Scared of shellfish?
Despite being a previous Food Blogger, and what I would consider to be open minded around trying new or unusual food, I'm a big fearty when it comes to shellfish.
I like regular fish. Fish with flesh. Simple, unassuming fish that doesn't look at you when served with eyes full of sadness. Fish such as filleted salmon, cod, sea bass, haddock (you get the picture). I often order fish when eating out as I rarely know what to 'do' with it to make it appetising at home.
Shellfish based challenge
So, when I agreed to embark on a shellfish based challenge presented by Scottish Shellfish, I really was treading water. They kindly sent me langoustines, oysters and mussels to experiment with (three fish I would normally avoid at home). I have to say I am impressed at how fast and simple they were to work some magic on and what natural flavour they held within themselves, you really don’t need to tamper all too much!
Cooking the langoustines
I knew langoustines didn't take long to cook, nor should they be masked by any heavy flavours or sauce but other than that I was a tad stumped. My innate reaction was to pair them with lemon and parsley, so I went with my gut and did just that (along with a clove of roasted garlic as this gave a sweet hum to the butter). After reading a couple of articles I soon established they would be cooked in around 10 minutes (fast food indeed!) and after consulting a few videos on YouTube I was confident on how to get the blighters open.
Although I did have to 'coach' myself when cooking and handling these sea-based creepy crawlies they were very much worth it and encourage everyone to give them a go!
Try some shellfish!
Sadly, many of our fish caught in Scottish waters travels overseas to be enjoyed. This is down to people like me who are afraid to branch out, don't know what to do with it or have simply never tried it before! With variety in abundance, short cooking times and many health benefits associated with lean mass and essential oils, shellfish is a great alternative for a week day main meal or a special weekend dinner date.
I urge you to try this recipe if you haven't before, or dabble in some other varieties of seafood should you be a regular visitor to your fishmonger already!
- To enjoy fresh langoustines in minutes simply place them into boiling water, cover with a lid and cook for 8 minutes.
- Whilst they are in the pot, melt butter in a separate pan, add coarsely chopped parsley, a clove of crushed pre-roasted garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- To remove the meat from the cooked langoustines, remove the head, squeeze the sharp sides together until you hear a crack (all the way along) and finally prise apart the shell to remove a relaxed 'C shape' of succulent meat.
- This meat can then be dipped in the butter or drizzled over, either way they make a fantastic fast food starter or fancy appetiser!
This recipe and blog was written by Nicola Reid (former Food Blogger), you can reach her on Twitter.