Five reasons to eat fish in winter

Winter is a tough season for those of us in the United Kingdom. The days are short and it’s frequently so miserable outside that you have little choice but to linger indoors, however much you love being outside.

Surviving the season can be even harder for those who toil in offices or other workplaces where the interior and outside temperatures can vary hugely, their immune systems besieged at every turn by bugs and bacteria determined to suck every last drop of energy out of their human prey.

With daily life either a full-on struggle or simply a pain in the neck for several months of the year, it’s no wonder most of us turn to food that takes the edge off our discomfort.

The problem is that such fare rarely provides our bodies with the nutrition we need most at this time of year, hence the almost inevitable winter weight gain and increased susceptibility to flu, colds and low mood.

Enter, then, a superfood that won’t guarantee you make it through the dark months but will definitely give you a fighting chance of entering spring with a reasonably strong constitution and a feeling of greater wellbeing than if you had simply given in to your instincts and wolfed down plate after plate of stodge for months on end.

Fish is your friend at this time of year more than any other. Here are five reasons why.

1. Eating fish protects your heart

Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the western world and winter puts extra pressure on your heart. Offset decreased activity levels and the associated dangers to cardiovascular health such as increased blood pressure – a leading cause of heart attack and stroke – and furring of the arteries by eating fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Our top three recommendations are salmon, mackerel and scallops.   

2. Eating fish protects your mental health

In the past decade or two seasonal affective disorder – or SAD – has blossomed from a theory into a reality acknowledged by doctors and psychologists. Decreased hours of daylight allied to the weakness of the sun mean most of us suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D, a major contributing factor to the low mood experienced by many people in northern Europe in winter. While you can buy vitamin D in supplement form your body absorbs far greater amounts of vitamin D when the source is fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, all of which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which not only boost cardiovascular health (see above) but are also proven to enhance emotional health.

3. Eating fish protects your lungs

There’s no doubt that the lungs are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body in winter, being prone to colds, flu and other respiratory infections. Omega-3 fatty acids help increase the airflow to the lungs, so upping your intake of fish such as salmon and mackerel will help you fight off the bugs that are all too familiar to those who either have young children or work in air-conditioned offices – or, worse still, tick both boxes.

4. Eating fish protects your skin

Cold weather plays havoc with your skin, whether directly or indirectly – for example, when you enter a warm supermarket or restaurant after walking through the streets on a cold night. Extremes of temperature are not conducive to healthy skin. That’s where smoked salmon can play a defensive role, as it’s rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are incorporated into the skin’s top layer to help build a barrier that prevents your skin drying out.

5. Eating fish helps fight symptoms of arthritis

Arthritis affects many people more in winter than in warmer months, and anyone who experiences joint or muscle pain on a regular basis knows how debilitating it can be. Our old ally omega-3 fatty acids help combat such conditions by lowering inflammation and reducing arthritis symptoms. The more salmon, mackerel, tuna and other omega-3-rich fish you eat, the stronger your defence against joint pain and inflammation. 

Of course, eating fish is also a terrific way of upping your intake of minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, niacin and selenium as well as vitamins A, B12 and D. And let’s not forget the high protein content of most fish.

Put simply, fish is your friend all year round, but especially so during winter. There’s no need to completely avoid your favourite comfort foods during the long, dark nights – who can resist a good stew or sticky toffee pudding? – but introducing more oily fish into your diet will help keep the worst effects of winter at bay.

How to cook seafood on the barbecue

We’ve seen how fish cooked on a barbecue can make a great addition to your summer gatherings, whether it’s for a convivial lunch or an al fresco dinner. But you can also cook a variety of seafood on the barbecue, such as oysters, prawns, mussels or scallops.

Cooking oysters on the barbecue

Yes, that’s right. Oysters are delicious raw but you can also enjoy them cooked.

If necessary, start by scrubbing the oyster shells with a soft bristled brush in cold water. Place the oysters on the grill, flat side up, and leave them for 8-10 minutes or until the shells start to pop open. Carefully remove all oysters from the grill, even the ones that haven’t opened, using a fireproof mitt or tongs.

