is fine. But it is so expensive. For what is essentially a giant prawn that you have to smash your way into yourself.


Dressed crab. Boil your crab, scoop the meat out and use the shell as a miniature serving platter. I used velvet crabs. I wouldn’t recommend them. The flavour was okay but there was almost no brown meat on them. They were both about the same size, but one yielded much more meat than the other: the is a big difference between freshly malted vs old shells (you want the latter).


My kilogram of mussels turned out to be 10% stone.

River Cottage: Gone Fishing

Monday, January 25th, 2016 | Distractions


River Cottage: Gone Fishing is a series of three 45-minute long episodes of Hugh sailing round trying to eat unusual fish. It follows the usual River Cottage format. There is some footage of Hugh doing something, and then cooking the bi-product of whatever he has been doing. There are no formal recipes as such, it is just him and his friends catching and cooking various fish.

In episode one they tour the Channel Islands on a boat, spending some time on Guernsey. In episode two he visits the Scottish Highlands to see some of the remote islands and fish farms in the Hebrides. Finally, in episode three, he visits local fishing around Devon and Dorset.

I am not really sure if I learnt anything. That is pretty useful with River Cottage: you come alway having been entertained and maybe an action point to see what your local fishmonger has. However, you don’t come away with “I’m going to buy a garfish and make a special kind of soup” because where would you buy a garfish? As a piece of entertainment though, it does its job well.

Al fresco dining

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 | Food

Al fresco dining has returned to our household for another year! Actually, it was still mightily cold out on our balcony, but not cold enough to keep us inside any longer. We celebrated with a sea food day.


Fried cuttlefish with mixed leaf salad and cajun fries. That ink does not come off your hands. Luckily, it’s edible, so it doesn’t need to.


Elina also knocked up some awesome milkshake slash smoothies. They were milkshakes, but so heavy on the strawberry and milt that we couldn’t actually fit much ice cream in.


Dinner consisted of a dover sole that I was mostly successful in gutting, alongside some soy sauce mash (an accident, but turns out to be awesome) and freshly prepared sea urchin.


Turns out that sea urchin tastes pretty horrible. Slimy and salty.

Herring roe

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 | Food

Turns out that herring roe is delicious. You probably don’t want to know what it is though…


The seafood quest

Friday, September 6th, 2013 | Food

We’ve gradually been working our way round the seafood we haven’t tried in the market.


Winkles are delicious. They’re also very small however, so you don’t get much meat. You also have to extract them with something – we used Elina’s crocheting hooks, size 1 or 1.5 does the job.


Scallops I was a little disappointed with, although maybe I just didn’t cook them right. I fried them in butter, but the pan might not have been hot enough. They’re a cross between prawn and chicken really.


Whelks provide quite a lot of meat for such a small shell, and are big enough to get out with your fork. Not as tasty as winkles though.


Cuttlefish is quite nice, though again you have to get the cooking right. It’s very similar to octopus and squid, given they’re almost the same thing. Apparently you’re supposed to find the ink pouch and carefully remove it, but I just dived in.

Surf and turf

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 | Food, Photos


Suf and turf with an extra large king prawn.

Cooking giant king prawns

Friday, August 2nd, 2013 | Food

This is more a record for myself than anyone else. But it does come with pictures. Start with a dorade stuffed with butter and lemon, you know, for dressing.


Get some giant king prawns.


Compare them to the size of your head.


Fill a pan with water, then add an arbitrary amount of salt to it and bring it to boil. Throw your giant king prawns in and bring it back to boil, then turn it down and let it simmer for around eight minutes.


Once cooked, run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.