New Year Fish Supper

An annual tradition in our house is to have a fish supper on New Year’s Eve. This year we had a great selection of fish and seafood.

I bought some prosecco & lemon butter lobster tails from Aldi, these were rather good.

I made some crispy squid, using some fresh squid, which I then coated in seasoned flour and fried in oil. A combination of a crisp crunchy coating and sweet tender squid.

I also cooked some queen scallops, simply pan fried in butter.

I did baked lemon salmon fillets in the oven.

The prawns were cooked in a pan with herbs and butter.

All served with homemade paella.

A disappointing fishcake

Prior to flying out to Berlin I was staying at The Thistle hotel close to Heathrow Terminal 5. I picked this hotel as it was convenient to the airport and they had autonomous pods that carried you from the hotel to the terminal. They also served dinner. When I looked over the menu there was a choice of things to have. For my starter I had the smoked haddock fish cake, which was served with a soft poached egg, and spinach.

I kind of knew that I was going to be disappointed with this dish, in the main because of the disappointing chicken burger I had had the night before. 

Yes I was disappointed. 

The fish cake coating was hard and crunchy rather than crispy. There was very little smoked haddock flavour. 

It was a soft poached egg. I did think they might serve it on wilted spinach,  no it was served on just some plain spinach leaves, which did wilt slightly from the heat of the egg.

I do wonder why they serve food like this, and why they think that they don’t need to worry about it. My guess is that most of their clientele were either people like me who have dinner as part of their hotel deal, or are staying there for one night before flying out and have little choice but to eat in the hotel, and don’t want to to travel somewhere else to eat.

Time for Fish Tacos

I was staying in a hotel in Glasgow close to the SECC where I was attending a conference. Having arrived around lunchtime, I went for a walk to get some air and find somewhere for lunch. I headed up to Argyle Street with every intention of eating at the Crabshakk. However when I got there I wasn’t quite sure it was the kind of place for a quick lunch. I did also quite like the idea of the Ox and Finch, but for lunch it looked rather expensive! Maybe another time. In the end I went to Number 1082.

I started off with a double espresso, well it had been a fair few hours since my last coffee at Bristol Airport. I looked over the menu, having perused it outside, I was thinking tacos. I ordered some fish tacos and a side order of skinny fries.

On two warm tacos there was some sliced fried fish with slaw, guacamole and mayonnaise.

They were very nice, though not as good as the fish tacos I had had in London back in May.

Time for some fish and chips again

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.

I recently had fish and chips in a different hotel which I had enjoyed. So I decided to order it at the Doubletree.

It was described as traditional fish and chips with garden peas, chunky chips and tartare sauce. I received an excellent looking plate of food.

I wouldn’t have said the chips were that chunky! However it was nice to have the lemon as well. The fish was well cooked, the batter was excellent, lovely, light, and crispy. The chips were nice as well. Overall I really enjoyed the dish.

I fancied the idea of fish and chips

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have stayed at for a few times now. When I was staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I had some excellent meals. The Fox and Goose had a slightly different menu than the Drayton Court, but there were similarities. 

That evening I really fancied the idea of fish and chips after my excellent steak starter.

The menu described this as Fuller’s Frontier battered haddock, triple cooked chips, crushed minted peas, tartare sauce, lemon.

The plate had a large portion of fish, the batter was nice and crisp and it was cooked well. I quite enjoy the crushed minted peas and it was a nice accompaniment to the dish.

Well, I was looking forward to the triple cooked chips, but what I got was fries. They were nice, but they weren’t triple cooked chips! Sometimes when I order a dish I want fries, but other times I want triple cooked chips. Having said that, these were nice fries.

Overall a great plate of food and filled that craving for fish and chips.

Nice smoked salmon starter

I was attending a team away day at Ashorne Hill Conference Centre and it was time for dinner.

As part of my job I will often attend events and conferences. Sometimes these will be in hotels and other times they are in dedicated conference centres. I usually have lunch, which usually defaults to some kind of buffet lunch. For some events and conferences I stay over and that means having dinner. I have had some outstanding food at some conference venues. I had been to Ashorne Hill Conference Centre before, last year I had an okay meal of crispy chilli beef, chicken, and cheese and biscuits.

