Catch It & Cook It

I like to fish, and I like to cook which makes for a great combination always assuming that I can catch something other than sunburn or a cold.

My sons and I go sea fishing regularly and I would like to share some of our successes in both catching and then cooking in this series of articles.

Recent Posts
  • fishing chesilbeach sunset

    Sea fishing and cooking are my two passions in life. Share my experiences of catching fish around the south coast of the UK and cooking them to share with my friends and family over the dinner table. The Spanish style of cooking with olives and peppers is my favourite and suits fish so well. With the finished dish served in the centre of the table, everyone digs in. The French say “you eat with your eyes”, the colours and the presentation of Spanish family cooking fits this perfectly. I Catch It Basically, if I’m near the sea I want to go fishing. 20 years ago I had a sudden onset of chronic sea sickness so had to stop boat fishing. After corrective surgery last year the sea sickness disappeared so I am back boat fishing and enjoying every minute. So I go fishing: From a boat … Or From a pier … And on the beach … When On holiday … Canary Islands It’s a good job my poor long-suffering wife of over 40 years doesn’t mind my passion for fishing. Sometimes, annoyingly, if she tags along she catches more than me! Both of my sons fish, my grandsons fish, even our 4 year old twin granddaughters go fishing with me. Not Caught It Yet! Even after all these years fishing there are some UK species that elude me: Thornback Ray Bullhuss These two are my target species for 2021. Then I Cook It Having caught it, or sometimes bought it now we have to prepare and cook it. Fresh fish is so nice to eat and very healthy, especially the oily fish like mackerel or herring. Currently trendy and very popular, sushi has exploded onto the UK eating scene. The nearest I get to sushi is smoked salmon. Some fish are very delicate like plaice, others are more robust like turbot and different cooking techniques are required to bring out the best in each. I will bake, fry, steam, casserole, marinade or roast fish depending on what I catch that day. I am always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes but am heavily influenced by the Spanish style of cooking. Spanish style baked fish My Catch It and Cook It Stories … CassouletPapas arrugadas

  • common whelks

    Many of us have fond memories of visiting the seaside and buying some seafood from a stall. You then douse it in white pepper and vinegar and enjoy the taste of freshly caught and cooked shellfish. You taste prawns, mussels, cockles, winkles and for the brave souls among us whelks. You catch whelks using baited traps called pots on the sea bed. Experienced fishermen say that whelks are attracted to a bait mixture of fish and dead crabs. Whelk pot Since 2017 there are strict rules in place governing pot design and landing sizes. A minimum shell size of 53mm is mandatory around the Kent and Essex coasts since 2020. The trouble with whelks is that you have to really like them as it can take a good few minutes to chew them. In my past experience, they are rubbery and fairly tasteless. Plate of Cockles and Whelks Whelks used to be a very common foodstuff for the poor in some parts of Victorian London. They were cheap and nutritious. In more recent times they have fallen out of fashion, but we still land about 10,000 tonnes of them a year in the UK, of which 95% go for export to the far east. Whelks Being Landed In South Korea, they are a regular foodstuff, even sold as an aphrodisiac. Although to be fair their dishes do seem to contain a fair bit of fresh chilli, root ginger and soy sauce to enhance the flavour. So next time you visit the seashore, find some rocks, search them out, and give this stir-fry a go. You will never look at a whelk the same way again. Stir Fried Whelks Whelks in an oriental stir fry with crispy noodles. 500 g Whelks (fresh if available)2 tbsp Rape seed oil250 g Bamboo shoots (thinly sliced)2 cloves Garlic (sliced)1 Red chilli (sliced)5 cm Cooking chorizo (chopped)1 tbsp Ginger (grated)2 tbsp Soy sauce1 tbsp Oyster sauce1 tbsp Sesame oil1 bunch Spring onions (sliced)½ bunch Coriander (chopped)Thin egg noodles3 tbsp Peanut oil To cook fresh whelksTenderise the whelks by placing them in a freezer at least overnight.Place the whelks in a pan of cold water and bring it up to a gentle simmer, do not let it boil or they will become tough and rubbery. Simmer for 15 minutes and then remove from the heat and allow the whelks to cool in the cooking water.Once cooked, pull the whelk out of the shell, remove the little plastic-like disc on the foot end, remove the stomach sack and a small bit of muscle (identifiable by its feeling tougher than the rest of the whelk) and they are done.For the stir fryThinly slice the whelks. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat, add the sliced whelks and bamboo shoots and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.Return the wok to the heat and add the garlic, chilli, chorizo and ginger. Stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil.Return the whelks and bamboo shoots to the wok and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid in the wok has thickened and coats the whelks. Add most of the spring onions and coriander, tossing well to mix through. Set aside.Blanch the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain well and set aside.Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add 1½ tbsp's of the peanut oil. Evenly spread the drained noodles over the base of the pan,then turn the heat to low and allow the noodles to gently fry for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on the bottom.Gently flip the noodles over, adding another 1½ tbsp's of the oil to the pan. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the noodles are golden brown and crisp all over. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen roll.To servePlace the noodles in the middle of a warm plate and spoon the whelks and bamboo shoots on top. Garnish with the reserved spring onions and coriander. Based on a recipe by Mark Sargeant. Main CourseBritish, Korean

