Come on, admit it, we all miss the lockdown kitchen a bit and even the best home cooks have to shake things up with great food.
Even though we want to be adventurous, we end up relying on the same old staples because, frankly, we just don’t want to spend too much time – or money – on our late-night dinners.
Your local fishmonger has so many ingredients to delight and inspire even the most jaded interlocking paddles
Fortunately, there is a way to liven things up and make them special again without draining your bank account or draining your patience. Just head to your local fishmonger (or book a delivery from the many suppliers online) and follow one of these simple recipes.
Not only will you be able to wow your partner or family with succulent lobster dripping with garlic butter or luxurious scallops in their shells with a spicy touch, but you’ll be supporting British fishermen and cooking mouth-watering meals.
In fact, the UK is home to some of the best seafood, with a great selection of fresh locally sourced fish and shellfish.
Delicious dishes like thermidor lobster don’t have to be overly wacky – you can buy it fully cooked and topped with hollandaise sauce from many fishmongers.
Yes, lobster is luxurious – so delicious that it tastes with a glass of champagne and is worth messing about.
But cooking is not at all complicated – and there are tips on how to take it a step further. You can buy it ready-made and topped with hollandaise sauce from many fishmongers, or cooked and crushed, which means you don’t need to do very little of it.
Indeed, a cooked and cracked lobster can be served with mayonnaise and a salad and you’re sorted, or take it one step further by cutting the flesh into pieces and adding it to a risotto. It will also elevate your mac and cheese family to another level! For a fun and delicious New England-style lobster roll, or a lobster thermidor for a special weekend supper, check out the recipes below.
For 4 people
- 400g cooked lobster meat, approx. two medium lobsters, chilled and cut into large pieces
- 4 tablespoons of light mayonnaise
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 brioche-style hot dog buns
- ½ romaine lettuce (garnish on the side)
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives and celery in a bowl. Gently fold in the lobster meat and season to taste with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Serve the lobster mixture in the buns, with the romaine lettuce and lemon wedges.
Lobster Thermidor with fries and salad
For 2 people
- 1 prepared Thermidor lobster
- 300g frozen fries
- 1 bag of green leafy salad
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cucumber, cut into pieces
- ¼ lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- lemon wedges for serving
Cook fries according to package directions. While the fries are in the oven, add the salad leaves, tomatoes and cucumber to a large salad bowl.
Squeeze the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Once the fries are cooked, transfer to the bottom rack of the oven.
Place the thermidor lobster on a baking sheet and grill on the top rack over high heat for three to four minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden brown.
Serve the lobster with the side salad, lemon wedges and fries.
You might think scallops are strictly a restaurant dish, but they’re actually very easy to cook at home.
Scallops are so beautiful in their fan-shaped shells and look like a real restaurant dish, but they couldn’t be easier to cook. If you buy them in the shell, make sure you only use the succulent white meat, bright orange eggs, and coral, discarding the rest.
If you want to keep it simple, just have your fishmonger prepare them for you.
The scallops can be simply pan-fried in butter – you want a nice caramelized brown crust with a soft core – and are delicious served with mashed peas and black pudding, crispy pancetta, or ‘a spicy chorizo, as in the recipe below.
Scallops and chorizo on mashed peas
For 2 people
- 6 prepared scallops
- 160g frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 50g chorizo, cut into even sized pieces
- Salt and black pepper
- Arugula leaves, for garnish
Boil the peas according to the package directions, then drain them well. Add half of the butter, mix with a hand mixer and season with S&P to taste. Keep warm and set aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the chorizo and sauté gently until crisp. Remove from the pan with a skimmer.
Increase the heat and add the rest of the butter to the pan. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan. Turn over after a minute or so and cook the other side (this will depend on their size, you want them to be golden brown and not dried out).
Divide the pea purée on two plates, then arrange with the chorizo and the scallops. Drizzle with the remaining oil from the pan and garnish with a few arugula leaves.
Why not flavor pieces of monkfish with aromatic curry flavors and serve with rice?
A whole monkfish can be intimidating, but your fishmonger can fillet it for you and it’s lovely to eat and cook. It’s firm, succulent and holds well, so it’s perfect on skewers, in chowders or in curries, like in the recipe below, which is delicious with steamed rice.
Quick coconut monkfish curry recipe
For 4 people
- 500 g monkfish, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 curry leaves
- 2 red peppers, finely chopped
- 2 green peppers, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
- 1 tsp of ground coriander
- Juice of 1 lime
- 400 ml low-fat coconut milk
- 300g long grain rice
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onions, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are golden, then add the peppers, cumin, turmeric and ground cilantro. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes then add the tamarind paste, lime juice and 150 ml of water.
Add the monkfish to the pan. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Season with S&P and cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.
While the curry is simmering, cook the rice according to the package directions, then drain it. Serve the rice with the monkfish curry, garnished with fresh cilantro.