Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the Guardian has some wonderful recipes involving pork and shellfish.
I can clearly remember the first time I was struck by the genius of combining shellfish with pork. It was in a little Portuguese restaurant in west London, which is sadly no longer there. I had porco à alentejana – clams with salt pork, or thereabouts. It’s one of those culinary revelations when you think, “Yes! This really works. It will therefore be a recurring pleasure from now until the end of my days.”
Initially I thought, um…. then I remembered that I have cooked scallops with pancetta before.
Going to have to give these a try.
One thing that I cook quite often and enjoy during the summer months (though not that we have had much of a summer) is a fish supper.
This photo is from a recent version and included baked cod, griddled scallops, griddled squid and prawns cooked in olive oil.
The cod was drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes.
The scallops were scored with a checked pattern on one side and griddled on a hot pan.
The squid “pockets” were sliced on one side and opened out. On the inside I scored a checked pattern. These were then griddled inside face down. When cooked on one side, turn them over and cook the outside; at this point they will curl into rolls. Serve with the tentacles cooked as well.
The prawns were simply cooked with a little olive oil and black pepper.
Served with lemon wedges, salad and crusty bread.
I quite like eating tiger prawns.
However after reading this (slightly old) article in the Guardian, now I am not so sure…
The article starts on a positive note…
Something happened to prawns in the 1990s. Like the girths of western gourmands discovering fusion food, they started to grow and grow. Once a mere shrimp of a thing, a fiddly heap of shell for every tiny mouthful, the prawn miraculously turned into a great tiger, an effortless bite as good as lobster but at half the price.
Evidence of this startling evolution is everywhere. Prawns feature prominently on bar menus and in top restaurants. Thai spiced prawns have even infiltrated Delia’s Summer Collection cookbook. Healthy and fashionably south-east Asian, but not too exotic or rare any more, they have flown into our lives from apparently teeming tropical seas where everything grows bigger and better.
But then issues the following warning!
The price of providing an everyday luxury for consumers in industrialised countries has been a catalogue of damaging consequences in developing nations. Serious environmental degradation, disease, pollution, debt and dispossession, illegal land seizures, abuse of child labour and violence have afflicted the dozen or so countries entering the market. Western diners, meanwhile, are eating a food dependent on the heavy use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Hmmm, may now need to reconsider what prawns I buy and eat – difficult to do when eating out!
I am a great fan of Langoustine.
When they are just right there is something about the freshness and sweetness that makes them delicious.
It can be hard to find fresh ones, usually they are available either frozen or defrosted. In terms of taste, fresh is always best.
I like mine simple with a bit of mayonaise or aioli, but they are also nice split and grilled with herbs and olive oil as in the above picture.
Do you know I can’t remember if I should only be eating mussels when there is an ‘r’ in the month, or when there isn’t!
I use to really enjoy mussels, both fresh and those large New Zealand green ones, but recently seem to have gone off them. As with any food, too much of a good thing can result in one no longer enjoying it as much as one did.