Completely shuck all oysters and add any sauce you’d like (a squeeze of lemon juice works wonders).

Cooking prawns on the barbecue

Cooking prawns on the barbecue is quick and easy. Just make sure your barbecue is very hot so you can quickly brown the prawns without overcooking them.

If you purchased whole prawns, start by removing the shells and de-veining them. Lightly season the prawns and brush them with a little oil before placing them on a skewer. Put the skewers on the hottest part of the grill and leave until the prawns have coloured. Turn them over and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from the heat, let the prawns cool a little then serve.

Cooking mussels on the barbecue

If necessary, start by cleaning the mussels with a brush and some cold water. Place your mussels in a roasting tray with a matching lid (you can use tinfoil so long as you make sure to close the parcel tightly so that no steam can escape). Season the mussels and drizzle with a little oil before placing them on the barbecue for 8-10 minutes. The mussels will be ready to eat when most of them have opened. Discard any mussels that didn’t open before serving.

Cooking scallops on the barbecue

A great way to cook scallops on the barbecue is to skewer them with vegetables or even prawns.

Start by marinating your scallops in an oil-based marinade for 10-15 minutes. You can use your favourite herbs and spices such as garlic, paprika or basil. Place the scallops on skewers with any other ingredients of your choice or on their own. Remember that if you’re using wooden skewers, you need to soak them in water for an hour before cooking. Place the scallops skewers on your barbecue and cook for 8 minutes, turning halfway through. You can brush the scallops with more marinade while cooking.

Recipes for 2 – Perfect to Treat a Loved One

Treating a loved one to a home-cooked meal is a great way to make them feel special. Of course, you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s day! Here are some recipes that would be perfect for when you feel like cooking something special for someone – whether that’s for an anniversary, Valentine’s day or just when you fancy it!

Seared Scallops, Prawns & Balsamic Strawberries

You may be thinking that pairing scallops and strawberries is an odd idea but don’t judge until you try it! The sweet flavours of the dish are well-balanced by the rocket – but if you’re not a fan of rocket use baby spinach instead. To achieve perfectly seared scallops, make sure to check our cooking guide.

Fresh Scallops

Seared Scallops & Prawns with Balsamic Strawberries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Source:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 3-4 large strawberries, stems removed and sliced (or quartered)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 6 cups (lightly packed) rocket or spinach leaves (large stems removed)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or light olive oil (see c ook's notes below)
  • 4-6 scallops (depending on size)
  • 6-8 uncooked prawns, peeled & deveined
  • Coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, stir together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Fold in the strawberries, cover, and chill for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge when you're ready to start cooking.

  2. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots until softened, then add the leaves and turn until well mixed. Cook just a minute or two until all the leaves have wilted but are still fully green. Remove greens to a strainer and keep warm.

  3. Dry the scallops and prawns well and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the grapeseed or light olive oil, let the oil heat a moment, then carefully add the scallops and prawns.

  4. Let the prawns sear for about 1 minute per side until just opaque. Remove and keep warm. Don't move the scallops until you can see a brown edge forming around the bottom (about 2 to 2½ minutes.) Carefully lift one scallop - if the surface has a nice caramelized colour, turn them over.
  5. Cook for just another minute until the scallops are springy but not quite firm. Remove the scallops and keep warm.

  6. Wipe out the pan, then add the strawberries and vinegar. Remove the strawberries after they are heated through (about 30 seconds) and let the balsamic cook down briefly until thickened to a syrupy consistency.

  7. To serve, place the greens on a plate, top with the scallops, prawns, and strawberries, then drizzle the balsamic reduction over the scallops and prawns.

Brown Butter Sole with Peas & Mussels

If you’re a fan of classic flavours, try this lemon sole and mussels dish! Perfect if you’re looking for something easy to make that looks elegant enough for a special occasion and – above all – tastes delicious!

steamed mussels

Brown Butter Lemon Sole with Peas & Mussels
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 50g butter
  • 4 lemon sole fillets
  • 200g fresh podded pea (or frozen)
  • 100g mussels washed and de-bearded
  • Small splash of dry cider (about 2 tbsp)
  • Juice ½ lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • Large handful pea shoots, to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying pan until foaming. Add the fish fillets and cook for 3-4 mins. Carefully turn over and baste with the butter, which should be nut-brown.

