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Fish Friday

I have a friend who thinks life is too short to eat fish, he's only half joking. I guess for some people, fish will always seem to be a little fussy, a little too light and not quite butch enough.
I love fish,shellfish too and prefer to keep it really simple but I think these flavours are rather *butch*. We call this " Godfather" spaghetti at our house.

"Godfather Spaghetti"

Spaghetti alle Vongole

500 grams of spaghetti

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or 1 fresh chilli, minced
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4 as a starter, 2 for main

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until just al dente, then drain the pasta well.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil.
Add the minced garlic and chilli and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is only lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the clams and wine, cover and simmer until the clams open and are just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any clams that don't open.

Add the spaghetti and the chopped parsley to the clams in the frying pan and season with pepper. Toss over moderately high heat just until the spaghetti absorbs some of the juices, about 1 minute. Transfer the spaghetti and clams to warmed, shallow bowls and serve right away.

Fish with Salsa Verde

Fish with Salsa Verde

4 fillets of fish, your choice, I used grey mullet for this, sea bass great too.
a couple of tablespoons of flour
unsalted butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

Salsa Verde

Salsa verde traditionally has garlic, anchovies,capers,cornichon or gherkins, olive oil, parsley,basil and lemon juice, pounded to a saucy consistancy in a pestle and mortar.
I use soft herbs that I have to hand, always parsley, sometimes dill, basil or a little mint.
I skip the anchovies and add more capers because I lurv them so.
You need 2 cups of herbs to make a good portion of sauce for 4 people.
1 cup of parsley, chopped
1 cup of basil, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 fat anchovy fillets, chopped
1 tablespoon of capers, chopped
couple of gherkins, chopped
4 or 5 tablespoons olive oil
1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard

Use a large mortar and pestle if you have one,all ingredients in and bash away! Use a stick blender/ blender  but try to leave a little body in the sauce.Season to taste.

Add salt and pepper to the flour and and lightly dredge fish fillets. Heat a good knob of butter and a splash of oil in a large frying pan, when gently bubbling , add fish and cook to perfection! 3 minutes on both sides is usually enough, just be careful no to overcook.

To serve, I go big on the greens, usually spinach or kale and tiny new potatoes, lavished (sic) in salty butter.

Love Food X


Astrid's gorgeous herbs.


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There's always an avalanche of articles published in the new year with predictions of the food and drink that will be  "trending"  and what we should be adopting to remain cool .

Frankly, as much as I love to try new ingredients, the hunt for a bit of strange, in these "interesting times", I'm comforted by something familiar and that reeks of ol' Blighty .  And it's the old stuff, the classics, that await the younger generation to hunt down. Here's a few of my favourites from the 19th Century to get things started.

At first whiff, Gentleman's relish was an instant flashback to my school packed lunches, Peck's Anchovette paste on spongy white bread, served at school bag temperature of around 29 degrees celsius. Them were the days. Patum Peperium, the Gentleman's relish is another paste not for the faint hearted. It is made from salted anchovies, butter and some very punchy herbs and spices. A little goes a long way and as recommended, a …