It wasn’t hard to persuade me to swap a turkey meal for a delicious #fishmasdinner at Loch Fyne in Cambridge this week. I’m only sorry that I couldn’t try more of the menu. Trot on turkey, I'm eating more fish!
- soft crab pakora with raita ( I could eat all day)
- chilli and garlic prawns
- pollock served with mussels from the specials board
- seafood grill, the best way to try everything!
- treacle tart
- creme brulee
Do you fancy yourself as the Chief Taster for Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill? You get paid in fish! Details here...
Took dad for a drive to see his favourite east coast fisherman - Dean Fryer - one of Rick Steins food heroes. All fishermen are heroes in our minds - up at 2am seven days a week in good weather, with no guarantee of any income. We bought sea bass, rock eel, a lobster and some small dover sole. Within twelve hours of being caught the sea bass were on the barbecue.
Borough Market that is, I thought it would be jaded and expensive but was totally wrong. The best walnut and gorgonzola pasta ever (£3.50) fresh oysters shucked while you wait - next door to a Prosecco stand, scallops fried to order and mountains of other things too tasty to mention.
Want to learn how to prepare and cook fish? Billingsgate Market staff are running a Summer Seafood School for families with children aged 7 to 13 on mornings and afternoons in August. But they do all kinds of other events and training too...I feel a SuffolkFoodie outing coming on...
So obvious really, mini-fish and chips (I know they do it at parties...) but I've only seen it once here on the street, and it was VERY popular. Why? Because you really really want some but you don't want to throw half of it away. Brilliant - and it won an award. The best ideas are the obvious ones.
I couldn't stay in Cromer last night without trying out No 1 Fish and Chip Restaurant and takeaway, recently opened by Galton Blackiston ( you know; Morston Hall, Michelin Star, Celebrity Chef...) The restaurant is quite big and the takeaway shop is next door.
When you arrive you stand behind a sign which says "please wait to be seated" so I did. The waitress came over and said that she was not allowed to seat me - I thought she was joking, but she wasn't. So I had to wait for the lady in charge to finish taking an order before she showed me to a table.
I was hoping to try the house special - crab cakes - but they had sold out so I ordered plaice and chips and a portion of mushy pea fritters.The printed menu gives more space to the wines on offer than the savoury food but I was driving so had a ginger beer, there are some nice choices of soft drinks. The fish was very fresh - had lovely batter, light and crisp - and very good chips with a portion of homemade tartare sauce on the side. The pea fritters were also tasty and so hot I burnt my mouth eating them. They were served with a mint dip.
The service was a bit shaky from that wait at the start. A few things were forgotton and there were some interesting descriptions of the menu - olives in the tartare sauce.... I don't think so!
Here is charming Martin Morales - the Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen founder, proprietor and chef - on his pop-.up tour of three countries, with Aldeburgh fisherman Dean Fryer. We went to the event; we can make Ceviche now!
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
1 large red onion, very thinly sliced
600g sea bass fillet (or other white fish), skinned and trimmed
A few coriander sprigs, leaves finely chopped
1 limo chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 sweet potato, boiled and cut into small cubes
Fine sea salt
For the tiger’s milk
5mm piece fresh root ginger, halved
1 small garlic clove, halved
4 coriander sprigs, roughly chopped
Juice of 8 limes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp medium red chilli, chopped, deseeded and deveined
Step 1: To make the tiger’s milk, put the ginger, garlic, coriander sprigs and lime juice in a bowl and stir, then leave to infuse for 3min. Strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Add salt and red chilli, then put aside.
Step 2: Wash the sliced red onion, then leave to soak in iced water for 5min. Drain thoroughly and spread out on kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to remove excess water, then place in the fridge.
Step 3: Cut the fish into uniform strips of 3cm x 2cm. Place in a large bowl, add a good pinch of salt and mix together gently with a metal spoon. The salt will help open the fish’s pores. Leave for 2min, then pour over the tiger’s milk and combine gently with the spoon. Leave the fish to ‘cook’ in the marinade for 2min.
Step 4: Add the onions, coriander, limo chilli and sweet potato to the fish. Mix together gently with the spoon and taste to check the balance of salt, sour and chilli is to your liking. Divide between serving bowls and serve immediately.
This recipe is from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25), out on July 4.
- welcome cocktails - pisco sours
- the preparation
- ingredients and equipment
- Martin with his new book
- the mixture is ready
- tasting the results
And what fun it was! On Aldeburgh beach, in a fishermans hut complete with Page Three wallpaper out the back, we had a Pisco Sour - a Peruvian cocktail with enough of a kick to make me give Johny Cakes half of mine because I was driving. Then the masterclass where we made sea bass ceviche under the expert guidance of Martin Morales, whose book we are giving away in our competition and who is our latest Dish of the Day. Then a four course dinner, with another cocktail and shared at two big tables with all the other pop-up diners, including two Peruvian ladies who live in Ipswich and Stowmarket and gave me an even better insight into the food and culture, and who might even be persuaded to do their own food thing in the future.
Things like this don't happen every day in Suffolk - we were very lucky foodies.