  2. Increase the heat and add the peas, mussels, cider, lemon juice and some seasoning. Cover with a lid and cook for another 3-4 mins until the mussels have opened – discard any that remain closed.

  3. Scatter with pea shoots and bring the pan to the table with the lemon wedges on the side.

Tikka Salmon & Jewelled Rice

If you like spicy food, try this super flavoursome salmon dish! The yogurt, pomegranate & apricot brings some sweetness to the dish, so feel free to change the recipe to balance sweetness and spiciness depending on your own preference!

Salmon Rice

Tikka Salmon & Jewelled Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Source:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp tikka curry paste
  • 150ml pot natural low-fat yogurt
  • 2 salmon fillets, skinned
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 50g soft dried apricots, chopped
  • 200g brown basmati rice
  • 100g pack pomegranate seeds
  • Small pack coriander leaves picked
Instructions
  1. Combine 1 tbsp of the curry paste with 2 tbsp yogurt. Season the salmon and smear the yogurt paste all over the fillets, then set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pan (with a lid) and add the onion. Boil the kettle. Cook the onion for 5 mins to soften, and stir in the remaining curry paste then cook for 1 min more. Add the turmeric, apricots and rice, season well and give everything a good stir. Pour in 800ml water from the kettle. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 mins. Cover with a lid, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 mins more.

  3. Uncover the rice and give it a good stir. Put the salmon fillets on top of the rice and re-cover the pan. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and leave undisturbed for 15-20 mins more until the salmon and rice are perfectly cooked. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and coriander, and serve with the yogurt.

 

Lobster Risotto

Fancy trying extra special and treat your loved one to luxurious lobster? Lobster meat is absolutely delicious, firm, meaty and has a delicate sweet taste. It’s an incredible experience that your loved one will remember! To help you out, we’ve got full cooking and preparation guides for live lobster.

Lobster Risotto

Lobster Risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 small or 2 large lobster tails
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2½ cups seafood broth or chicken broth
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water is at a rolling boil, drop in the lobster tails. Boil until the shells are bright red and the lobster meat is cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes (add 3 to 4 more minutes for large tails). Drain the tails, and then remove and discard the shells, reserving the meat. If you're using fresh live lobster, check out our cooking and preparation guides.

  2. Rinse the pot and return it to the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

  3. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and bring to a simmer.

  4. Add the broth ½ cup at a time, bringing the mixture to a simmer and stirring constantly as the broth is absorbed. When the broth is nearly absorbed, add another ½ cup of broth and repeat. Continue until all the broth has been added and absorbed.

  5. In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook until the butter is very fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lobster tails and cook, tossing occasionally, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  6. Remove the risotto pot from the heat. Stir in the final 1 tablespoon butter and the Parmesan, and then season with salt and pepper.

  7. Divide the risotto between two plates and then top each portion with two small (or one large) lobster tail and 1 to 2 teaspoons of the thyme butter. Serve immediately.

 

3 Delicious Fish & Seafood Pizza Recipes

Seafood Week is in full swing and we’re still celebrating everything that fish & seafood have to offer! Have you entered our competition yet? You could win £50 worth of fish and seafood of your choice, delivered for free! Imagine what you could cook, what would you choose? If you fancy treating yourself and loved ones to a tasty pizza, here are 3 great recipes using prawns, salmon and scallops!

If you’re in a rush, feel free to use shop-bought dough or replace the pizza dough by flatbread or even naan bread!

Spicy Prawns Pizza Recipe

Spicy Prawn Pizza

Spicy Prawn Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Source:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 250g pack white bread mix
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit extra
  • 150ml warm water
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • For the sauce:
  • 200g can chopped plum tomato
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch of sugar (caster or granulated)
  • For the toppings:
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp (about 20g) finely grated parmesan
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 12 large raw prawns, peeled (frozen and defrosted is fine), patted dry
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, needles roughly chopped
  • generous pinch chilli flakes
  • handful pitted green olives, halved (or use capers)
  • small drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Make the dough the day before. Put the bread mix in a large bowl. Combine the oil with the warm water in a jug, then tip onto the mix. Stir to a soft dough and set aside for 5 mins.

