Seafood at home

Sorry I’m going to begin with a rant… and get onto recipes in a sec

Nothing pains me more than going to a restaurant IN SCOTLAND that is serving seafood from overseas. We all know Europe to be a haven for seafood excellence, but what about us? Scotland has 16,500km (including the islands) of coast line, which is pretty outstanding for such a small country – teaming with marine life. It’s hard to believe that Scotland is often overlooked as a ‘foodie’ location. I’ve traveled a lot in the last 5 years and while on the topic of food I’ve been asked so many times if deep-fried mars bars and chippies are the local cuisine. WHAT! NO! Scotland has such a rich culture around food with seafood right at the top. It doesn’t get much better than whats being caught right on our doorstep – because no matter where you are in Scotland – you’re never too far from the sea.

I think on the whole, most fish and shellfish eaters in Scotland consume fish in their diet at least once a week. And there’s a reason local fishmongers are still alive and thriving – the quality and range of seafood available is fantastic. Maybe less so in cities where supermarkets supply such a big range – but if possible, supporting local businesses is something we can all agree is good.

So – a seafood feast at home? Not a problem (if you’ve got a pot big enough for langoustines). Seafood dinners like this are a big treat in our family, because shellfish can be a bit pricey – but by ‘compromising’ with a few veggie meals throughout the week (not really a compromise), it can become a more regular treat.

First up – ‘The Palate Cleanser’

Beetroot and goats cheese salad
  • 4 cooked beetroot
  • 100g goats cheese
  • A bag or 2 of greens and leafs
  • Oil & balsamic vinegar
  • Chuck in a few walnuts as well if you like them!

Toss together – easy peasy.

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Smoked Mackerel Pate
  • 400g smoked mackerel
  • 200g cream cheese (ish – taste as you go)
  • 70g butter (ish)
  • lemon juice
  • pepper

Whiz together in a blender – tasting as you go.

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Smoked trout and smoked salmon

Needs no fuss – not even a plate! I got this delivered from Murray Smoked Products – and its some of the best smoked fish I’ve ever tasted! Online they have a variety of different types – honey and pepper, Cajun spiced, long sliced, dill coated – i’ve tried many of them and they are all fantastic.

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Scallops with bacon & black pudding
  • Scallops (2 or 3 per person)
  • One large onion
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • 1 bacon rasher cooked
  • 1/2 sliced of black pud cooked

Soften onion and garlic in oil – fry scallops for 1min on each side – sprinkle with chives and serve with bacon or black pud – or both!

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Langoustines

Bring a large pod of salted water to the boil – and cook the langoustines for 3-4 minutes (careful not to overcook).

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CRAB!

Okay we cheated – we bought this pre cooked crab from the fishmonger… because cooking crab in your house is SO stinky. I’d probably only ever do it if I knew I could cook it outside.

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Yorkshire Puddings?

Not so Scottish – but Yorkshires taste amazing with mackerel pate. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

  • 140g plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • sunflower oil

Drizzle oil into tin and put into oven to heat (230c) – beat eggs into flour and slowly add milk to make the batter – pour into heated tin and cook for 20 mins (until golden). Do this just before your about to eat so you can have them hot with the pate.

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We also had a loaf of homemade bread (made in a bread machine) and a last-minute pea puree made by blending garden peas with some lemon juice.

What a feast – and not ridiculously expensive. For the seafood alone we spent £23 – so adding the extras our whole meal cost less than £30.

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Thanks for reading

R x 
@ronamcmillan

 

Glasgow Food Map (Summer eats)

Breakfast

Bramble Cafe Giffnock

I can not fault this place. Wonderful fresh food, great service and spotlessly clean. The cafe is small, so sometimes I’ve had to wait for a table… but absolutely worth it. Delicious cakes for after, and fantastic coffee.

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Brunch

Cafe Strange Brew

ALWAYS busy, but for good reason. I could shout about these pancakes all day – they’re incredible. Great food, quirky and fun atmosphere. Always buzzing with groups and families – super fresh food with an ever-changing specials board. Strange and fabulous!

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Wine bar

Vino Valentino

Why has nobody ever told me about Vino Valentino? My dad took me here for some wine tasting mid-week, and what a delight! The bar/shop is small and cosy and ran by an Italian family – who are all very knowledgable. The set up is very charming, with a large sit around wooden table that seats about 12 people – so could easily pop in for a glass alone or as a group for wine tasting and nibbles.

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Fast Food

Kimchi Cult

If you’re looking for something a little different and bursting with flavour Kimchi Cult is the one. Korean style fast food available to sit in or take away – burgers, loaded fries, rice bowls, fried chicken… all delicious and topped with Kimchi (fermented cabbage). Fast and friendly service, great for a quick meal.

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Date night

Gather by Zique

It takes a lot for me to say this, but I’ve found a new favourite. Gather by Zique is outstanding, a restaurant that combines fine dining in a relaxed environment is something that Glasgow has needed for sometime. Our service was delightful, very helpful and non-intrusive and the food was exceptionally fresh and delicious. The wine was great, the cocktails were even better and with such a lovely ambience I could begin and end a night here with no complaints. I can not wait to revisit.

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Steak night

(at home)

Is anyone else growing tired of overpriced steak in restaurants, especially when you know you can create something just as tasty (if not tastier) at home for less than half the price? Steak night is now date night at home for us… and this week we ditched the usual red wine suspect for something different. Wester Spirit Co. have just launched the first in a series of collaborative projects with ampersand01 and microbrewery DRYGATE in creating this Spiced Scotch Ale. The Ale is developed from Wester’s spiced rum (which is also fantastic, and makes a great dark and stormy) and has lovely rich flavours of ginger and vanilla.

We cook our steaks really simply on a hot griddle pan, salt, pepper, rosemary and some whole garlic cloves (2mins each side for rare) – then serve with some steamed greens.

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Dinner party (for 6)

So keen to make paella we even bought a new pan – and spent too much money on saffron, but again… worth it! Traditionally paella is made with chicken and chorizo along with all your fresh seafood – but we skipped the chicken and made up our own recipe… which is (as far as I can remember)…

  • 350g paella rice (a bit more if your feeding a hungry bunch)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 12 raw tiger prawns/large bag (more the merrier)
  • 12-16 mussels (with or without shells)
  • 6-8 langoustines
  • 70g frozen peas
  • 1 or 2 lemons
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (roughly chopped)
  • 150g spanish chorizo (skin removed and chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Fry onion, pepper and chorizo (6-8 mins medium heat)
  2. Add garlic, paprika, cayenne and saffron (1min)
  3. Add tomatoes, season and add 2pints boiling water and simmer uncovered for 10mins
  4. Add rice and simmer uncovered for another 15-20mins
  5. Add seafood and cook until ready (5-10 mins depending on how much is added)
  6. If the rice has become too dry and isn’t ready yet add some more water now (with some extra seasoning)
  7. Serve with lemon!

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Thanks for reading – if anyone gives my paella recipe a shot let me know how it turns out… sorry in advance if its rubbish.

Rona x

Keep up to date with recent adventures at @ronamcmillan