Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fish food = Fast food.

I seem to be cooking a lot of fish at the moment. It really is the epitome of fast-food. It is a food that hasn't been tampered with, it is unprocessed and really good for you. You really can not get more simple or pure than a piece of steamed fish. Just five or ten minutes and you have yourself a really decent home cooked meal, especially if you throw in some herbs, pickled goods and mayonnaise and obviously always a lemon.

Most recently, we acquired an extra mouth to feed at dinner, our old friend 'Scouse-Mouse', down from Liverpool. The inevitable would be a the usual mad rush to beat the desperate queues at Kaosarn, and have ourselves a top-notch fiery thai take-away. But we have been doing way too much of that recently. Not only is it expensive, but it's lazy and I'm on a mission to do less of this. So I said "No" to Raf, "I'm handling this" and put in the extra effort, at late notice to make a good dinner, which shouldn't be that hard! But what can you cook in half an hour that tastes at all good? What is the perfect fast food? Fish. I ran to the fishmongers in Brixton Market and nabbed us 3 Seabass, filleted and ready to go. With it, we had a new potato salad with shaved fennel, chopped tarragon, cucumber and cos. It was wet and aniseedy and married perfectly with plainly fried fish fillets. One of the best bits about making this was quite how much Scouse-Mouse loved it - it makes the whole thing worth while.

The second fast food with fish was heaven. Raf isn't much into pasta these days so it has become my marvellous private treat on the nights that he is out DJing. Pasta all to my self. Just the way I like it. Like I said, heaven. This time, with little in the house, I rustled up dinner for one (well, probably for two, but it did me just fine). I found some crab meat in the freezer. I had some shallots and really decent bottle of white wine from Dave at Market Row Wines. This recipe is really so simple. I forgot to measure most of the elements so you'll just have to do it by eye I'm afraid. Once Billy (our boy) had gone to bed, I was able to whip this up in 15 minutes or so, basically, as long as it takes to cook your spaghetti.

olive oil
a bunch of parsley
a birds eye chilli
a large glass of white wine
crab meat
freshly ground pepper
sea salt
1/2 a lemon, juiced
spaghetti (100g per person?)
extra virgin olive oil

Put a pan of water on for your pasta. Add salt and cook until tender. Meanwhile, peel and slice your shallots and garlic. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan on a low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat until transparent but definitely not brown. Finely and meticulously chop the parsley and chilli. Set aside. Pour in a good glass of white wine to the pan, add the crab meat and some seasoning. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Drain the spaghetti, keeping a little of the starchy water aside. Return the pasta to the pan, add the crab, the parsley and chilli, lemon juice, a little pasta water so it isn't dry and then taste. Finally finish with some extra virgin olive oil for maximum flavour and impact. Dinner alone never tasted so good.