  2. Flour the work surface and your hands well, then knead the dough for 5 mins until springy and smooth. Squish some oil around in a large food bag, then pop in the dough and tie the top, leaving the dough room to grow. Leave to rise in the fridge.

  3. To make the sauce, simply stir the ingredients together. When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Dust a large baking sheet and the work surface with a little flour. Split the dough into 2 equal pieces. (Do not knead it or it will become too springy.) Roll the dough into large slipper shapes, about 30cm long. Lift onto the baking sheet.

  4. Spread the sauce over the pizzas, then scatter with small dollops of mascarpone, the Parmesan, cherry tomatoes, prawns, rosemary, chilli flakes, olives and plenty of seasoning. Drizzle with a little oil. Bake the pizzas for 10-13 mins until the base is crisp and golden, the prawns cooked through and the cheese bubbling. Transfer to a board and serve straight away.


 

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Pizza Recipe

Salmon Pizza

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Source:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Filling:
  • 3 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 170g sliced smoked salmon
  • rocket leaves
  • Herb Sauce:
  • 1½ cup parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Start with the dough. In a bowl mix water, honey, and yeast. Leave it for 5 minutes so that the yeast starts to work.

  2. Add flour, salt, and oil. Work the dough together.

  3. Cover with plastic and let it rise for 1 hour.

  4. On a baking tray press the dough out with your fingers to form a large pizza.

  5. Next, top the pizza with tomatoes and goat cheese and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper.

  6. Bake at 200°C until golden, about 15 minutes.

  7. While it bakes, chop the parsley and pine nuts on a chopping board.

  8. Place in a bowl and add enough oil so it forms a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Take out the pizza and add smoked salmon, herb sauce, and rocket.

 

Scallops & Bacon Pizza Recipe

Scallop Bacon Pizza

Scallop and Bacon Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Source:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Cornflour, for dusting
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon (about 150g)
  • 4 large scallops (about 150g), sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
  • 1 cup baby rocket
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°C. In a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in ¼ cup of the olive oil over moderately low heat until it starts to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the ¼ cup of flour until smooth and cook, whisking, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until the béchamel is smooth and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the cheese. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the béchamel to
  2. a small bowl. Discard the garlic.

  3. Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornflour. On a lightly floured work surface, using
  4. a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to the prepared sheet. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil all over the dough and spread the béchamel evenly on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 18 minutes, until the dough is almost cooked through.

  5. Meanwhile, in a nonstick medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning, until golden and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Chop the bacon.

  6. Top the pizza with the scallops and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 3 minutes, until the béchamel is golden and bubbling and the scallops are just opaque.

  7. In a small bowl, toss the rocket with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Top the pizza with the bacon and rocket and serve hot.

 

How to cook Seafood on the BBQ

We’ve seen how fish cooked on a BBQ can make a great addition to your summer gatherings, whether it’s for a convivial lunch or a fantastic al fresco dinner! But you can also cook a variety of seafood on the BBQ, such as oysters, prawns, mussels or scallops!

Cooking Oysters on the BBQ

Yes, that’s right! Oysters are not only delicious raw but you can enjoy them cooked!

If necessary, start by scrubbing the oyster shells with a soft bristled brush and cold water. Place oysters on the grill, flat side up and leave for about 8-10 minutes or until shell start to pop open. Carefully remove all oysters from the grill, even the ones that haven’t opened, using a fireproof mitt or tongs.

Completely shuck all oysters and add any sauce you’d like to your oysters. A simple squeeze of lemon juice can do wonders!

Cooking Prawns on the BBQ

Cooking prawns on the BBQ is very quick and easy! Just make sure that your barbecue is very hot so you can quickly brown the prawns without overcooking the meat.