  • spider crab

    Catch It As a rod and line angler the majority of crabs I catch from the shore are spider crabs. Found in huge numbers just offshore during April to June when they migrate. When I say catch, I mean they are entangled in the trace. Beach anglers frequently wind in only to find the hooks are missing from their rig, a sure sign of spider crabs. Mainly exported to Europe, UK consumers don’t seem to like this spiny invader prefering to eat our native brown crab. Cromer Brown Crab The best known of the brown crab around the UK is probably from Cromer in Norfolk. Cromer crab is fragrant and tender with a high proportion of white to brown meat. Cornish brown crab How to Cook and Dress a Crab Having caught one, foraged for one, or even bought a live one it’s time to cook and dress it. How to Dress a Crab Preparing a cooked crab for the table If you’re cooking a live crab, first bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil. (If using a ready-cooked fresh crab, proceed to the next step.) Add the crab to the pan and boil for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the water and stand on its nose to allow the water to drain away as the crab cools.To prepare the cooked, cooled crab, first remove the legs by twisting them off where they meet the body.Remove the claws by pulling them off from the body.Separate the crab body from the central part of the crab by placing the crab on its back (hard shell-side down). Put your hands under the edge of the crab and push upwards until you hear it break. You may need to use a heavy knife to help you lever the crab apart.Remove all ten of the spongy ‘dead men’s fingers’ and discard.Drain any excess water from the shell of the crab and remove the stomach sac and hard membranes inside the shell.Use a spoon to remove the brown meat from the shell and any soft shell that has formed. Place it into a clean bowl and mash with a fork.Press down on the edges of the crab shell, breaking away the outer edges to form a ‘dish’ for serving.Break each claw in half. Use the handle of a teaspoon to scrape the white meat out of the thick end of the claw. Place into a separate clean bowl.Use the back of a heavy-bladed knife to crack open the remaining piece of claw and the pincers. Remove all the white meat and flake into the bowl. Remove the piece of cartilage inside each of the claws, pick off the meat and discard the cartilage.To remove the meat from the body of the crab, take a sharp knife and cut the crab body in half then in half again. Pick out the meat using your fingers.If the legs are large enough, it’s worth picking the meat out of them. Snap them in half and discard the thin end of the leg. Using the back of a heavy-bladed knife, smash the shell on the thicker part of the leg. Pull the meat out and add to your bowl.Run your fingers through the white meat in the bowl to break up the meat and to pick out any remaining bits of shell.Return the prepared white and brown meat to separate halves of the prepared crab shell. Top Tip: Get someone else to do the picking out of the crab meat, it can be a long job! Dressed crab Now you have your cooked spider or brown crab its time to sit down and enjoy its delicate flavour. Plain crab is delicious simply served with lemon, mayonnaise and brown bread. However, I like to serve crab au gratin or with Thermidor sauce. Catch It and Cook It – MackerelFolkestone and WinklesNanny’s Bread PuddingCatch It and Cook It Here are a couple of recipes for both brown and spider crab showing both styles of cooking. Recipe – Brown Crab Thermidor Thermidor sauce always sounds very posh, and for restaurant food, posh equals expensive. It’s odd how dishes or cooking styles with a French name command a higher price. For example, cheese on toast becomes pain au gratin and the price triples! Often served with a French style Thermidor sauce. This version is simple and quick. Brown Crab Thermidor 200 g white crab meat100 g brown crab meat 50 g pecorino cheese 50g50 g mayonnaise1 egg yolk1 bunch chives50 ml double cream2 tbsp Calvados1/2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard1 apple (cut into fine shreds)1 handful basilTo serveCrusty bread Heat the grill. Mix the brown crab with the cheese, mayo, egg yolk, chives, cream, calvados and mustard.Carefully fold the white crab meat into the mixture and season well.Divide the mix between 4 individual, wide, shallow heat-proof dishes and put them under the grill until golden brown and bubbling.Serve with finely chopped apple and basil and serve with crusty bread. Main CourseBritish Recipe – Spider Crab Gratin Spider Crab Gratin The sweetness of the spider crab meat with a cheesy nutty topping make this an impressive dish 4 spider crab (cooked and cooled)8 tbsp olive oil2 leeks (sliced)4 shallots (finely chopped)3 celery sticks (finely chopped)3 tbsp tomato purée3 tsp fresh ginger (chopped)4 tsp Dijon mustard100 ml white wine1 splash brandy1 dash hot sauce4 lemons (zest only)4 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)100 g almonds (toasted and roughly chopped)100 g gruyère cheese100 g parmesan cheese Pick the meat from the crab, including that from the legs, and place into a bowl. Clean the shell of the body and set aside.Preheat the grill to high.Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the leek, shallot and celery and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.Add the picked crabmeat, tomato purée, ginger and mustard to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from catching.Add the white wine and brandy and simmer for a few

