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Adam Balic

Fish and other seafood

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I've never understood what the cork does even when it's been explained. Just sounds like junk science.

I'll have to try the PC. Most recently just did a dry cook in a dutch oven per McGee. The octopus puts out a large amount of water so it ends up brasing it. I follow with a light marinade and grill for added flavor and texture.

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A freakin' huge halibut head, that's what I saw out the corner of my eye as I walked by the stall. I'd just bought a couple of live crabs and did a double take when this beast appeared in my peripheral vision. I stopped right in my tracks and asked how much; "a tenner", done! It's not every day you see a fresh halibut head for sale and I knew that I had a dinner guest who'd appreciate picking out the juicy bits out of it:

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Because I was doing crab linguine I thought that roasting it with some lemon and herbs would be the way to go but i had no idea how long to cook it for. I mean who has a clue really how long to roast a 3kg fish head for? Well, you do now, 50mins at 210C. It was perfectly cooked, we picked every part of it clean. The cheeks were massive and juicy, they had the texture of skate wings. The eyes were bursting with clean tasting gelatinous liquid. My auntie and I went at the sticky bits in the head with chopsticks in the end, she's one of those Cantonese ladies who loves to eat fish heads so you can imagine she was in food heaven. As was i! The more we picked at it the more meat/collagen/funky bits it gave up, it was a tenner well spent I wouldn't hesitate buying it again, wonderful eating.

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I never thought I would covet a fish head. Well done.

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Gorgeous fish head! And I particularly enjoyed the enthusiasm of the eaters . I also enjoy the cheeks. My mind always goes to the bit in When French Women Cook: "Mimi Cherie jealously guarded the head of the fish, for the cheeks, well mashed with leftover mayonnaise and spread over a slice of bread generously rubbed with garlic, was her lunch for Monday noon".

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I forgot to mention it had a liberal salting a couple of hours before roasting and i rubbed it down with lots of olive oil.

Yeah, I'm thinking I should have haggled the price down a little. I'll have to play it cool next time I walk past that stall. So, you got anymore halibut heads that I can take off your hands? You know the last one was just ok, not much meat on it...

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Nothing says "I Love You" like a nice, roasted halibut head. Outstanding

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Octopus, the local market have finally got some decent octopodi. Big meaty ones from warmer waters with two rows of suckers on each arm. They taste much better than the smaller ones with only one row of suckers. You have clean them carefully, use some coarse salt and scrub out all the grime in the suckers. Turn the head inside out to empty all the organs contained inside and pop the beak out. It's pretty nasty the first time you have to do it but remember that it's worse when they're live...

There are lot of techniques for getting your octopus tender; bashing it, massaging it, putting cork in the water - i've tried all those. Nowadays I just pressure cook them for 30mins in some salted water with some bay leaf and onion. I let the octopus cool before searing the tentacles on a hotplate with some olive oil, lemon, garlic and parsley. I save the rest of the tentacles in the freezer, ready for the hotplate at anytime. Great little tapa:

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Superb!

What is your recommended method to get the octopus tender (for someone newbie like me)

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Depends how big your octopus is, small ones don't really need tenderising. If you don't have a pressure cooker then the bigger ones are helped by some light bashing with a steak hammer or rolling pin. Remember, double suckers are better

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About to post some more fishy pics and saw the halibut head had disappeared, so here it is again in all it's glory.

A freakin' huge halibut head, that's what I saw out the corner of my eye as I walked by the stall. I'd just bought a couple of live crabs and did a double take when this beast appeared in my peripheral vision. I stopped right in my tracks and asked how much; "a tenner", done! It's not every day you see a fresh halibut head for sale and I knew that I had a dinner guest who'd appreciate picking out the juicy bits out of it:

20120708c.JPG

Because I was doing crab linguine I thought that roasting it with some lemon and herbs would be the way to go but i had no idea how long to cook it for. I mean who has a clue really how long to roast a 3kg fish head for? Well, you do now, 50mins at 210C. It was perfectly cooked, we picked every part of it clean. The cheeks were massive and juicy, they had the texture of skate wings. The eyes were bursting with clean tasting gelatinous liquid. My auntie and I went at the sticky bits in the head with chopsticks in the end, she's one of those Cantonese ladies who loves to eat fish heads so you can imagine she was in food heaven. As was i! The more we picked at it the more meat/collagen/funky bits it gave up, it was a tenner well spent I wouldn't hesitate buying it again, wonderful eating.

