31 October 2010

I've Got a Little Fishy...

Tuesday night was fish night. With recipes this good why wait until Friday?

A slight breakdown in communication meant that we reviewed not one but two of Mitch Tonks' fish cookery books this month - Fish: the complete fish and seafood companion and Fresh: great simple seafood. There are worse mistakes to make!

The two books are brimming with delicious fish and seafood recipes which are a joy to cook and eat. The simplicity of the recipes, quite rightly, allow the fish to be the star of the show: we are instructed to either simply grill, fry, bake or poach the fish and serve it with a tasty accompaniment or treat it delicately
with herbs and spices.

On the menu at Supper club from Fresh were:
  • bream ceviche with coconut, chilli and lime
  • pan-fried haddock with creamed leeks and runner beans
The creamed leeks and runner beans are a staple in Angie's kitchen where she pairs it with lamb, chicken as well as fish.

On the menu from Fish were:
  • grilled bream with cumin, lemon and sea salt
  • grilled salmon with watercress, capers and mint 
  • spiced new potato salad
The spiced new potato salad accompanies a plain grilled salmon fillet in the book but it is such a fabulous, easy recipe which is bursting with flavour that I had to share it with our book club members. It will definitely be a regular on our dinner table and will work well with meat as well as fish.

Other highlights from the book are:
  • hake with green sauce and clams
  • bream cooked en papillote with garlic, chilli and rosemary
The recipes for both of these and others are on Mitch Tonks' website.

Fish and Fresh offer the reader more than just recipes - they are also reference guides, containing information on fishing, sustainability, alternative names, notes on taste, texture, territory and seasonality. Handy tips, tricks and photographs feature alongside the recipes - what to ask the fishmonger, how to make
life easy for yourself in the kitchen and what to look out for when buying fish.

If we were to have one slight criticism of the books it was that some of the recipes are not quite detailed enough especially when expressing quantities of ingredients - a small handful of herbs, for example, is difficult to gauge.

That said, these are books we'll be dipping into regularly - both are more than worthy of pride of place on the cookery book shelves in our homes.

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