  • squid caught rod and line

    Catch It Rod and line fishing for squid (calamari) and cuttlefish has become popular in the UK over the past few years. Specialised fishing techniques using custom lures known as jigs. These have two circular rows of crown hooks that entangle the tentacles. Various locations along the UK south coast such as Weymouth have become known hotspots for squidding in the autumn. Jig caught squid Prepare the Squid Cleaning can be a messy business because of the ink. The whole method is here. Cook It Cooked just right, it is beautifully tender. Overcooked it is tough and rubbery. I first ate calamari regularly on the Algarve in the 1980s. I remember sitting on the beach after dark watching the lights of the fishing boats out at sea. They shine lights to attract them up to the surface from deeper water to feed. Night fishing for squid All along the seafront restaurants would serve the freshest fish and shellfish caught locally the night before. It was superb compared to the “fresh” fish we were used to at home, which had been stored on ice for days. Even the Chinese restaurants had lots of fish on offer, including calamari curry which was actually pretty good. Catch It and Cook It – CuttlefishMorcilla Stuffed Baby Squid (Calamares Rellenos con Morcilla)Squid and Black Pudding with PeppersCatch It and Cook ItMorcilla: The Spanish Black Pudding I like it cooked and served simply like the featured recipe. Recipe – Grilled Squid Grilled Squid (Calamari) 1 pound squid (cleaned)1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1/4 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)Lemon wedges Heat a grill to high heat. Rinse the squid under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.Cut the squid bodies lengthwise down one side and open flat.Cut the tentacles in half if too large.In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.Add the squid bodies and tentacles to the bowl, tossing to evenly coat.Thread the squid bodies lengthwise onto skewers so they lie flat.Thread the tentacles onto separate skewers.Grill over high heat, turning once, just until opaque throughout, about 1 to 2 minutes.Remove the squid from skewers and pile them on a platter.Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Main CourseAmerican

