Sunday 19 June 2011

Sea Trout for Dinner

Before industrialisation you couldn't walk through a puddle without standing on a salmon. Service staff had it written into contracts that they wouldn't get fed it more than twice a week. Pollution put an end to that when scarcity made it expensive. Then came salmon farming. In some of the country's most beautiful locations they mastered the intensive rearing of fatty fish whose flesh was only pink because of the dye in the food. The price plummeted and at one point the cheapest fish you could buy in Billingsgate Market was farmed salmon.
The wild fish is a different beast and a hell of a lot more expensive.

Wild Scottish salmon fillet was going for £34 a kilo in MacCallums yesterday. Luckily for me, wild Scottish sea trout fillet, which this is, was just £24 a kilo. I much prefer it's subtler flavour.
Impulse led me to pick up a few embellishments... samphire grass and squat lobsters.

Poached the squat lobsters in salty water, shelled them and used some of the cooking liquor in the samphire grass 'coulis'... how very retro.

The sea trout got pan fried, skin side down for a fair bit to get it nice and crispy. Oh and I scaled it first. The squat lobsters were warmed through in butter.

Went for a bottle of Gewurztraminer because I've become obsessed with trying to find unexpected things it goes with. I even put a few slices of ginger in the coulis to help marry food and wine. This Gewurz cost about £8 in Costco and was lovely.

But it didn't go with the dish. It was just too sweet and exotic, all loukoumi and lychee. Oh well, maybe I'll try powdered ginger next time.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Bargain White Soave from the Co-op

It costs four pounds and twenty five pence. A figure that seems ancient for something worthwhile. If time travel was an option, for the same money, you could splash out on the world's first car, your grandparent's house, a slap up meal in a Hovercraft (for two)... or... a drinkable wine from a decade ago.
Given the exchange rate, I have absolutely no idea how the Co-op sells this so cheap. It can't be easy 'co-operating' with grape farmers, wine makers and shippers at this price. This Soave is not sophisticated and smells of little, but it tastes of pears and grapefruit and goes down a treat. What an incredible bargain.

Soave 2010: The co-operative's own label: £4.25

Monday 13 June 2011

Good News for Glasgow - new independent wine shop coming soon

At the risk of sounding oxymoronic, I've heard a substantial rumour that the former Oddbins store by Kelvinbridge will shortly re-open as an independent wine shop. Apparently the site belongs to the family who have the La Parmigiana restaurant next door and they'd just been leasing it to Oddbins.

Now, with Oddbins gone, they've decided to have a shot at running a wine shop themselves. So hopefully there'll be some interesting Italian wines to try. According to the rumour, they're re-employing the Oddbins staff too. Double good news.