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Issue 16 - No better time to try seafood

Scotland Magazine Issue 16
September 2004

 

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No better time to try seafood

The first week of October is Seafood Week organised by the Seafish Industry Authority. We mark it by publishing some recipes using Scottish fish and seafood

When it comes to compiling lists of essential things you really must do once in your life, sailing on the west coast of Scotland should figure somewhere. Not only is the coast rugged and beautiful, but it provides the ideal opportunity to try fantastic whisky. And of course fantastic seafood. These are worrying times for our planet, of course, and across the world environmental changes mean that many food supplies are at a critical stage. Seafood and fish are struggling in many areas.

More than that, demand for the world’s premium products often mean that you can find the best stocks on the dinner table of a major capital city rather than in the place it actually comes from.

But if you’re lucky and you’re sailing up past Oban or over to Skye or Islay, it’s just possible that you might come across someone with a supply of langoustines, oysters or freshly caught fish. Dribble on a drop of local malt whisky and try and deny that you’re tapping in to a truly wonderful taste of heaven.

Scotland can still boast some of the best seafood in Europe, and its abundance and the stunning variety of flavours make it a must for anyone visiting the country.

But there’s an added reason for eating more seafood, too. Its health benefits are well documented but still too few people are fully taking advantage.

And that’s why the powers that be in the United Kingdom are supporting the sector with a special Seafood Week aimed at promoting all that is good about one of the country’s greatest natural products. Seafood Week has taken place in the United Kingdom for the last four years. It is the biggest celebration of seafood and this year takes place from October 1-8.

What better excuse than to publish some recipes using Scottish seafood produce? Under the strapline – ‘Feeling good with Seafood’, the theme of this year’s campaign is to promote seafood as one of the quickest foods to cook (‘fish in a flash’ – the ultimate fast food), and reinforce it as one of the healthiest and most versatile.

The campaign also aims to raise the profile of the huge variety of seafood available in the UK. Seafood Week has been fronted in the past by a range of seafood experts, including Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay. Below we provide some recipes. Further information can be obtained from: http://www.seafoodweek.co.uk

SMOKED MACKEREL, MANGO AND ROCKET SALAD

2 x 225g (8oz) ‘ready to eat’ peppered smoked mackerel fillets, fresh or defrosted, skinned and flaked
1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
4 spring onions, chopped
115g (4oz) rocket leaves
1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) lime and coriander dressing

1. Arrange the rocket leaves on a serving plate.

2. Mix the fish together with the mango, avocado and spring onions and spread over the rocket leaves.

3. Drizzle the lime and coriander dressing over the salad before serving. Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 2

MUSSELS WITH FINE GREEN BEANS

1kg (2lbs 3oz) fresh mussels, washed, debearded and scrubbed
1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) clear honey
2 x 5ml spoon (2 teaspoons) white wine vinegar
0.25 x 5ml spoon (quarter of a teaspoon) dried tarragon pinch of ground cloves
225g (8oz) whole green beans
150ml (5fl oz) dry white wine
30g (1oz) pine nuts, toasted

1. Mix together honey, wine vinegar, tarragon and cloves to form a dressing. Set aside.

2. Cook green beans until tender, drain and keep warm.

3. Bring the wine to the boil in a large pan. Add the mussels, cover and cook for four to six minutes, shaking the pan to ensure even cooking. When all the mussels have opened (discard any that have not) drain.

4. Combine the beans and the mussels.

5. Warm the dressing and pour over beans and mussels. Garnish with almonds before serving.

Serves 6

STIR-FRIED CRAB
455g (1lb) mixed crab meat, fresh or defrosted
1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) oil
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 large red pepper, deseeded and sliced
55g (2oz) mushrooms, sliced
2 x 5ml spoon (2 teaspoons) light soy sauce black pepper crispy noodles to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.

2. Add all the vegetables and stir-fry for two to three minutes.

3. Add the crab meat, soy sauce and black pepper and stir-fry for a further two to three minutes until heated through.

Serve with crispy noodles.

Serves 4

TANGY FISH SALAD

455g (1lb) smoked cod or haddock fillets, fresh or defrosted, skinned and cubed
150ml (5fl oz) water grated rind of half a lemon
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 red apple, cored and sliced
30g (1oz) walnuts or mixed nuts, halved salt and black pepper
150ml (5fl oz) natural yoghurt or fromage frais mixed lettuce leaves, to garnish

1. Poach the fish in the water for approximately five to six minutes, drain and chill. Discard the poaching liquor.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the yoghurt and lettuce together, carefully stir in the chilled fish and seasoning.

3. Arrange on a plate, garnish with mixed lettuce leaves and spoon over the yoghurt. May be served with brown bread and butter.

Serves 4