  • cuttlefish

    Catch It Rod and line fishing for squid and cuttlefish has become popular in the UK over the past few years. Specialised fishing techniques using custom lures known as squid jigs. These have two circular rows of crown hooks that entangle the tentacles. Various locations along the UK south coast such as Weymouth have become known hotspots for squidding in the autumn. Jig caught squid Chesil Beach Chesil beach frequently produces cuttlefish either by bouncing a jig along the bottom or by live baiting a joey mackerel or pin whiting. Jig caught cuttlefish I frequently get very good bites, winding in to find the bait fish still there, but with a large notch bitten out behind the head! On closer inspection you can see where the cuttlefishes tentacles have wrapped around the fish. How to Prepare Your Cuttlefish courtesy of “Due to the ink sack, preparing cuttlefish can be a messy affair, so empty your sink and wear an apron. Aside from potential mess, the preparation is actually very easy. Cut below the eyes to remove the tentacles and gently pull the head out along with the guts, taking care not to burst the ink sack. Reserve the ink sack – the ink is rich and seaweed-like in flavour and of course has that brilliant jet black colour, perfect for stirring through a seafood risotto or pasta dough. Rinse in cold water to wash away any sand or spilled ink. Pull out the beak and discard, and pull the outer membrane from the body (you may need to aid your grip with a tea towel). You’ll be left with a bright, brilliant white tube ready to slice into rings calamari-style” Cuttlefish has a very similar taste to squid but is not popular in the UK. Caught in quite large quantities off the south coast the majority is exported to Spain and Italy. I eat cuttlefish regularly when we visit our friends in Gran Canaria where ‘Sepia a la Plancha’ is served very simply, grilled with a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice. Sepia a la Plancha Catch It and Cook It – SquidChilli con CarneEdible Snails – Helix AspersaSquid and Black Pudding with PeppersMorcilla Stuffed Baby Squid (Calamares Rellenos con Morcilla) Recipe – Chargrilled Garlic and Chilli Cuttlefish My featured recipe marinates the fish with lemon, chilli and garlic. The acidic lemon juice partly cures and tenderises the flesh before cooking very quickly over high heat. Chargrilled Garlic and Chilli Cuttlefish 700 g cuttlefish (cleaned, sliced into 3cm pieces)80 ml 80ml extra virgin olive oilFinfinely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (plus extra wedges to serve)1 long red chilli (seeds removed, finely chopped)2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)2 tbs flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)2 cups watercress sprigs Place cuttle fish slices in a bowl with olive oil, lemon zest, chilli and garlic. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours to marinate.When ready to cook, preheat barbecue or chargrill pan to high. Season cuttlefish with salt, then barbecue, turning, for 2 minutes or until lightly charred and just cooked through.Toss cuttlefish with lemon juice and parsley in a bowl, then transfer to a platter and top with watercress. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over. Main CourseAustralian