If you purchased whole prawns, start by removing the shells and deveining them. Lightly season and brush with a little oil before placing on a skewer. Place on the hottest part of your BBQ and leave until coloured. Turn over and let it cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat and wait for a couple of minutes before serving!

Cooking mussels on the BBQ

If necessary, start by cleaning the mussels with a brush and some cold water. Place your mussels in a roasting tray with a matching lid. If you don’t have any, you can use foil but make sure to close it tightly so that no steam can escape. Season your mussels and drizzle with a bit of oil before placing on the barbecue for 8-10 minutes. Mussels should be ready when most of them have opened. Discard any mussels that did not open before serving.

Cooking scallops on the BBQ

A great way to cook scallops on the BBQ is to skewer them with veggies or even prawns!

Start by marinating your scallops in an oil-based marinade for 10 to 15 minutes. You can use your favourite spices and herbs such as garlic, paprika, or basil. Place the scallops on skewers with any other ingredients of your choice or on their own. Remember that if you’re using wooden skewers, you need to soak them in water for an hour before cooking. Place the scallops skewers on your BBQ and cook for 8 minutes, turning half-way through. You can brush the scallops with more marinade while cooking.

Starter Recipes for Easter

Who says you can’t enjoy delicious fish or seafood on Easter? Certainly not us! We’ve gathered 3 of our favourite starter recipes with fish and seafood that would make the perfect start of your Easter Lunch or any other dinner party you’re hosting!

Potted Crab with Asparagus


Starter Recipes for Easter
 
Feel free to play with the recipe to adapt it to your taste! You can tone down and fire up the spiciness! Make sure you get fresh crabmeat as it's the star of the dish! This dish can be made ahead of the meal so you have more time for your guests!
Source:
Serves: 6 - 8
Ingredients
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill
  • 300 g fresh crabmeat, two-thirds white and one-third brown
  • 1 Sicilian lemon
  • 1 good pinch of ground mace
  • 1 good pinch of ground cayenne
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 225 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
Instructions
  1. Deseed and finely chop the chilli, and pick the dill fronds.

  2. In a bowl, mix the crab, lemon zest and juice, mace, cayenne and a good grating of nutmeg, the chilli and a pinch of sea salt. Gently mix in 125g of the butter, ensuring there are no lumps.

  3. Spoon into a small serving bowl, smoothing the surface and pressing down with the back of a spoon. Scatter the dill over the top.

  4. Gently melt the remaining butter in a pan until it separates. Discarding the solids, spoon the clarified (liquid) butter over the crab. Cover and chill in the fridge for several hours, until set.

  5. Serve the potted crab with hot sourdough toasts, buttery asparagus and lemon wedges on the side.

Sauteed Scallops with mushrooms & spinach sauce


Starter Recipes for Easter
 
Scallops take very little time to cook so it's a dish you can quickly put together just before serving! Check out our tips to make sure you cook the perfect scallops!
Source:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 big knobs of butter
  • 100g mushroom, sliced (button, chestnut or cleaned wild)
  • 100g spinach, stems trimmed and washed
  • 2 tsp groundnut oil
  • 6 good-sized scallops, shelled and cleaned (with or without corals)
  • nutmeg, for grating
Instructions
  1. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Once sizzling, add the mushrooms and fry for just a min or two before adding the spinach. Cook on a high heat for about 1 min, allowing the leaves to wilt and soften. Drain the leaves and mushrooms in a sieve or small colander set over a bowl, pressing them gently in the sieve to release the juices (the juices will provide the base for the sauce, so don’t discard them). Keep warm to one side.

  2. Heat the oil in a separate clean frying pan. When very hot, add the scallops. Sauté for a couple of mins without disturbing them at all, then add a knob of butter to the pan. Turn the scallops, season with salt and pepper, then baste with the sizzling butter. Continue to cook for a further couple of mins until the scallops are ready.

  3. While sautéing the scallops, return the saved spinach juices to the pan the spinach and mushrooms were cooked in, then whisk in the remaining knob of butter to create the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and a grating of nutmeg.

  4. Now finish in style: Arrange spinach and mushrooms on plates or in bowls, put the scallops on top, then spoon the nutmeg spinach sauce around.

