Fish recipes

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Related tags: Fish, Cooking

Tony O'Reilly offers advice on selecting and buying fish, along with a range of fascinating recipes for licensees who feel their customers deserve...

Tony O'Reilly offers advice on selecting and buying fish, along with a range of fascinating recipes for licensees who feel their customers deserve more than the traditional cod and chips.

Fish is good for you; it is healthy, and also wonderful to eat. There are so many varieties and methods to cook fish, it's a travesty that here, in Britain, we don't take full advantage of the richness of our shores.

When buying whole fish you should buy from a reputable supplier, one who can supply you with all your needs and ensure the quality of the fish. Fish can be messy to prepare, but I know of one company which not only guarantees quality and consistency, but also prepares it ready for cooking.

Some points you might want to consider when buying fresh fish:

  • Eyes should be bright and full, not sunken
  • Gills should be bright red in colour
  • Flesh is firm and resilient (when pressed the impression vanishes quickly)
  • Fish should not be limp
  • Scales should lie flat, be moist and plentiful
  • Skin should be covered with a fresh sea slime, or be smooth and moist
  • The smell should be pleasant (stale fish smells of ammonia, is dull, flabby and shows discoloration).

When buying fillets of fish (which may have been previously frozen) you should check for freshness by observing the following points:

  • The flesh should be white, translucent and firm, not ragged or gaping
  • There should be no smell of ammonia or sour odours
  • There should be no bruising or blood clots and no areas of discoloration
  • Where the fish has been packaged, the wrapping should be intact and undamaged
  • There should be no evidence of "freezer burn", i.e. dull, white patches on the fish (caused by incorrect storage)
  • Thawed fish should be firm, not ragged or gaping (if it is, this suggests that the fish may have been in poor condition when caught, badly handled or frozen incorrectly).

A point to note, "fresh fish" doesn't smell offensive but should smell like a sea breeze! That repugnant smell usually associated with fish is a clear indication that it isn't fresh, so steer clear.

Whatever method of cookery you apply, always remember the golden rule: "Never overcook fish".

Overcooked fish looks appalling on a plate. You can easily tell when fish has been overcooked, as it falls apart, whereas correctly cooked fish appears white in colour or opaque and a fork or skewer penetrates the flesh easily.


Red snapper supreme with a chilli prawn sauce on a bed of chinese noodles

Seared tournedos of marlin with sweet potato fondant, apple and celery emulsion and star anise vinaigrette

Seared supreme of barracuda, with a burgundy and foie gras reduction, and a squash and potato rosti

Seared pave of monkfish, with a ragout of white beans and chorizo and a truffled café au lait emulsion

Grilled swordfish tournedos with rosemary butter on roasted vine tomatoes and green bean salad(pictured above)

Sea bass and scallop roulade with aurore sauce

Related topics: Menu Ideas

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