  • herring

    Catch It The herring is an oily silverfish high in omega 3 oil. Grilled, smoked (as kippers) or baked, they are very good for you! They are pelagic fish, always on the move, and tend to show seasonally around the UK south coast between February and June for a spring run and again in autumn between September and December. Herring are also a major food source for predators. Recently, the sight of a dolphin pod working a shoal to the surface was a real treat. When fishing for mackerel with feathers or lures, herring often caught unintentionally. History: Commercially fished for over two thousand years, fishing fleets followed the huge shoals around the UK coast and were a mainstay of the coastal communities. Oily fish deteriorate very quickly so salting and storing in barrels preserved them. Massively overfished at various times in the past, herrings have a great capacity to recover their numbers rapidly. The vast majority of UK caught herring is exported to Europe and Scandinavia. Kippers: Q. Why a kipper? A. Caught during spawning season, male salmon known as kippers, butterflied and hot smoked give their name to herring smoked the same way. Left whole and cold-smoked, they are bloaters. Rollmops: Pickled herring fillets wrapped around a savory filling, rollmops are a Scandinavian delicacy. The name rollmops is German in origin. It is a combination of “rollen” meaning to roll, and “mops” being a fat young boy. Catch It and Cook It – MackerelHow to Fillet Conger EelAtlantic MackerelCatch It and Cook It – Squid (Calamari)Devilled Mackerel with Mint and Tomato Salad Recipe – Cider Vinegar and Orange Rollmops While you can buy ready made rollmops, try making your own with this recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Cider Vinegar and Orange Rollmops Herring fillets pickled in an aromatic and zingy marinade 6 fresh herrings (descaled, gutted and filleted)For the Brine:60 g saltFor the marinade:500 ml cider vinegar250 ml cider12 allspice berries12 black peppercorns6 bay leaves1 tbsp light brown sugar1 tsp mustard seedsZest of 1 large orange (pared into wide strips with no white pith)1 small onion (red or white, very thinly sliced) Check the herring fillets for any pin bones and remove as necessary. Dissolve the salt in 500ml cold water to make a brine, then add the fillets. Leave for two to three hours.Meanwhile, make the marinade. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring slowly to a boil and simmer for a minute. Set aside to cool.Drain the herring fillets from the brine and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Roll them up, skin side out, from tail end to head end, and pack the rolls into three sterilised 500ml preserving jars. Pour the ­marinade over the herrings, making sure you get some of the spices and zest in each jar, then seal.Store in the fridge for at least three days before eating. They’re best eaten five to 10 days from ­jarring, but will keep for up to a month. The longer you leave them, the softer and more pickled they’ll get. SnackBritish Recipe – Fried Herring Fillets with a Lime Pepper Crust Simple and quick, these fried herring fillets from Delia make a great lunch. Fried Herring Fillets with a Lime Pepper Crust For me, the humble herring, once the food of the poor, is a great delicacy with all the gutsy flavours of fresh sardines but lots more juicy flesh. 2 herring fillets (175-200 g each)2 limes1 tsp whole mixed peppercorns1 dessert spoon plain flour2 tbsp olive oilsea salt First of all crush the peppercorns with a pestle and mortar – not too fine, so they still have some texture.Then grate the zest of the limes and add half of it to the peppercorns, then add the flour. Mix them all together and spread the mixture out on a flat plate. Wipe the herrings dry with kitchen paper and coat the flesh side with the flour-pepper mixture. Press the fish well in to give it a good coating – anything left on the plate can be used to dust the skin side lightly.Now in your largest frying pan, heat the oil until it is very hot and fry the herrings flesh-side down for about 2-3 minutes. Have a peek by lifting up the edge with a fish slice – it should be golden. Then turn the fish over on to the other side and give it another 2 minutes, and drain on crumpled silicone paper (baking parchment) before serving. Serve sprinkled with crushed salt, the rest of the lime zest and the limes cut into quarters to squeeze over. LunchBritish