Prawn Cocktail


Starter Recipes for Easter
 
Prawn cocktail is the perfect appetiser to kick-start a meal: it's simple to make and it's packed with delicious seafood. You can save yourself more time by buying shelled and cooked prawns.
Source:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • ½ a clove of garlic
  • cayenne pepper
  • 8 unpeeled, large, raw tiger prawns
  • ¼ of an iceberg lettuce
  • ¼ of a cucumber
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint
  • 1 small punnet of salad cress
  • 50 g peeled little prawns
  • 100 g mixed white and brown crabmeat
  • 1 lemon
  • FOR THE MARIE ROSE SAUCE:
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 swig of brandy (optional)
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Heat a glug of oil in a pan over a high heat. Crush and add the garlic, then stir in 1 pinch of cayenne pepper and the tiger prawns.

  2. Toss the prawns for 3 to 4 minutes, or till cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. For the Marie rose sauce, combine the lemon juice with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

  4. Shred the lettuce, dice the cucumber, thinly slice the tomato and pick the mint leaves, then layer in bowls or jars. Snip in most of the cress.

  5. Add the peeled prawns, dollop with Marie rose sauce and finish with crabmeat and more cress.

  6. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and hang a hot prawn or two off the side of the bowl or jar. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

 

 

Fish & Seafood Valentine’s Menu for Two

When it comes to having a romantic meal, a lot of people choose to go to the restaurant. But on days such as Valentine’s Day, restaurants can be crowded and often offer a specific and more limited menu.

Cooking a homemade dinner is usually cheaper and it’s a great way to treat your loved one. It’s a fact: everything tastes better when it’s made with love!

Here is an idea of a menu you could cook!

Starter: Seared Scallops with Serrano Ham


Seared Scallops & Serrano Ham
 
A light starter that packs a punch! If you cannot find Serrano ham, use any other similar cured ham. A simple but delicious dish.
Source:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 thin slices of serrano ham or similar cured ham
  • Leaves from 0.5 frisée lettuce heart and a handful of other bitter salad leaves
  • 25g chilled unsalted butter
  • 6 shucked scallops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 0.5 tbsp chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Arrange the ham and a pile of the salad leaves on 4 plates. Generously rub the base of a large non-stick frying pan with the block of butter and cut the remainder into small pieces.

  2. Set the pan over a high heat and, as soon as the butter starts to smoke, add the scallops and sear for 2 minutes on each side, seasoning them with a little salt and pepper as they cook. Arrange the scallops on top of the ham.

  3. For the dressing, remove the pan from the heat, add the sherry vinegar and stir to scrape up any residue from the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat, add a tablespoon of water and whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, then add the parsley and season with a little salt and pepper. Spoon the dressing over the leaves and serve.

Main: Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine, Tomato & Basil Sauce


Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine, Tomato & Basil Sauce
 
This recipe only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. It's a beautiful way to prepare cod (or any other white fish of your preference such as haddock, lemon sole, seabass or sea bream) and the rich tomato sauce makes it a truly indulgent dish!
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large cloves (or 2 smaller cloves) garlic, finely minced
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ⅛ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (more to taste)
  • For the Cod:
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500g fresh cod or 2 fillets
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees (C).

  2. For the White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce:
  3. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're soft and blistering, but still hold their shape, about 12 minutes. Add in the white wine, stir, and allow the mixture to come to a light simmer. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and set aside until needed.

  4. For the Cod:
  5. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Season both sides of cod with salt and pepper. Place cod in the oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the cod over and place the pan in the oven to continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until it's cooked through.

  6. Pour the white wine tomato basil sauce over the cod and serve at once.

Dessert:

Here are a couple of options we think would be great to finish off the meal.

Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

If you prefer something light and fruity to end your meal, this recipe is sure to please you! You can adapt the berry sauce with any berries of your choice.

Find the recipe on Natasha’s Kitchen

Molten Chocolate Cake

If you’re a chocolate lover, you will LOVE this recipe! A rich and indulgent cake that is a great way to finish a romantic meal.

