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.
Smoked Mackerel Pate
- 400g smoked mackerel
- 200g cream cheese (ish – taste as you go)
- 70g butter (ish)
- lemon juice
Whiz together in a blender – tasting as you go.
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.
Scallops with bacon & black pudding
- Scallops (2 or 3 per person)
- One large onion
- 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!
Bring a large pod of salted water to the boil – and cook the langoustines for 3-4 minutes (careful not to overcook).
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading R x @ronamcmillan