  • sea bass

    Whether you fish with lures or bait, from boat or shore, the sea bass is a prized catch. Bass stocks in UK waters are still very poor and the measures currently in force for recreational anglers in 2021 still stand at 2 fish per day subject as always to minimum size. Brighton Charter Boats If you buy your fish from the supermarket or your local fishmonger it will have been cleaned and de-scaled for you. If you caught the fish then you need to clean it yourself, this video shows you how. Top tip: Use a really sharp knife. Bass is a firm favourite for the dinner plate and we showcase a couple of top notch recipes which present this fish at its best. Bass is quite a robust fish for cooking and goes well with other deep flavours. I particularly like the Spanish style of cooking and this recipe combines the fish fillets with capers, olives and peppers. It goes surprisingly well with red wine! Pan-fried sea bass with Spanish olives and piquillo peppers Sea bass, pan-fried and dressed with a delicious sauteed sauce of olives, piquillo peppers and capers. 4 pieces sea bass (150g)1 tin piquillo peppers1 handful Spanish caperberries4 cloves garlic100 ml Spanish olive oil1 pinch salt1 pinch cracked black pepper1 glass dry Fino wine (small)1 can black Spanish olives (pitted)2 flat parsley Wash and pat dry your sea bass fillets and put to one side to pan fry later.Open the tin of piquillo peppers, cut them in half and remove any seeds.Drain the caperberries and olives and put these aside also.Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves and onion, then add half of the olive oil to a hot pan and fry over a medium heat until golden brown.Add the piquillo peppers and sauté for a further 30 seconds, before adding the purple Spanish olives and caperberries and sauté again.Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of Fino wine. Let the alcohol burn and sprinkle a touch of finely chopped parsley into the pan. Taste the seasoning and alter if needed.Take a separate non-stick pan and place over a high heat and pour in a touch of Spanish olive oil.Score the skin of the sea bass through and then pan fry skin side down until 3/4 done, turn over, season the skin with some salt flakes and cook for one more minute.Serve the Spanish olive sauce on to a plate and place the sea bass on the top, drizzle over a touch of olive oil to finish. Main CourseSpanish Baked whole sea bass is a great dish for sharing. Add some chorizo, new potatoes and 45 minutes in the oven and you have a meal fit for a king. Baked Whole Sea Bass with Broad Beans and Chorizo Bake whole sea bass with white wine, lemon and chorizo to make a delicious sauce that soaks into the tender new potatoes. 10-15 baby new potatoes (or Jersey Royals if you can get them, halved if large)2 tbsp olive oil2 small sea bass (gutted, scaled and fins clipped (you can ask your fishmonger to do this))zest 1 lemon (then sliced)1 tsp fennel seeds140 g chorizo (skin removed, sliced)75 ml white wine200 g peas (defrosted if frozen, blanched if fresh)400 g broad beans (or 800g in their pods, skinned)small bunch parsley (chopped) STEP 1Put the potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 10 mins, or until just tender. Heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Drain the potatoes, tip into a large roasting tin (big enough to fit the fish), and toss in 1 tbsp oil and some seasoning. Roast for 15 mins.STEP 2Make a couple of slashes in the side of each fish. Rub the remaining oil, the lemon zest, fennel seeds and some seasoning into the flesh and cavity of the fish. When the potatoes have had their cooking time, remove the tray from the oven, make space in the centre and place the fish on the tray. Poke the lemon slices into the cavities of the fish. Scatter the chorizo over the potatoes and pour over the wine. Return to the oven for a further 15 mins.STEP 3Check the fish is very nearly cooked – the flesh should pull away from the bones easily when gently pushed with a knife. Scatter the peas and broad beans around the fish, mix through the potatoes and chorizo and return to the oven for 2 mins more, to just warm the veg through. Scatter over the parsley just before serving. Main CourseSpanish good food