Find the recipe on Two Tarts

 

How to cook scallops

Scallops are a popular treat in the UK. If some prefer it for dinner parties, they are very versatile and can be part of any everyday meal. They take very little time to cook and have a delicious sweet and juicy taste.

Scallops are also good for your health! They contain omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B12. They are also high in protein and low in calories!

Have you ever had scallops that were rubbery? Then they were overcooked! They only take a few minutes to cook so need a little attention to make sure the texture doesn’t become too tough.

Our king scallops always come out of the shell, but if you buy some that are still in the shell you will need to shuck your scallops before cooking them.

You can cook scallops by steaming, poaching or pan-frying them for a few minutes. Baking doesn’t take much longer. Pan-frying scallops is a popular choice because it adds colour without overcooking.

How to pan-fry scallops:

Pat dry your scallops before cooking and don’t overcrowd the pan. A general rule of thumb is 2 minutes on one side and anything from 10 seconds to 2 minutes on the other. You’re aiming for a caramelised crust and a translucent centre. The scallops should be springy to the touch, if they are mushy they are undercooked but if they’re firm they are overcooked.

Scallops can also be served raw or barely cooked in recipes for sashimi, carpaccio or ceviche! Make sure you get prime quality scallops for this!

Fish & seafood carpaccio recipes

Sicilian Style Tuna Carpaccio

tuna-carpaccio

Sicilian style tuna carpaccio
 
Great for a starter or a light meal, this tuna carpaccio is so flavourful and very easy to make! Make sure you get excellent quality tuna for this recipe.
Source:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 4 tablespoons rosé wine
  • 1 long fresh red chilli
  • 1 x 200g tuna steak
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil
  • ½ a bunch of fresh dill
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • rocket, to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the capers into a small bowl, cover with the rosé, then leave to soak for 10 minutes or so.

  2. Meanwhile, hold the chilli over a direct flame on the hob (or place under the grill) for around 5 minutes, or until blackened and blistered all over, turning occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool for around 10 minutes.

  3. If necessary, using a long sharp knife, slice off and discard the veiny stub of meat from the tuna, then thinly slice against the grain. Place on a plate and squeeze over the juice from half the lemon – the acidity will start to cook the fish.

  4. Pick and finely chop the basil, the dill, then peel and finely chop the garlic. Drain and finely chop the capers, then add the chopped ingredients to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Scrape off and discard the blackened skin from the cooled chilli. Halve, deseed and finely chop most of it, then add the chopped chilli to the bowl, reserving the rest to one side. Stir well to combine.

  5. Arrange the tuna on a clean serving platter, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, then spoon over the herb paste. Finely slice the reserved chilli lengthways and arrange on top, then serve with dressed rocket and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Salmon Carpaccio with Lime

salmon-carpaccio

Salmon carpaccio with Lime
 
This lovely salmon carpaccio recipes makes for a very elegant starter and will please your guests at your next dinner party! The pink peppercorns help create a tasty and colourful dish.
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 300g fresh salmon fillets
  • 300g coarse salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 limes
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • Ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Fresh basil
  • Pine nuts
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, place the coarse salt and caster sugar. Mix to combine.

  2. In a small recipient, spread a layer of the salt and sugar mixture. Place the salmon on top and cover with another layer of salt and sugar. Make sure the whole surface of the fish is covered.

  3. Cover the recipient with cling film and leave it to marinate in the fridge for 4 hours.

  4. In the meantime zest and squeeze the lime. Place the zest and juice in a bowl. Add a dash of olive oil and season with pepper.

  5. Peel the pink grapefruit and cut it into segments. Extract the juice from the grapefruit core and add it to the marinade. Set aside.

  6. Once the salmon has marinated for 4 hours (do not exceed this time), rinse it well sith cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

  7. Use a sharp knife to cut very thin slices of salmon, working horizontally from the top. If not serving immediately, lay down the slices on a plate and cover tightly with cling film (touching the salmon).

  8. When ready to serve, stir the marinade and cover the salmon slices with the marinade using a brush. Sprinkle with some fresh cut basil, pine nuts and pink peppercorn and arrange the grapefruit segments on the plate.

