My regular readers will know I am so passionate about seafood I eat it most days and my kids love it too. It's their preferred option. Excellent. I also work for the industry, this is not the reason I love it, but it certainly heightened my passion.A lot of my job involves working in the office but there are occasions that I get out & about and I am really lucky that as part of that I've had the chance to go to Billingsgate Seafood Training School twice to do very different work. The two experiences have been very different, one a food lovers course, learning how to fillet and cook seafood and the other recipe development for the schools outreach programme.
The food lovers course I went to was with the Gorgeous Allan Pickett from The Plateux Restaurant in Canary Wharf, London. I went with English Mum to introduce her to the Fish is the dish campaign. We made plaice in a burre blanc sauce and it was amazing, I make this often just changing the seafood and OMG, it's tremendous.
The courses don't cost that much, the evening ones are good for those who love cooking and there are also early morning ones where the likes of Adam Whittle at the school will take you round the fish market, explaining everything about it. It is so informative. Have a look at the courses and you can find one that whets your appetite. If you can't and there is something you want to do, drop them a line, if there is enough interest in a certain area, perhaps they can look to develop something.
Now onto the recipe development. We had 10 different recipes that we wanted to try, the classroom can hold up to 12 students and every bench had different seafood on it with all of the ingredients prepped with the recipes to hand. We made loads of dishes that day, getting to taste them all. This was my favourite dish of the day:
Mussels steamed in Apple juice Serves 2 -3
1kg fresh mussels
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
150mls apple juice
squeeze lemon juice
2 tablespoons half fat crème fraiche
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Rinse the mussels in cold water,discard any that do not close when tapped.
2. Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft and transparent.
3. Add thyme, apple juice and a squeeze of lemon. Bring to the boil, add the mussels, cover and steam for 3-5 minutes until the mussels have opened. Shake the pan and/or stir the mussels to ensure even cooking.
4. Using a slotted spoon transfer the mussels to a serving dish. Strain the cooking liquid and bring to the boil and leave it to bubble until reduced by half.
5. Stir in the crème fraiche and parsley and pour over the mussels.
Serve with crusty bread.
For more information about Billingsgate schools outreach project click here or to go on the food lovers course click here.
Disclaimer: the recipe was developed by Billingsgate Seafood Training School.