  • whiting on hook

    Catch It Whiting, and I’m talking about English whiting here, are seriously underrated as an eating fish. Brighton Charter Boats When these English whiting caught by beach, boat or commercial anglers, they are thrown back in the main or turned into fish cakes. However, I like fish cakes and we have a good recipe later on. Pin Whiting However we are not talking about the undersize or “pin” whiting which seems to arrive inshore in huge numbers after dark. Pin whiting can be so prolific that they prevent you from catching anything else. Whiting for Cats As a boy in the 1960s I lived with my Great Aunt in Folkestone. She considered any size whiting only suitable for cat food along with pouting. Folkestone harbour in the 1960s with a cross channel ferry After some fishing from the harbour wall, the cats would be waiting patiently for me outside the kitchen window. My Aunt would steam them for the cats dinner. Mmmm Whiting for dinner “Whiting is similar in many ways to its severely endangered and overfished relative, the Atlantic cod. But whiting is considerably more delicate in both texture and flavour. Although this means whiting is the perfect sustainable substitute for cod in many recipes, we have to be careful to not overwhelm its delicate taste or cause it to break up due to inappropriately extensive or robust cooking techniques.” Cook It I like to bake them with a crumble on top which gently cooks them and they can be slid onto the plate without falling into pieces. Try using this recipe for Baked Whiting with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Garlic Crumble. It works really well with whiting. Irish Black and White PuddingSchool Sprinkles TraybakePie and MashCatch It and Cook It – DogfishEton Mess Recipe – Baked Whiting with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Garlic Crumble Baked Whiting with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Garlic Crumble 4 large Whiting Fillets1 pinch Black Pepper100 g Cream Cheese2 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)1 Lemon (zest and juice)100 g Baby Spinach50 ml Cream80 g Fresh Breadcrumbs1 bunch Fresh Parsley Flat Leaf1 pinch Ground NutmegTo Serve:1 handful Rocket Leaves Preheat the oven 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas 6.Warm the cream in a medium-sized pot set over a medium heat, then add the baby spinach, garlic, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted down.Place the cream cheese, half of the breadcrumbs and the lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and mix well.Spread the cooked spinach and cream over the base of a baking dish. Lay the fish on top and cover with the cream cheese mixture.Mix the remaining breadcrumbs with the lemon zest, parsley and some salt and pepper, then sprinkle this over the fish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve with a rocket salad on the side. Main CourseBritish Recipe – Thai Style Fish Cakes Thai Style Fish Cakes Easy to make and really tasty homemade fish cakes 300 g whiting filletssea salt1 tbsp olive oil (for drizzling)4 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil (for frying)flour (for dredging)For the Thai flavouring ingredients3-4 lime leaves1 large red chilli4 cm piece fresh root ginger2 garlic cloves2 stalks lemongrass200 g potatoes (cooked, mashed and cooled (about two medium potatoes))2 tsp fish sauce (or to taste)small handful fresh coriander (root included)1 lime (juice only, or to taste)To servefresh lime wedgesready-made sweet chilli sauce (for dipping) Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan °°180°C/Gas 6. Skin the fish and remove any bones.Place the fish in a roasting tray and season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 7-8 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.While the fish is roasting, prepare the flavouring ingredients. Finely chop the lime leaves.Slice the chilli in half and remove the seeds. Finely chop.Peel the ginger and finely chop.Lightly crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife blade, then peel and finely chop.Bruise the lemongrass stalks with a heavy knife. Trim off the root end and discard the tough outer leaves. Finely chop.Chop the lime leaves, chilli, ginger and lemongrass on a chopping board until all ingredients are very finely chopped.Place the finely chopped ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed potato and a dash of fish sauce.Break up the cooled fish and add it to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together well.Finely chop the coriander and add to the bowl with a squeeze of lime juice. Mix thoroughly.Heat the vegetable oil or olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Form the fish mixture into small cakes about 6cm-8cm/2.5in-3in wide.Dredge the fishcakes in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess. Fry the fishcakes in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly browned.Serve the fishcakes with a squeeze of fresh lime and some sweet chilli sauce for dipping. Main CourseBritish delishably.comsupervalu.ieBBC FoodToodle66 @