Scallop Carpaccio

Scallop carpaccio

Scallop Carpaccio
 
This elegant starter is perfect for your dinner parties and particularly around Christmas. It's very easy and effortless!
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 12 fresh scallops (only the white flesh)
  • 10 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp of liquid honey
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice the scallops into thin strips (To cut them more easily, put them in the freezer for ½ hour)

  2. Place the slices on the plates.

  3. Prepare a dressing with the olive oil, the juice of the lime, the honey, the chopped basil and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Drizzle the dressing on the scallop slices and put in the fridge for one hour before serving.

Carpaccio of Bream

fish-carpaccio

Carpaccio of Bream
 
A twist on a classic Italian carpaccio. Sea bream’s firm, dense flesh makes it particularly suitable for serving raw.
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • ½-1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon baby capers, rinsed
  • really good extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large fillet (or 2 small) very fresh sea bream
Instructions
  1. Lay the fish fillets on a board and remove any pin bones with tweezers. Make sure no bones remain, as they will make slicing the fish quite difficult.

  2. Now slice the fish with a very sharp knife, trying to make the slices as large and as thin as possible – no more than 1 mm thick. Cut the sea bream as you might a side of smoked salmon, working gradually down towards the skin at an angle.

  3. Lay the sea bream slices on 1 or 2 large plates, spreading them out in an even layer so they don’t overlap too much.

  4. Cut the base from the fennel bulb and peel off the tough outer layers (the fresher the bulb, the less you’ll have to discard). Slice the fennel from tip to root as finely as possible – you’re aiming for what they call ‘shaved’ fennel. Scatter the fennel slices over the fish, then squeeze over the lemon juice, trying to get a few drops on every bit of fish. Spoon over the capers, then season the whole plate with salt and pepper.

  5. Finish with a trickle of extra virgin olive oil. Unlike a ceviche, where the fish needs at least a couple of hours to ‘cook’ in the marinade, this dish is all about fresh flavours combining in the mouth. So serve, and eat, immediately.

Marinade for Fish Carpaccio

carpaccio_fish

Marinade for Fish Carpaccio
 
This simple marinade can accompany any raw fish for your carpaccio recipes! Try it with tuna or white fish! It only takes a few minutes to make and is full of flavours!
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the mustard and lemon juice in a bowl, then whisk in the olive oil.

  2. Add the shallots, whisk again and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

 

Scallops FAQ

Today we answer a few of the most frequent questions we receive about scallops. If there is anything you would like to know that we have not covered here, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

buy fresh scallops

What are the best months to eat scallops?

Some people believe that shellfish should only be eaten during months with an R. Because of high levels of quality control, the scallops we sell will always be fresh and delicious, so you can enjoy scallops all year long. Generally speaking, King scallops are at their best from October to March and Queen scallops from December to February and June to August.

What is the orange part of the scallop?

For those not familiar with scallops, you may wonder what the orange part is, as it’s sometimes removed from the meat. This orange bit is called the roe, or coral.

Is scallop roe edible?

Even if the roe is often removed from scallops, it’s actually edible. Whether you want to eat it or not is just matter of taste. The roe has a slightly stronger taste which complements well the richness of the scallop meat, but it’s up to your personal preference.

scallops in shell

How can I prepare scallops in the shell?

Our scallops are already prepared, but if you’re buying whole shells, we have a handy guide for a simple technique you can use to remove the scallop from its shell.

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How long can I keep scallops?

Scallops are best eaten on the day but you can keep them in your fridge for up to two days. If you want to keep scallops longer, store them in your freezer. Defrost carefully before cooking.

How should I cook scallops?

Scallops require minimal cooking and can either be steamed, pan-fried, baked or poached. Pan-frying is the most common method and only requires a few minutes. A general rule of thumb is to minutes on one side and anything from 1 seconds to 2 minutes on the other. Aim for a caramelised crust and an almost translucent centre. A perfectly cooked scallop will be springy and will become tough and rubbery if overcooked.

seared scallops