Malaysian Squid Curry

I went to the Portobello Market today intending to buy a rabbit and some octopus. I was dreaming, vaguely, of Spanish food. I got there too late for the rabbit (damn jetlag!) and lovely Gary of Gary’s Fresh Fish said that octopus is too expensive right now for him to sell it at the prices he likes. But staring at me balefully from Gary’s bins were some giant – I mean massive – cephalopods. Continue reading

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Fried Smelt

In the Rue Montorgeuil, in Paris, is a fishmonger who’s got my number. Not literally! (Not yet, anyway.) He knows I can’t resist nice seafood – and, more than that, he knows I eat everything. Yesterday, as I was walking past, he beckoned me over. It was a hot day and most of the seafood was covered or in boxes. He lifted the lid of a Styrofoam box like he was unveiling a great secret. Inside were beautiful little bright silvery fish, 10 euros a kilo! In French, éperlan. In English, SMELT! Continue reading

Moules Marinières

There are as many recipes for this classic preparation of mussels as there are crotchety fishermen on the Normandy coast. Some people use butter, some use olive oil, some add bay leaves and fresh thyme. On a few things, however, everyone is agreed: the recipe must involve white wine, onion or shallots, parsley, and just a touch of cream. Continue reading

Roasted Sea Bass with Melted Leeks and Girolles

I don’t understand why it is SO DIFFICULT to find affordable fresh fish in London. England’s an ISLAND, people!

Anyway, two and a half hours away by Eurostar is a seafood mecca. It’s called PARIS, which is where I am as I write this. You can hate me later. Today at the Rue Montorgeuil market I bought four beautiful, extremely fresh sea bass (en français, “bar”) for 10 euros and half a kilo of girolles for 2 euros. My philosophy with fish is that the fresher it is, the less you want to mess with it. Continue reading