|Catch 'em young, at Seafest!|
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Taste of the WeekFocus on Fish
If you’re a regular here you’ll know that we usually have a Taste of the Week, just one at a time. But, shortly after the marvellous Seafest at Ringaskiddy, we are still on a fish trend and have quite a few tasty bits.
Let’s start with Kilmore Quay Seafood. They had a string of products at SeaFest including fish burgers, even fish sausages. The one that impressed us though was the pack of Haddock Goujons, Hand cut fresh fillets of Haddock tossed in breadcrumbs with a Lemon and Pepper seasoning. (Available Frozen and Chilled).
Quite often, when you buy goujons in a store or order them in a restaurant, you have more breadcrumbs than fish and sometimes have to poke around to find the flesh. Not the case here. The fish is almost bursting out of the crumb and very tasty fish it is too.
We got Smoked Rainbow Trout and Barbecued Rainbow Trout from Goatsbridge Trout Farm. One of the advantages of visiting the Goatsbridge website is that you’ll find a load of recipes there. Mag and Ger Kirwan are the people behind the farm (which you can visit). And another handy product that you can keep in stock is their Tinned Trout. And there's much more, including the much sought after Trout Caviar!
Last but not least we can recommend the products of the renowned Woodcock Smokery in West Cork. “All of our products are from fresh, wild fish caught by sustainable methods. We use no artificial chemicals or dyes, only traditional smoking methods over native hardwoods.” Fish smoked by Sally Barnes and daughter Joleine include Haddock, Pollock, Mackerel (our purchase), Tuna, and Salmon. And the good news is that they run a Mail order service.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Potatoes in Sea-water!
The Gender of Crabs.All at SeaFest in Ringaskiddy!
|Good for soup. Gerard Collier and a Conger eel|
Chef and author Rory O’Connell urged his audience to cook their new potatoes in sea-water “for at least once in your life” while BIM’s Young Fishmonger of the Year Gerard Collier told us how to distinguish a female crab from a male, all that and so much more at the very interesting SeaFest at Ringaskiddy over the weekend. I called there Saturday morning and enjoyed the demos (missed Martin Shanahan as he was on in the afternoon) and visited the fish stalls along with quite a few of the other sea related exhibits.
Gerard Collier, a former trawlerman, of Fisherman's Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, was first up on the splendidly outfitted demo unit in Ringaskiddy and took us through the handling of fish: how to open the various shellfish, how to clean, debone and fillet everything from Grey Mullet to Thornback Ray.
|This is one strong creature!|
“There are sixty six bones in a salmon,” he said “and getting them out is tedious!” If you come across a Conger Eel by the way, they are “great for soup”. He had a grey mullet to show as well and, referring to its diet, called it “the vegetarian fish”.
He worked his way through the oysters and prawns, a cod and pollock and more and then sent them down, one by one, so the audience could see them close up.
The crabs and lobsters were quite an attraction but he had a warning: “Be careful. Both are very strong!” And how to recognize Lady Crab. Simple - she has a pouch (to carry her young!).
|Dublin Bay Prawn, all ready for you!|
Ballymaloe's Rory O’Connell was next on-stage and he did two dishes. One was Roast Haddock with Roasted Pepper, Basil and Olive Salsa and the other was Pan-fried Hake with a Bretonne Sauce.
By the way, that Salsa is terrific and will keep for three weeks or more in the fridge. The Bretonne sauce “is easier to make” than Hollandaise.
|Cook it well with Rory O'Connell|
We all got recipe sheets and loads of tips as well. Rory, as you’ll know from his reputation as a teacher in Ballymaloe and from his TV shows, is a brilliant person to learn from. He has the cooking down to such a fine art (though he has to keep an eye on what’s happening on the pan as much as anyone else) that he always seems to have time to dispense great hints and tips.
- As he roasted some vine-ripened Heritage tomatoes, he urged us to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil all the time, “even frying or grilling”.
- Red and yellow peppers are best for roasting. Roast them until they collapse (then remove the seeds and skin).
- Use boiling water for new potatoes, cold water for old. And try potatoes in seawater, at least once in your life!
- Egg whites freeze perfectly.
- Chervil is great with fish and is surprisingly hardy. Fish love herbs.
There was much more than fish in Ringaskiddy and in linked events around the harbour including Captain Your Own Ship in the Simulator of the National Maritime College, the base for the event. There were SeaFest Science Talks, the BIM Beaufort Scale Hurricane Experience, Marine Recreation and Tourism and more and more.. This festival will “tour” Ireland annually and plans are in hand to bring it to Galway in 2016.
|Superb innovative products from IASC|