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So back to the present. Sea Bream, gilt-head bream or dorade. Call it what you want they are very common and popular fish in British waters. They're mostly farmed from Turkey or Greece nowadays but still very nice fish to cook and eat. They also freeze very well, I dug one out along with some frozen squid and soft-shell crab. The fish was filleted, the bones made a light stock with which to make a quick Thai red curry with them. A 30 min meal and a great midweek option, good to cook and one of the the wife's favourites:

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Here's something from 'the other' category; halibut soft roe or milt or as American food show presenters like to say in practised seriousness sperm-sac! One of my pet peeves, along with head cheese there's a perfectly good English word it. I digress. It was free, it's 1kg of the stuff, any ideas out there?

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It was quite an intimating piece of protein. In the end I sliced some pieces off and simmered it in some dashi. Served as a light snack with some ginger and scallion. Very creamy as you would expect but I don't think I could eat a whole kilo of it!!!!image.jpg

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I know the cheeks on the Halibut head are something to behold, but it looks like there's ALOT of meat elsewhere on it?

What about the 'salty sacks of magic', they taste 'halibut-y'?


Edited by adey73 (log)

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Recently made some sea bass. Prepared it two ways, sous vide (bound two filets together with Activa RM and cooked 115 F for 35 minutes) and microwave steamed (Out of focus in the pic, 700 W for ~2.5 minutes, with sauce in bag). Served with preserved lemons, cucumber, cilantro, and a thickened yuzu-soy sauce (Sabazu, Uchi cookbook). All in all both were delicious, the sous vide was definitely more appealing to me, it has a buttery/flakey texture almost like sushi.

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Edited by Baselerd (log)

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I know the cheeks on the Halibut head are something to behold, but it looks like there's ALOT of meat elsewhere on it?

What about the 'salty sacks of magic', they taste 'halibut-y'?

Depends on what you define as “meat”. The cheeks were massive and each one easily big enough to feed one person. Then there were the meaty bits where it had been cut off. But as you dug in the head it’s just full of funky gelatinous collageny stuff. All very slurpable. I bought another one this week, slightly smaller than the last one, it was only £3 and the milt came free with it. (That last part sounds wrong…) There were two heads at the wholesale market this week but the other one was so massive that I doubted it would actually fit in my oven. I think I’ll roast the one I bought again but finish it with a teriyaki glaze. Should be awesome with rice.

The milt was very bland tasting, the texture was exactly like fresh tofu.

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I like bring this topic back every so often as I love the variety you get in seafood.

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I was thinking the other day that I don’t eat enough razor clams. They’re plentiful, cheap and delicious. So to address that I bought a kilo of them and scoffed them all on my own! Almost 30 of the buggers for £8, I was in razor clam heaven for an evening. They don’t take much to prepare either, the six dishes that I tried out only took a couple of hours from start to finish.
First up was Crudo. Shuck open half a dozen clams, take out the prime fleshy muscle ‘foot’ only, butterfly them open, scrape along them to make them curl up like ferns. Dress them with sea salt, lemon, caper, shallot, parsley and olive oil. Eat.

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Another raw dish of Sashimi again using only the fleshy foot, slice it on the bias and return the pieces to the shell on top of finely shredded daikon. Dress with salmon roe, ponzu and very fine Thai basil (I couldn’t get hold of shiso).

