Special occasion food should be all about what you love most, shared with the people you love most. And sometimes it’s also about spending time with those loved ones enjoying the occasion and not spending too long in the kitchen preparing the food and being away from your guests. Don’t misunderstand me, I love spending hours and even days preparing a special meal, but this is one for when you don’t want to be in the kitchen for too long.
Ingredients (per person)
- 1 small Dover Sole (or other small flat fish)
- 4 large prawns (peeled and the heads removed but the tails left on to make eating them with your fingers much easier!)
- 2 scallops
- About 2 tablespoons of fresh samphire (or use a few stalks of fresh, blanched asparagus chopped into smaller pieces)
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper
Warm a little olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and heat. When the oil is hot, put the fish in, skin side down and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes until the skin starts to become crispy.
Turn the heat down to medium and turn the fish over. Add the scallops and prawns and cook them on each side for about a minute or two (the prawns will turn pink and the scallops will lose their opacity).
Remove the fish, prawns and scallops to a serving plate (keeping the oil in the pan). Squeeze in a little lemon juice to taste and add the samphire. Stir fry on a high heat for less than a minute, just to heat it through and spoon the samphire and juices over the fish. Season to taste (it probably won’t need much salt) and serve with a small wedge of lemon.
Pour glasses of wine for you and your loved ones and enjoy the moment.
Living temporarily on the south coast of England gives us access to super fresh fish, and to varieties which are not always available to us in Spain. The local fishmonger had beautiful Sea Bream the other day, we usually eat Sea Bass. The flavour is very similar but the bream is a softer, creamier fish.
Unlike Fish Man, who delivers fish to us out of the back of his refrigerated van, this is sold in a shop with all the facilities to clean and prepare the fish for its customers, so I took advantage of this and head the two bream I bought scaled, gutted, de boned and butterflied. What luxury! Also in stock was Samphire, which I had only ever eaten before in a restaurant, so I was curious to try it at home.
I came across a few recipes and discovered that it pretty much only needs warming through and can be replaced by fine asparagus (which would need to be blanched first). The taste was also reminiscent of wild asparagus with the salty tang of the sea. Very nice indeed.
Ingredients (for 2-4 depending on the size of your fish)
- 2 cleaned sea bream (or any other white fish)
- About half a small cauliflower, cooked to your liking and then cut into small florets
- About half a cup of samphire (I removed the “leaves” from the tougher middle stalk) or use a small bunch of fine asparagus cut into small pieces and blanched for a few minutes
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil and butter for shallow frying (I used a mixture of the two)
Start by heating the oil (but don´t let it smoke), sprinkle a little salt over your fish and fry the flesh side of the fillets first. When they are nicely browned (a couple of minutes), turn them over to cook the other side. Remove to a warmed plate when ready and turn the heat up high. Quickly sauté the cauliflower for a minute or two until the edges start to turn brown, add the samphire and stir fry for another minute.
Serve the vegetables with the fish and plenty of lemon juice squeezed over. A fresh, light taste of the sea made quickly and simply.
Internet Update – I have my modem and have been promised my line will be connected before midnight. Fingers still crossed that tomorrow I´ll be surfing like before!