I admit it. I am one of those people who doesn’t eat anywhere near enough fish. I love tuna, and we’ll often have salmon or cod, but not nearly enough to hit the twice a week guideline. If I’m getting creative in the kitchen, it tends to be meat dishes or veggie when Alex is out…but Alex does like fish so I literally have no excuses, except inspiration. I also LOVE shellfish but hardly cook it…until now.
This week, I was invited along to Young’s Seafood new Shellfish range launch – a masterclass with chef Serge to learn how to cook some fab, quick and simple yet delicious shellfish recipes, and not just a red thai curry or cheat’s risotto -cross-paella dish.
A little late coming from an appointment, I missed the first bit but the 7 other people in the small exclusive group of us who had been invited along, soon filled me in on the delights I’d already missed out on – A Jumbo Tiger Prawn Cocktail and Seafoood Linguine (with the new Fruits de Mer), both the dishes I’d missed sounded amazing. In fact, the linguine was the fave dish of the night for a few of the others.
Chef Serge did a demo of all the dishes, another four, and everyone gathered to watch, listen to the key tips and advice, and be inspired.
Serge’s passion shone through in every dish – the care and how he handled the food, the way he spoke, everything radiated his love for cooking, and most importantly these new shellfish combos/packs.
Ok, on to the dishes I tried…
The Coquille and Prawn St. Jacques with a Brioche Crust was a delicious and beautiful starter. The king prawns and scallops (from the new range) on the smaller side when cooked, but juicy and flavoursome in a light buttery sauce – a pink peppercorn butter comes in the pack! The samphire added colour, fresh greens and a slightly salty edge.
The Jumbo Tiger Prawn, Roasted Brussel Sprout and Butternut Squash Salad was a fantastic combination of flavours and textures. The tiny butternut squash cubes added a fab sweet touch, the sprouts a crunchy wintery taste, and the jumbo tiger prawns themselves were large and juicy. The dish was tossed in a light sour cream dressing, which complimented and accentuated the flavours further. This was one of my favourites of the evening!
Another salad, yet there’s no boring combinations here – The Warm Salad of King Prawns & Scallops with Asparagus, Peas and Pancetta was another well-thought out combo. The king prawns and scallops, the same as those used in the Coquille and Prawn St. Jacques with a Brioche Crust, were combined with blanched asparagus, a la dente peas and lambs lettuce, and drizzled in a mellow orange mustard dressing. The salty pancetta complimenting the sweet and juicy flavours of the orange.
Last but not least we tried the Seafood Paella, a traditional recipe using the Fruits de Mer. Taking a little longer to prepare, but not quite as long as risotto, the short rice was flash fried with the chorizo and peppers, and cooked more slowly, the stock being added bit by bit. Cooked with saffron and smoked paprika, the intense smoky flavour made for one seriously mouth-watering dish. Some fab paella inspiration right there – this was a joint-fave of the evening.
Serge made all the dishes look so effortless, and yet they were all beautifully put together in both textures and flavours. All the recipes were pretty quick too, giving me some great inspiration for mid-week meals! My faves of the evening were so good I’ve popped the recipes below in case you want to give them a go too – you have to let me know what you think.
All three of the new shellfish packs – Fruits de Mer, Jumbo Tiger Prawns and King Prawns and Scallops – are frozen to lock in the freshness (you can find them in the freezer aisles at Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s). Each pack serves two, and just needs defrosting before a few minutes in the pan, or adding to your new shellfish recipe. Super convenient!
With nearly two thirds of Brits admitting they look for new and exciting shellfish recipes (research by Young’s), this truly has inspired me to get more creative with shellfish, so watch this space.
Do you eat much fish? What’s your favourite shellfish recipe?
My two favourite recipes of the evening:
Seafood Paella with Chorizo (Serves 4)
- 2 packs of Youngs Fruits de Mer – defrosted and drained
- 200g paella rice
- 50g chorizo – sliced
- 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 500ml fish stock
- 1 onion – diced
- 2 garlic cloves – crushed
- 2 large pinches of saffron
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 red pepper – sliced
- 2 tomatoes on the vine – chopped
- 80g frozen peas
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley – chopped
- Ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, fry the onions, peppers, garlic and smoked paprika. Add the chorizo followed by the rice and stir until all the grains of rice are coated and glossy
- Pour in the fish stock and add the tomatoes, saffron and a pinch of black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly and add more water if required
- Stir in the Fruits de Mers (not the butter) and peas, and cook for 10 minutes
- Finally add the butter, heat through, season to taste, scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve with a wedge of lemon
Jumbo Tiger Prawn, Roasted Brussel Sprout and Butternut Squash Salad (Serves 2)
- 1 pack of Young’s Jumbo Tiger Prawns – defrosted and drained
- 140g sprouts – shredded
- 200g butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 tsbp olive oil
- 1 bunch of watercress
- 50g frozen edamame beans
- 50g dried cranberries
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
For the Sour Cream Dressing:
- 140ml sour cream
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp of chopped chive
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the butternut squash and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the sprouts and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season to taste
- Make the sour cream dressing by whisking all the ingredients together
- Blanch the edamame beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and drain
- To serve, place the watercress on a serving dish with the roasted veg and edamame beans. Top with the prawns and cranberries. Drizzle over the sour cream dressing
*I was invited along to the launch event of Young’s Seafood new Shellfish launch. All views my own. Most of the photography in this post was provided by the event photographer belle-imaging.