So there I was attending an “away day” at the Ashorne Hill Conference Centre near to Leamington Spa. It was a lunchtime to lunchtime event, so there was dinner in the evening.

For my starter I went with the smoked salmon on a crumpet, with a poached egg and topped with hollandaise sauce and a chive crumb.

I did think the crumpet was an interesting choice, but overall I really enjoyed the starter. The smoked salmon was excellent, the poached egg was cooked perfectly and the sauce and crumb just added to the dish. 

A really lovely way to start a meal.

Homemade Gluten Free Fritto Misto

One thing I do quite like is seafood in crispy batter, what the Italians call Fritto Misto.

So after enjoying my recent attempts at gluten free Frito Misto, I thought I would cook it again. I went with the recipe I had used before.

Again I used the mixed seafood mix from Lidl. As part of their Andalusian range, Lidl had a bag of frozen prepared mixed seafood. It contains pieces of skin-in cod pieces, anchovy fillets, squid rings, chopped Indian squid and peeled shrimp. As I said before I do think there could be more shrimp (prawns) in there, but it is a good mix of seafood. I did take some of the squid rings and cut them into smaller pieces.

I took the seafood and defrosted it in a bowl and removed any excess water. I coated the seafood in seasoned flour and then left it for a while, a couple of hours all in.

I cooked the seafood by deep frying in hot oil. The end result was a crunchy coating on the seafood. This was then seasoned with a little salt.

Fritto Misto

I was staying in Wimbledon at the Hotel du Vin and had dinner a couple of times in their Italian themed restaurant. The restaurant was in the Orangery, and to be honest the air conditioning was turned up a little too much for me, as it felt quite chilly.

On another evening I looked over the menu and went with the Fritto Misto for my starter, which was also available as a main course.

The dish comprised deep fried squid, tiger prawns, mullet and anchovies, set on a bed of ailiol and served with lemon.

The dish was garnished with some chilli and herbs. I am not sure how authentic the chilli is, something I see at Wagamama on their chilli, squid. I picked off the chill and squeezed some lemon juice onto the dish.

The batter was thin and crispy. You could taste the fish in the dish. The aioli was a little rough, but was okay.

More Gluten Free Fritto Misto

One thing I do quite like is seafood in crispy batter, what the Italians call Fritto Misto.

So after enjoying my recent attempt at gluten free Frito Misto, I thought I would cook it again. I decided though, this time, to try a slightly different recipe.

Again I used the mixed seafood mix from Lidl. As part of their Andalusian range, Lidl had a bag of frozen prepared mixed seafood. It contains pieces of skin-in cod pieces, anchovy fillets, squid rings, chopped Indian squid and peeled shrimp. As I said before I do think there could be more shrimp (prawns) in there, but it is a good mix of seafood.

I took the seafood and defrosted it in a bowl and removed any excess water. I coated the seafood in seasoned flour and then left it for ten minutes. 

I cooked the seafood by deep frying in hot oil. The end result was a crunchy coating on the seafood. I think this was better than my previous attempt.

Gluten Free Fritto Misto

Gluten Free Fritto Misto

One thing I do quite like is seafood in crispy batter, what the Italians call Fritto Misto.

Though I have bought the Lidl Fritto Misto from their Italy week quite a few times, the reality is that it’s okay, but not good. It’s mainly squid, in a crispy batter. Also, the other downside is, it’s not gluten free.

As part of their Andalusian range, Lidl had a bag of frozen prepared mixed seafood. It contains pieces of skin-in cod pieces, anchovy fillets, squid rings, chopped Indian squid and peeled shrimp. Personally I think there could be more shrimp (prawns) in there, but it was a good mix of seafood.

I took the seafood and defrosted it in a bowl and removed any excess water. I coated the seafood in seasoned flour before coating in a gluten free batter and deep frying in hot oil.

The batter I made from gluten free plain flour, egg and milk. Mixing to a consistency that ensures a smooth coating of the seafood. As well as the seafood I added some prawns and cooked those as well.

Overall I was quite pleased with the dish, it was better than the Lidl Fritto Misto I have had before. The only issue I did have, was that the batter didn’t stay as crisp as I would have liked.