Six Simple Seafood Dishes for Busy Midweek Nights

Seafood and fish seem to strike fear into the hearts of many people, even those who are quite confident in the kitchen, but it really doesn’t have to be.

These dishes are centered around the versatile roasting pan. It’s perfect for low-maintenance dinners: just pop in the ingredients and – with maybe just a little mixing and sprinkling – voila, the meal is complete.

I have largely tried to avoid overpriced ingredients, as the fish is more expensive than it is. I have also tried to avoid these fish which overall are in steep decline; however, it’s not very clear, as fish stocks differ greatly from region to region, you might want to do a little research on the situation in your area. Let’s try to be conscientious fish eaters!

Top tips for cooking shellfish

When approaching live “raw” clams or mussels (as opposed to ready-to-cook sous vide mussels), there are a few helpful points to keep in mind:

  • The best way to store clams or mussels is to line a baking sheet with damp paper towel and lay the shells on it, being careful not to pile them up. Cover with another layer of damp paper towel and refrigerate.
  • Before cooking shellfish, they need a little preparation. The mussels need a good scrub to clean off the dirty bits, and you need to pluck out any “beards” that hang around where the shells meet. To prepare the clams, you need to fill a bowl with water, stir in a decent amount of salt (you’re trying to replicate seawater, so be generous) and soak the clams in it for about 20 minutes; they should push out any grain that might be inside. You can follow this step by putting the clams in a bowl of cool water for 10 minutes to wash out any excess salt they may have absorbed, but this is not essential.
  • If, when you come to cook the shellfish, they do not close despite a little stirring, you have to throw them away: they are dead. Once cooked, those that did not open during the cooking process should also be discarded in the food waste, as they are not safe to eat.

One Dish Fish: 70 Quick and Easy Bake Recipes by Lola Milne is published by Kyle Books (£17.99), available from the Telegraph Library.

Ready in 25 minutes

Grilled squid and zucchini panzanella

Inspired by the classic Italian panzanella salad, this highly unorthodox version features the king of vegetables: zucchini (you might not agree, but I love them). The zucchini works perfectly with the garlicky squid, and of course the classic panzanella elements of tomatoes and bread (which actually becomes toast in this recipe).

Dino S. Williams