Saturday, 13 October 2012

Red Mullet with Clams

It's been a while since I've posted a blog on Tonight's Menu, but that's not to say that I've not been eating well.  Work and real life, culminating in a well deserved holiday in Berlin, mean that it has been almost a month since the last post.  I never claimed that this would be a daily challenge for a set period of time, but I also never thought that I would miss more than a couple of days at a time.  I was thinking that I needed to go back and "recap" all of the meals that I hadn't written about, but that way madness lies.  I'm having a fresh start and it happens tonight.

I'm glad it's tonight too.  It's a new experience and one that I want to share*.  I love fish but I'm still a bit wary about cooking it so whenever I have a really successful meal I feel the need to shout from the rooftops.  Tonight was one of those meals.  I took a well deserved trip to pick up some fish from Leeds Kirkgate Market.  I didn't know what I was going to buy or what I was going to cook, thinking that the nicest looking fish would make my mind up for me.

I was right to trust my senses.  My favourite fishmonger** had some great looking hake steaks.  I thought about cooking a black eye pea and boarwors stew and poaching the hake in the same pan, but then I found the red mullet.  TV chefs will tell you time and time again to buy the best ingredients that are available.  If you are buying fish this has to be the number one rule.  I have stopped shopping for fish with a particular species in mind, instead I go and see what looks good on the day.  The difference is huge.  Brilliant mackerel is fantastic, buying mackerel because you wanted mackerel is not always a good move.

As the red mullet was so wonderfully fresh I decided not to make anything too extravagant with it.  I dusted the fillets with a little flour and fried them in butter for a couple of minutes a side.  I placed the cooked fish in the oven to keep warm while I quickly steamed some clams in the fish's frying pan with some butter and white wine.  I served the mullet and clams with some asparagus that I had saved from a supermarket graveyard and some new potatoes.  I have cooked more complex dishes in the last month, but none of them have left me feeling so satisfied.

For the record, I haven't stopped documenting the meals, so there may well be some post dated meals yet to appear.  I hope you like them as much as I did.

*not one of the many re-heated delicious dishes from the freezer stores of chez Tonight's Menu.
**yes I have one.

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