The Dalkey Fish Page



Welcome to the Dalkey Fish Page, where we will show you an interesting range of recipes, using fish. Fish can be grilled, steamed, poached in acourt bouillon, fried or filled with a tasty stuffing and baked in the oven. They can also take a great variety of sauces to complement their flavour and texture. Fish is an excellent source of protein, minerals and vitamins. With the wide amount of fish available there is a dish to suit breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Choosing Fish


The best way to get fish is to catch it, however that's not always possible. Buying really fresh fish is difficult, harbours, the fishermen and fish markets are the best and cheapest sources. A reputable fishmonger runs a close second, in providing really fresh fish. No matter where you buy you should check for the following signs to make sure the fish you are buying is fresh.

Preparation of fish for cooking


Your fishmonger will be pleased to skin, fillet and bone fish for you. If you must do it for yourself you can follow these simple steps.

To fillet a fish: Place the fish on a board. Run a sharp knife along the centre bone. Scrape along the bones from the head end towards the tail until the fillet is released. Repeat on the other side. Now turn the fish over and remove the 2 fillets in exactly the same way.
To skin a fillet: Place the fish on a board, tail end towards you, flesh uppermost. Hold the tail firmly. With a sharp filleting knife, keeping the blade as close to the skin as possible, work your way down the fillet.
To scale a fish: such as red mullet, hold the fish at the tail. Use the back of a knife and scrape towards the head to remove the scales.
To gut a whole fish: such as mackerel, use a sharp knife slit open the belly and pull out the guts. Cut off the head and rinse the fish out under cold running water.


Cooking Fish


Fresh fish has a tender delicate flesh. For this reason, fish is cooked to develop its flavour rather than tenderise it. Fish therefore needs careful, gentle cooking, over a moderate temperature for a short time. High heat and lengthy cooking times only toughen the flesh and destroy the flavour. The following methods are beneficial to cooking fish.

Poaching

Often used for large fish. Simmer fish stock, milk, water or wine, and add flavouring, such as lemon slices or herbs. Place the fish or fillet in the liquid and cook very gently for 10 to 15 minutes for fillets and 8 to 10 minutes per 500g for whole fish. Do not boil.

Steaming

May be used for whole fish and fillets, but make sure they are well seasoned. Simmer some water in a saucepan. Place the fish on a buttered plate, cover with another plate, and place on the top of the pan. Steam for about 10 minutes.

Grilling

A quick method for cooking fish. Useful for whole fish such as mackerel and small cod. Brush the fish with oil or brush with savoury butter to prevent it from drying. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the fish over halfway through cooking time. If using fish that is thicker in parts, make diagonal slashes in the thickest parts to allow the heat to travel though better.

Baking

Suitable for whole fish, fillets and steaks. Place the fish in an ovenproof dish and pour in liquid such as fish stock, wine, milk or water. Add flavouring such as herbs, thinly chopped onion, carrots and lemon.
Cover with foil and bake in a preheated moderate oven, at 180C, Gas mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the fish from the cooking liquid with a fish slice. The liquid can be used to make up a sauce.

Braising

This can be done on the hob or in the oven. Brown some chopped vegetables with melted butter in a casserole dish. cut the fish into large chunks or keep in steaks and add to the pan. Pour in about 1.25 litres water or stock and 150 ml wine, cider or vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and herbs. Cook in a preheated moderate oven, 180C gas Mark 4, for 25 to 30 minutes, or on top of the stove for 20 minutes.

Shallow frying

Suitable for small whole fish, fillets and steaks. Coat the fish in breadcrumbs, oatmeal, flour or a batter to protect the fish and prevent it from drying out. Heat 1 to 2.5cm oil or butter in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add the fish and cook over a moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of fish. drain on the kitchen paper.

Deep-frying

Similar to shallow frying, except the fish is totally immersed in deep oil. Suitable for small whole fish, fillets, steaks and scampi. Coat the fish as for shallow-frying. Fill a deep pan no more than half full with oil and heat to 180 C, (drop a cube of day-old bread into the hot oil, if it browns in 60 seconds its at the right temperature). If the oil is too hot, the coating will brown before the fish is cooked, if it is not hot enough, the coating will be heavy and soggy.
Lower the fish carefully into the hot oil, preferably in a frying basket, and cook for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. Don't cook too many pieces at once. e.g. scampi, or the temperature of the oil will be lowered and they will be soggy. Drain on kitchen paper.

To test if fish is cooked


Haddock and Mushroom omelette

25g butter
125g sliced mushrooms
4 medium sized eggs beaten
250g smoked haddock (steamed flaked haddock will also do)


Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry gently for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender.
Add the egg and cook over a low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. When just beginning to set, add the flaked fish and cook for a further 1 minute. Fold the omelette in half and serve immediately.
Serves two



Prawns in Ginger Sauce

8 spring onions, chopped
5 cm piece of root ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
150ml chicken stock
12 peeled prawns
salt and pepper


Place all the ingredients, except the prawns, in a saucepan, seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the prawns, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.
Serves four



Dogfish Kebabs

500g dogfish cubed (Huss, or Monkfish can be substituted)
2 green peppers, cored and seeded and cut into 2.5 cm squares.
250g pineapple pieces in own juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g bean sprouts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 spring onions, chopped
MARINADE
150 ml olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon mild mustard
2 teaspoons of cider


Place the dogfish in a shallow dish. Mix together the marinade ingredients, pour over the fish and leave for 1 hour.
Blanch the green pepper in the boiling water for 1 minute. Drain the pineapple and keep the juice. Thread the fish, pineapple and green pepper onto 8 wooden skewers. Cook under a preheated moderate grill for 5 or 6 minutes on each side, basting with the marinade.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with spring onions with the cooked kebabs. Serves four



Dressed Crab

Fresh dressed crab is the most delicious dish I know bar none. It should be done from a live crab, where you boil him alive. One always feel a bit sorry for the crab, but the taste is so nice one just has to shrug ones shoulders and get on with it.

A big annoyed crab
Sliced onion
5 peppercorns
Bay leaf


To cook the crab
Weigh the crab if possible ! Have a large saucepan full of boiling salted water, use 175g of salt to 2.5 litres of water. Add a bay leaf, 5 peppercorns, the sliced onion, put the crab in the water and bring to the boil. Then reduce to simmer, allow 15 minutes for the first 500g and 8 minutes for each 500g thereafter. Remove from the pan and leave to cool

To dress the crab

To serve the crab
Finely chop the white meat and season to taste with salt and pepper and one teaspoon dry white wine or dry cider.
Mix the brown meat with salt and pepper to taste with one tablespoon of finely chopped parsley.
You can use the shell to make the dish more appealing to the eye. A suggestion is to place the brown meat in the centre of the shell and the white meat on either side. Garnish with chopped hard-boiled egg and finely chopped parsley.
Serve with an avocado and lettuce salad and mayonnaise, an wholegrain or brown soda bread.
Serves two to four depending on the crab



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