Tag Archives: seafood

Isola del Giglio: dinner at Da Tony

Moscardini at Da Tony
Moscardini fritti, so tasty……. Yes, here I am taking pictures of food in a restaurant, which is annoying. It is for research, I swear! We had such delicious food at Da Tony, and I want to try making some of these at home, if I can find some semi-decent seafood.

Tagliatelle alla scoglio
Tagliatelle alla scoglio (scoglio roughly means rock emerging from the sea): cozze, vongole calamari (mussels, clams, squid), scampi, cherry tomatoes, garlic, parsley, mmm…..

Tagliolini with coda di rospo, pachini and rughetta
Tagliolini with coda di rospo, pachino and rughetta. Very tasty.

Now, if I had brought along Daniel Etherington’s excellent guide Italian names for fish and seafood, I would have known what I was eating……..

coda di rospo – what a great name. It literally means “tail of the toad” or “toad’s tale”. The other common name for this fish is rana pescatrice, “frog fisherwoman”. Slightly more prosaically, we call this type of monkfish “anglerfish” (Lophius piscatorius), though other English names are frog-themed. Some more colourful Italian names are: diavolo de mar (“sea-devil”, also a name used in English apparently), rospo di fango (“mud-toad”), pisatrice nera, etc. Novel names aside though, the angler is really one of the core species to not eat, and it’s been on the Greenpeace Red List since 2010. Even the UK Marine Conservation society rates it as 4 (with 5 the worst).

Spaghetti alla vongole
Spaghetti alle vongole, the classic

Riso con crema di scampi
Riso con crema di scampi

Tagliolini con scampi
Tagliolini con limone e scampi, very light and fresh

This is all making me really hungry….. Now, some seafood for dinner, I think. Tonight we are making a recent Venetian-inspired recipe from The Telegraph, which looked fun: Sardines with Campari, peach and fennel recipe. Must go start the sardines now, they are already marinating in grated peaches and Campari. If we could then add the sound of the waves, a nice sunset and an evening sea breeze, it would be just perfect!

Skagentårta: Swedish seafood cheesecake

Skagentårta

Skagentårta (Swedish seafood cheesecake)

  • 200g breadcrumbs, dry or fresh
  • 100g butter, room temperature
  • 100g shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 100g smoked salmon, diced
  • 4 dl sour cream
  • 1 dl mayonnaise
  • 4 leaves of gelatine
  • half an onion, chopped finely
  • large pinch of fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tsp of vegetarian seaweed “caviar” (see notes)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of fresh horseradish, grated (optional)

Garnish

  • 100g shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 2 tbs of vegetarian seaweed “caviar” (see notes)
  • fresh herbs (basil, dill, tarragon – as you wish)

Mix butter and breadcrumbs and press the mixture into a 22-24 cm springform cake tin. If using dry breadcrumbs, you might need more butter. Prepare your gelatine: mine was in leaves, and called for soaking at least five minutes in cold water. In the food processor, chop the onion, then chop the salmon and shrimp roughly. Use other seafood if you wish. Tip most of the sour cream, mayonnaise, and dill into the food processor and give it a whirl.

Save a few spoons of sour cream: heat that gently in a small saucepan. Now, squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, and stir them gently into the warm sour cream, one at a time. The gelatine should dissolve. Then spoon the sour cream and gelatine mixture into the food processor. Add the vegetarian seaweed “caviar”, if using. Season to taste, add some horseradish for a little bite if you wish.

Tip all the liquid contents (with chopped seafood) onto the prepared breadcrumb base. Cover with clingfilm and cool in fridge for 4 hours so it sets. take off clingfilm, and garnish as you please. Shrimp and fresh herbs looks nice.

Notes: I had bought Tångkorn at IKEA: it’s a vegetarian caviar look-alike, made from seaweed, it looks like little black pearls. I was not quite sure what to do with it, so the jar has been languishing in the fridge for a while. This was a great opportunity to try it, and it gave a nice crunch. I might try poppyseeds another time. I made the base with dry breadcrumbs and half the recommended butter amount, which meant it did not hold together, so I increased the butter amount to 100g above.

Baked fishcakes with smoked salmon and mashed potato

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When cleaning out the fridge, a forgotten packet of smoked salmon appeared behind the capers. Below, some leftover mashed potatoes had languished for a few days, despite being deliciously packed with cheese and onion. And the shop had scallions yesterday ….. Clearly, it’s time for fishcakes. If you do not have leftover mashed potato, plain boiled potatoes mashed up with a bit of milk, salt and pepper will work as well.

Fishcakes with smoked salmon and mashed potato

 
250g smoked salmon
2 marinated anchovy fillet, chopped
450g leftover mashed potato
2 scallions
2 tbs chopped chives
1 tbs capers
50g green peas
Salt and pepper, if needed

1 egg, beaten, for coating
Small bowl of plain flour, for coating
Small bowl of dried breadcrumbs, for coating

Turn the oven on to heat at 220C. Wash the scallions and chop them. Add this to a larger bowl, and flake in the smoked salmon. Add the mashed potatoes, chives, and capers. Season with salt and pepper (I used smoked salt here). Prepare two foil-lined baking sheets. (If you do it later, your hands may be covered in fishcake mix and breadcrumbs, every move increasing the trail of mess in the kitchen, and you may need a helpful spouse to prep the trays for you…..)

Prepare three small bowls: one with beaten egg, one with flour, and one with breadcrumbs. With your hands, form fishcakes. (Or use a spoon, if you prefer, this gets messy but I find it is easier to use my hands. Up to you.) Dip the fishcake in beaten egg, then into flour, then in breadcrumbs. Bake them on a foil-lined baking sheet at 220C for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. You can also fry them, if you prefer that, five minutes each side.

Some Thai sweet chili sauce is very nice alongside these.

Note: for anyone Rome-based, the Piazza Vittorio area is good for finding items like Thai sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, coconut milk powder, or huge bottles of soy sauce. I pop up there now and then for fresh coriander at the market, and other ingredients at shops in the area.

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