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Then two classic Cantonese variations; Black Bean Sauce and Ginger Spring Onion. Prepare the clams first by opening them and loosening them from the shell.
Traditionally the black bean version is stir-fried because the razor clams you get in Asia are quite small. But with bigger clams I like to make an extra rich black bean sauce separately and dress the raw opened clams with this sauce, mild red chillies and steamed for two minutes. The sauce is made by frying garlic, ginger, spring onion and crushed fermented black beans together till aromatic. Add a splash of shaosing then stock, chicken preferably but instant dashi is a good for convenience, simmer for 5 minutes. Season with sugar and soy then thicken with starch. Strain the sauce before using it.
Even simpler is the ginger and spring onion variation. Dress the raw clams with this finely shredded stuff, add salt then steam for two minutes. Add a splash of soy to the clams before sizzling with smoking hot groundnut oil. Finish with some fresh curls of spring onion.

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Clams with fried shallots. Really simple dish. Deep fry the shallot first and season them with a little salt. In a searing hot pan or hotplate place your clams so they open downwards, add a little olive oil, a splash of lemon and clamp a lid on for one minute. Remove the clams right away, slice them and return to the shell, dress with the shallots and a drizzle of the best sherry vinegar you can afford.

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I’ve been curing my own n’duja, So it made sense to cook some with the clams. Shell your clams first and slice them into chunks. Start frying off the n’duja in a pan, it should melt into a crimson slurry of pork fat, cook it out a little then add garlic and then the clam meat. Cook for one minute, at the end season with lemon juice and parsley. That’s it, serve them back in the shell or just as it is with some bread to mop up all those juices.
I think frying some breadcrumbs till crispy in the n’duja first would be a good variation, will try it next time but as it stands clams with n’duja is pretty good eating.

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So which would be your favourite way of preparing razor clams?

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Those are lovely, Prawncrackers. We get razors here every so often - I've bookmarked your post.

An historic marine event happened the other day: A 7-foot long, 250 pound Sturgeon was netted in the nearby Saco (Maine, USA) river, marking the resurgence of the prehistoric creature after having been completely exterminated from the Saco more than 60 years ago.

Story/pictures here:

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/06/outdoors/une-researcher-nets-7-foot-250-pound-atlantic-sturgeon-in-saco-river-says-its-a-sign-of-the-prehistoric-fishs-comeback/


Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Maine Seafood Trio - Lobster, Mussels, Sea Urchin on arugula wilted in tomalley/herb butter; balsamic, lemon zest, capers, crushed nori 

 

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Edited by johnnyd (log)
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Ooh, that looks good! How do you get the urchin meat out?

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Sea Urchin roe are sold in little pine platforms corresponding to weight desired.  I bought the 60 gram unit so it was a small spoon away from this plate.  But a whole urchin is either split down the middle and the five-sac roe extracted, or some will cut around the top with good scissors if serving in the shell

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2 hours ago, kapoorkaran441 said:

Fish and other sea foods are very healthy for our body and brain. Fish provides vitamin k which helps in the growth of hairs. also fish boost up the memory. it is better and healthy then a red meat. It digests easily and have a lots of good nutrients like omega3 fatty acids which is very important for our body. Fish is beneficial for growing children's also.

 

A bit if a wild generalisation there. Some fish and seafood is positively bad for us. A lot of fish and seafood contains high levels of mercury and other toxins. Many fish are also infested with parasites. In Japan and other countries, fish for sushi must, by law, be frozen before preparation in order to kill the parasites. So you are eating dead parasites instead of live ones. I guess that's healthy!

 

Also there are huge environmental and sustainability implications with fish and seafood. Not to mention slavery in the SE Asian seafood industry.

 

Only some fish have omega 3 fatty acids in useful quantities.

 

I won't mention fugu.

 

Fish boosting memory? I forget if that is true or just an old wives' tale.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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On May 27, 2016 at 1:51 AM, liuzhou said:

 

Fish boosting memory? I forget if that is true or just an old wives' tale.

 

Haha.   Love it 

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