Here’s a shot that I really like of some jellyfish swimming in a tank in an aquarium in Bangkok. I find the fluidity of their movement to be quite hypnotic. They seem to have evolved the perfect method of traversing water with the minimal use of energy, simply using propulsion to float wherever the current takes them. There are even some jellyfish who have sails, which they hold above the water in order to let the wind guide their endless journey through the sea. However, their lack of a brain does make their existence seem a little futile, and I sure don’t relish any encounters I have with them on the beach, but staring at them comfortably through a pane of glass is definitely a fascinating experience, which I hope my photo does some justice too.
To buy this, or any of my other shots on my photoblog, simply click on the jellyfish to be taken to my gallery and store.
Today I thought that I’d mix up my photography a bit by including some of my photos of food alongside two delicious seafood recipes that I prepared last night to no small amount of acclaim from my fellow diner (if I do say so myself).
Here is my first course, which unfortunately due to extreme pangs of hunger, I didn’t have the time to photograph before demolishing. However, I did take a few moments to photograph the unfortunate crustacean before preparing and devouring it, and I can confirm that it was just as delicious as it was photogenic.
Galway Bay Prawns in a Creamy White Wine Sauce served with Irish Soda Bread. (serves 2)
12 Galway Bay Prawns (They don’t have to be Galway Bay Prawns but they should be nice fresh prawns of a decent size, uncooked, and still in their shells)
One small tub of Double Cream
A cup of good quality stock (I personally used a muscat and saffron wine reduction that I got in the deli cause I’m a very lazy man)
A good splash of decent white wine
A small onion, or a couple of shallots finely chopped
A finely chopped clove or two of garlic according to your own personal taste
A teaspoon of mustard
Juice of a lemon
A good knob of butter
A bunch of parsley finely chopped
1. Fry off the onions gently in the butter until they are soft and beginning to colour.
2. Add the Garlic and fry for a minute or so.
3. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and bring down its temperature.
4. Add the double cream and warm it on a gentle heat.
5. (top tip) At this stage I took the legs off of my prawns and added them to the double cream while it warmed up and the alcohol was burning off the wine in order to increase the fishy flavour of my sauce as I wasn’t using fish stock.
6. Add the prawns to the creamy sauce and leave to cook for about 5 mins.
7. Finally add the chopped parsley and squeeze in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to season the sauce to your own personal tastes.
8. Serve topped with lemon and a sprig of parsley alongside a couple of slices of good quality bread such as Irish brown soda bread to mop up all that lovely creamy sauce.
Some people may find it a bit fiddly taking the shells of the prawn at the table and getting their hands dirty (not me I love getting stuck in). In such cases you can simply remove the prawns from their shells before adding them to the sauce to cook, though you might also like to add the flavour of the discarded shells to the sauce by wrapping them in a j-cloth (a clean one mind) and adding them to the sauce to infuse whilst the prawns are cooking.
And voila, you should have a deliciously creamy and decadent start to your seafood supper. Be sure to retain some of that velvety flavoursome sauce for the next course because it lends itself perfectly as a deliciously fishy accompaniment for the following sea trout recipe.
Pan Fried Sea Trout on a Fricassee of Pancetta, Peas, and Potatoes.
I have to give credit to Gordon Ramsay and his own recipe for Pan-fried sea trout, peas & chorizo fricassee for inspiring this dish. He uses chorizo instead of pancetta and doesn’t add any sauce to his dish, though I always love a nice rich gravy and it seems a shame to waste all that creamy white wine sauce from those prawns.
2 good sized fillets of fresh Sea Trout
A few slices of good quality pancetta
4 peeled and diced floury potatoes
A cup of frozen peas (optional)
A couple of cloves of garlic chopped finely
A cupful of good quality chicken stock
A knob of butter for frying
1. For the fricassee, add the pancetta to a hot pan (there’s no need for oil as the ham should emit more than enough oil to cook with) fry until the fat starts to render and then add the potatoes and fry off for about 5 mins until the potatoes start to brown a little.
2. Next add the chicken stock and allow to simmer away until all of the liquid has evaporated from the potatoes which should take about 10 minutes. (if you decided to add the frozen peas for some colour and vitamins, which I do recommend, then add them about 2 mins before the end of cooking your potatoes.
3. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste (remember that the pancetta and stock may already have made your potatoes salty enough though.)
4. After adding the stock to the potatoes, it is a good time to start frying off your fillets of sea-trout. First place your pan over a medium heat and add the butter when it’s hot.
5. Then add the sea-trout skin side down and leave it like that for about 5 mins until you can see the flesh beginning to turn from pink to opaque on the top of the fish.
6. Turn over the fish quickly just to finish off the pink area and and squeeze a lemon on top and then remove from the pan immediately.
7. Plate up the fish by laying it beside or on top of the potatoes and then pour over some of that rich creamy sauce that you reserved from the starter.
You should now have prepared two simple yet delicious seafood courses, which I’m sure any fish loving diner should enjoy immensely. As you may be able to see from my photos, I forgot to buy the bloody peas! As a result, my dish was a bit lacking in greenery. Although I tried to gloss over this by serving my fish with a sprig of parsley and slice of lemon, though next time I’ll certainly remember to add some veg.
At this stage I was far too lazy to start cooking a desert, so I bought some fresh Irish Strawberries that have just come into season and served them with a couple of scoops of ice-cream. Some fresh zesty seasonal fruit really finishes off such a rich meal quite nicely.
If anybody tries these recipes then please do let me know, cause food is a new passion of mine and this is my first food related post and I’d love to know if I should try making it a regular occurrence.
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food”. ~George Bernard Shaw