  • european conger eel

    Catch It The largest species of eel found in European waters, growing up to three meters in length the Conger is relatively common around British shores living amongst rocks and hiding inside shipwrecks. It is rarely eaten and usually chucked back when caught by fishermen. Strap Conger Eels Eels caught by UK boats for sport that are not returned are exported to the EU as we Brits are not fond of these slippery predators. However, they make really good meals with their firm flesh and distinctive taste. This makes them particularly suitable for Portuguese Caldeira or French bouillabaisse style cooking. Strap Congers Strap congers, which are small immature eels, have been caught in increasing numbers over recent years. My sons and I regularly catch them on fishing trips from the south coast. My son with a strap conger These size eels are ideal for cooking and a single eel will easily give 8-10 steaks. Big Eels Large eels up to 90lb (40kg) are regularly caught on the Brighton based boats. On our latest conger trip in October 2021, the eel in the picture below came aboard eventually after a prolonged tug of war. 40lb Conger Eel aboard Grey Viking Brighton Charter Boats Jellied Eels – Conger StyleConger Eel Steaks with CiderHow to Fillet Conger EelPie Mash and Eels – A HistoryGolden Crispy Roast Potatoes Recipe – Conger Eel with an Aromatic Crust I am on a mission to raise the culinary profile of the conger eel. So I have collected together some really great recipes which bring out the best in this impressive fish. Conger Eel with an Aromatic Crust This wonderful recipe of conger with aromatic crust is ideal for a Winter dinner with friends or family. 1 kg Conger eel steaks1 LemonJuice of one lemonParsley (to taste)4 cloves GarlicFreshly ground black pepper (to taste)Thyme (to taste)2 tbsp Breadcrumbs200 ml Olive oilSea salt (to taste) Put the fish on a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon slices. Let it marinate for about 20 minutes.Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Drizzle the fish with 150 ml of the olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes. Occasionally, drizzle the fish with the sauce.Meanwhile, put the parsley and the garlic in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Put the mixture in a bowl, add the breadcrumbs and thyme and mix all ingredients.Briefly remove the fish from the oven, sprinkle with the previous mixture and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Put the fish back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the crust starts to turn golden brown.Serve with roasted potatoes. Main CoursePortugese These recipes use conger steaks not fillets so no skinning is necessary: The following recipes use fillets of conger so your eel needs to be prepared. We can show you how to skin and fillet a conger.

  • plaice

    Catch It April 2021, just after the release of outdoor sports under the covid-19 regulations, saw us fishing on Grey Viking out of Brighton on the UK south coast looking for some spring plaice. Brighton Charter Boats We went drifting for the plaice over inshore sandbanks a few miles out to sea. A slow day, but 5 fish for me with the largest at 3lb. The author with a nice 3lb plaice. Cook It In my opinion, plaice should be cooked simply as it has a subtle sweet taste. The featured recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall brings out this sweetness while adding the caramelised cherry tomatoes. Hugh’s recipe is for quite a large fish, but two smaller fish or fillets will do fine, just cook the cherry tomatoes for 10 minutes before adding the fish to the tray for the remaining time. Filleting This video from Hastings Fish illustrates how to fillet plaice far better than I can decribe. My smaller fish were cooked in pairs and served with a side of garlic bread to mop up the juices. Smaller fish ready for the oven Catch It and Cook It – MackerelCatch It and Cook ItBlack Pudding Fritters in Beer BatterHotdog Spiders and CaterpillarsCatch It and Cook It – Squid (Calamari) Recipe – Plaice Catch It and Cook It – Plaice Roasted plaice with cherry tomatoes Olive oil1 kg plaice (cleaned with skin on)1 tbsp unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)400 g sweet cherry tomatoes6 sprigs thyme2 bay leavesSea saltFreshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Oil a baking sheet large enough to accommodate your plaice. Season the surface of the baking sheet and place the fish on it, pale side (underside) down. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and massage it in. Season all over with pepper and lots of salt and dot the little pieces of butter over it.Scatter the cherry tomatoes around the fish, along with the thyme and bay leaves. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the fish is just cooked and the tomatoes are blistered and soft.Once roasted, the flesh of the plaice should lift easily from the bone in neat fillets. Remove the top two fillets using a fish knife and fork. Ease the skeleton away to reveal the remaining two fillets from the underside. Serve the fish with the tomatoes and all the buttery, salty-sweet roasting juices. Main CourseBritish