Yo Sushi once more

Having tried Yo Sushi once and enjoyed it, coming home from London yesterday I decided to have Yo Sushi again. Rather than eat at the restaurant taking bowls from the conveyor belt I bought some take away to eat on the train.

I had Salmon and Tuna Box and a Spicy Squid salad.

The Salmon and Tuna Box contains 2 Salmon Nigiri, 2 Tuna Nigiri,  Sashimi: Salmon, Tuna, Coriander Seared Tuna, Tuna Maki, 2 Salmon Maki, YO! Roll.

Salmon and Tuna Box

The Nigiri were really nice as was the Sashimi. I enjoyed the Maki, however though it was okay didn’t think too much of the YO! Roll.

I did enjoy the Spicy Squid which was blanched squid tossed with crunchy peppers, red onion, dressed with spicy kimchee sauce and sesame seed.

Spicy Squid

Overall for £10.20 probably more than I would normally pay for a takeway meal, however at least it wasn’t panini or a burger. I really did enjoy my meal and will certainly be going again.

Fish Supper

One thing that I cook quite often and enjoy during the summer months (though not that we have had much of a summer) is a fish supper.

Fish Supper

This photo is from a recent version and included baked cod, griddled scallops, griddled squid and prawns cooked in olive oil.

The cod was drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes.

The scallops were scored with a checked pattern on one side and griddled on a hot pan.

The squid “pockets” were sliced on one side and opened out. On the inside I scored a checked pattern. These were then griddled inside face down. When cooked on one side, turn them over and cook the outside; at this point they will curl into rolls. Serve with the tentacles cooked as well.

The prawns were simply cooked with a little olive oil and black pepper.

Served with lemon wedges, salad and crusty bread.

Delicious.

Squid, nicely done

Squid

The Guardian has some really nice squid recipes on their website.

Preparing and cooking squid is easier than most fish. The only thing to remember is not to cook it for too long. If grilling, the pan must be extra-hot so the squid cooks in only a minute or two. Otherwise, it goes tough.

If you have read the blog, you will know that I am a fan of squid. There are three very nice recipes in the article.

Tapas for a Tenner

I have been meaning for ages to visit La Tasca. I really like tapas and I really wanted to try their paella – more often then not I am very disappointed with the paella that is offered at other places.

So today I happened to be in Regent Street and popped into La Tasca for a (very) late lunch.

I decided to do the Tapas for a Tenner deal. This deal allows you to eat as many tapas as you want for just £10! The deal varies across the UK, but here it was available until 5pm, whilst in Bristol it is available from 5pm!

Tapas for a Tenner

I went for six dishes in the end.

Patatas Bravas – Fried potato, topped with a spicy tomato sauce.

A Spanish classic and a tapas favourite. The tomato sauce was spicy, but rather too salty for me. Whilst the potatoes were soft and not crispy, slightly oily. A bit of a disappointment for a dish which should be relatively simple to make. It felt like it had not been freshly cooked and left around for a while. For me tapas should be freshly cooked.

Paella de Pescado – Paella with squid, prawns and mussels, served with lemon.

This was a well flavoured dish, but again like the patatas bravas did not taste fresh, felt like it had been cooked a good hour earlier.

Calamares a la Andaluza – Deep-fried rings of squid, served with roasted garlic mayonnaise and lemon.

Now this is a dish which again is simplicity, but oh was so wrong. The rings were overcooked so were rubbery in texture. I got the feeling (and I may have been wrong) that these were not freshly prepared, but came from a packet or even the freezer. Good calamari should be cooked using fresh squid. Alas they covered the calamari in salt – if I wanted salt I would have asked for it.

Chorizo Frito al Vino – The spicy Spanish sausage, sautéed in red wine.

This in my opinion was perfect, great chorizo cooked in red wine, bursting with meaty flavours and with a great depth provided by the red wine. This one I would have had second helpings of.

Selección de Embutidos – A selection of cured Spanish meats.

Can you get this wrong, no, and La Tasca didn’t. Three slices each of three different kinds of cured Spanish meats.

Paella Valenciana – A Valencian-style paella, with mixed seafood and chicken.

A different paella to the first tapas, but a similar story.

Overall I kind of had what I expected. La Tasca is a chain (not a family run restaurant) and probably cooks to a system. I did enjoy the meal (despite the disappointing food) and the ambiance and the atmosphere was pleasant, and you have to remember this was a very busy Regent Street.

Will I go again, possibly if I was stuck and there was nothing else to choose from.

Paella

Tonight I cooked (my version of) paella.

In a large frying pan, add some olive oil and butter.

Soften some onion (I used a normal and a red onion) and some red pepper. I also added some lemon zest.

Arborio Risotto RiceAdd some arborio risotto rice.

Ensure that the rice is coated in the oil, butter, onion and peppers.

At this point add some white wine, however I didn’t do this as I had no white wine.

Add some saffron, this will add colour and flavour.

Now add some chicken stock to cover the rice.

Stir.

As the rice cooks, add more chicken stock to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. The rice will take about fifteen to twenty minutes to cook.

A few minutes before serving, add the raw prawns and squid. They will cook quite quickly in the hot pan.

Before serving add the cooked lobster and wedges of lemon.

Obviously you could use alternative ingredients, such as chicken or mussels. I used lobster as I had got one from a local supermarket for just £2.99, it’s normally a lot more expensive!

Calamari

Tonight I cooked some calamari (squid in batter) and was well impressed with the results, melt in your mouth.

If all you have ever eaten are the “bake” in the oven ready battered calamari or under the grill “cooked” squid rings, then cooking fresh squid is something you just have to try.

You will find there is no comparison.

So take some prepared squid; you can prepare it yourself, or ask your fishmonger or buy it freshly prepared.

In a bowl mix some self-raising flour, some milk and the yolk of an egg (or you can use a beer batter). I also added some grated parmesan (just to be different).

Then coat and cook the squid in a pan of hot oil.

Serve straightaway with lemon segments, otherwise the cooked squid will go rubbery or the batter will go soft.

Delicious.

Griddled Squid

Continuing their daily series of Hugh’s fish recipes, the Guardian today publish a very nice griddled squid recipe.

I do like squid and I have cooked squid in this manner myself and it is delicious. If you have only ever had pre-battered calamari rings then you are doing squid a diservice and you really must try freshly cooked squid.