Four scrummy summer recipes inspired by Galway Bay
Bravo Michael O'Meara, of Oscars Seafood Bistro, who raised the Tricolour in China when he clinched the 'Best Seafood Cookbook in the World' accolade at the recent Gourmand Awards. Now, you can try some of his award-winning dishes at home
This is a simple, one-pot dish that will pose little challenge to even the most inexperienced cook. A dish this simple, however, will require the best possible ingredients.
300ml chicken stock or fish stock
5 new season Queens potatoes, washed well and sliced
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1 wet garlic, finely chopped
150g leek, cleaned and cut into medium-sized pieces
350g mixed fish and shellfish such as scallops, salmon, crab, prawns, bluemouth, mussels
Salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to season
15g flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped
For the fish stock
3kg turbot/fish bones, cut into manageable pieces 50g celery, chopped roughly
100g carrot, chopped roughly
1 large onion, chopped roughly
200g leek, chopped roughly
10 whole black peppercorns and a generous sprig of fresh thyme
50g flat-leafed parsley
Put the stock into a medium-sized pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the potatoes, thyme, bay leaves and onion, simmer until the potatoes are three-quarter cooked. Add the wet garlic, leek and all the fish, cover the pan and gently simmer until the fish is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and serve in a bowl. Garnish with the flat-leaf parsley
Note: Wet garlic is garlic that has been freshly harvested. It tends to have a milder flavour and can be used in a similar way to spring onion or leek.
For the turbot/fish stock
Wash the turbot/fish bone under cold running water. Place all the ingredients into a large non-reactive pot and just cover with cold water. Over a gentle heat, bring the stock to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve using a ladle - do not pour the stock, as this may result in a cloudy finish. This stock can be frozen in small batches for later us.
Note: Turbot bones make the best stock. Be sure to remove the red gills from under the cheek flaps, as they will make the stock bitter. A good stock can also be made with most fresh, white-fish bones such as cod, brill, haddock, gurnard, sole species, and John Dory. Avoid pollack as it has a poor flavour for stock. Don't use the bones from oily fish such as herring, mackerel and salmon for stock as they are greasy and too strong in flavour. Do not overcook fish stock as longer cooking will not extract further flavour but rather detract from the quality of the stock. Substituting the fish stock for a good chicken stock also works well, especially for those who prefer less intensity to their seafood.
Monkfish with Smoky and Spicy Chorizo Tomato Sauce
Olive oil for cooking
8 pieces of monkfish fillet, 80g each, fully trimmed
Flour, to dust the fish
8 small peppers, various colours
12 spears asparagus, blanched in boiling water and then refreshed
2 large vine tomatoes, chopped roughly
Sea salt and black pepper freshly ground, to season
8 tbsp spicy chorizo tomato sauce
4 tbsp basil oil
For the spicy chorizo tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 red chilli pepper, chopped
2 ripe vine tomatoes, chopped
30ml good olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 ripe vine tomatoes, finely chopped
50g chorizo sausage, chopped into small pieces
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
30ml good olive oil
Salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to season
For the basil oil
200ml grapeseed oil
200g basil leaves
To make the dish
Heat a non-stick pan with some olive oil. Toss the monkfish in some flour and add to the pan. Fry on both sides until golden, for about 3 minutes per side, then cover the pan, turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to complete the cooking process. In a separate pan, add a little oil and cook the peppers and asparagus. When almost cooked, add the remaining chopped vine tomatoes and some olive oil, and adjust the seasoning. Place the fish on to a pre-warmed plate. Decorate with the peppers, tomatoes and asparagus. Pour a little of the warm, spicy, chorizo tomato sauce over the fish and finish with the basil oil.
To make the tomato sauce
Blend the chopped garlic, smoked paprika, chopped chilli pepper, 2 vine tomatoes and olive oil into a fine paste using a food processor and put aside. Into a heavy-based pot, add the onions and olive oil and cook slowly until the onions start to brown. Add the pre-made tomato and chilli paste and cook without colour for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chorizo and peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes. Finally, add the remaining chopped vine tomatoes and thin the sauce with a little water, if necessary. Simmer and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.
To make the basil oil
Blend the grapeseed oil and the basil leaves and warm gently in a saucepan to a temperature of 212°F (100°C). As soon as the oil is at 212°F (100°C), cool by placing the pot into a bowl filled with crushed ice. Strain through a fine sieve and then freeze immediately, this will set the colour. Thaw and use as required.
Roast Herring with lemon and herbs
2 fresh herring, de-scaled and gutted
½ lemon, sliced
Sprig of sage, rosemary, fennel and thyme
A little sunflower oil
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to season
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Score the fish with a sharp knife. Place the lemon slices and herbs into the belly of the fish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little sunflower oil. Place into the hot oven and cook for about 13 minutes or until the flesh starts to come away from the bone. Serve with a plenty of lemon wedges and fresh cut bread.
Black sole stuffed with smoked salmon mousse, with roasted yellow marrow, spinach and sorrel sauce
20g shallot, finely diced
25ml dry white wine
50ml good fish stock
½ tsp pink peppercorns
30g fresh sorrel, shredded
20g butter, chilled
130g smoked salmon mousse
For the smoked salmon mousse:
50g white pollack fillet, uncooked, fully trimmed and de-boned
1 egg, white only
30g smoked salmon
150g yellow marrow, cubed
3 black sole fillets, 170g each, skinned and fully trimmed
100g large spinach leaves
Place the pollack, egg white and smoked salmon into a blender and blitz for a few seconds at high speed. Reduce the speed, and while the blades are still in motion, add the cream in a slow trickle until a fine mousse is formed. Remove from the blender and refrigerate. There is no need to season this mixture, as the smoked salmon contains enough salt. Drizzle olive oil over the yellow marrow. Lightly season with salt and black pepper and roast in a hot oven 410°F 9 (210°C) until tender, about 30 minutes, then place aside.
To make the rolls, place a double sheet of cling film on to a worktop. Place the sole fillets on to the film with the side that was attached to the bone facing down. Cover the fish with the mousse and place one or two spinach leaves on top. Roll the sole fillets using the cling film, then wrap the fillets tightly in the film so they are completely airtight. It is best to steam the sole until cooked, 10 to 15 minutes, and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before opening.
For the sauce
Put the shallot, white wine, fish stock and cream into a stainless steel saucepan. Simmer until the sauce slightly thickens and reduces. Add the pink peppercorns and sorrel, and whisk in the butter (don't allow the sauce to boil at this point as it may split). Place aside and keep warm.
To finish the dish, place the marrow on to a pre-warmed plate. Using a very sharp knife, carefully remove the sole from the cling film packets. Cut into three pieces and place on top of the marrow. Finally, spoon the sauce generously over the fish and serve straight away.
Tips: When making a fish mousse, use chilled ingredients and equipment. Do not over-blend as it will toughen the forcemeat. Caution: the blender blades can warm the mousse leading it to separate.