Food and Tales from Ullapool by Kirsty Scobie and Fenella Renwick
The Seafood Shack is a tiny catering trailer situated in Ullapool and their food is based upon whatever the local fishermen catch on the day. This is their first book but there’s bound to be more. If you feel daunted about cooking either shellfish or white fish, then this is the book for you. Full of mouth-watering recipes to choose from with easy instructions on dissecting and filleting.
Not just a cookery book, The Seafood Shack highlights all the beauty of Ullapool and if you have never visited this book may entice you to take a trip. Dotted throughout the book, adding a human interest, are the tall tales from the fishermen who risk their lives on a daily basis to catch their fantastic produce in fair weather and foul.
Of course, shellfish are nutritionally just about the perfect combination: low in calories but high in protein (to boost your immune system) and omega-3 fatty acids (for a healthy heart). Add in the mineral iron to prevent anaemia and you can see that a small portion of shellfish goes a long way to a longer life!
If you are looking for a simple recipe with fish such as a haddock wrap for a mid-week supper or a more sophisticated recipe for a dinner with friends – such as garlic and thyme langoustines – then this cookery book is just perfect for you.
Haddock Wrap with Lemon Mayo and Pesto
This is by far our most popular dish. Perfect for people who aren’t huge seafood lovers, it’s the Shack’s version of fish and chips. At first our friends and family would get annoyed with us if this wasn’t on the menu, now everyone does. Safe to say it’s now always on the menu!
4 fresh haddock fillets
50g plain flour
4 white tortilla wraps
4 handfuls of mixed salad leaves sliced veg to serve (we use cucumber, red pepper, tomato and red onion)
salt and pepper
for the tempura batter:
150g plain flour
10g baking powder
for the lemon mayo:
4 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
juice and zest of 1⁄2 lemon
vegetable oil, for deep frying
Check the haddock fillets for obvious bones by running your fingers down the sides and
middle of the fillets – small bones will disintegrate when you cook the fish.
To make your batter, add the 150g plain flour, cornflour and baking powder to a bowl. Using an electric or hand whisk, slowly beat in about 150ml cold water until your batter is a thick but runny consistency. It should stick to your finger when you dip it in and there should be no lumps. Season the batter well with salt and pepper.
For the lemon mayonnaise, just mix the mayonnaise and lemon juice and zest together until smooth, then season to taste.
Heat about 7cm vegetable oil to 180°C in a large pan or deep
fat fryer – the oil needs to be deep enough to submerge at least one fillet of haddock. Put the 50g plain flour in a bowl and dip a piece of fish first in the flour, then in the batter, making sure it is completely coated. Place carefully into the hot oil (giving the pan a gentle shake, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom) and cook for around four minutes or until the batter is a light golden brown and crispy. Only fry one or two fillets at a time depending on the size of your fryer or pan – if they touch in the oil they will stick together. Remove and drain on some kitchen roll to soak up any oil. Repeat with the remaining fish.
To assemble, put a tortilla wrap on the table and spread with pesto and lemon mayonnaise. Add a handful of salad and a few slices of cucumber, tomato, red pepper and onion – or whatever else you fancy – and then place your fish on top. Season, wrap and enjoy!
A perfect gift or just an added addition to your own kitchen bookshelf.
The Seafood Shack – Food and Tales from Ullapool is published by Kitchen Press (available from their website at www.kitchenpress.co.uk) Kitchen Press books are also stocked nationally in Waterstones, independent bookstores, farm shops and gift shops plus online at all the regular places.
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