Tag: Catch of the Day Recipe

Legendary Dishes | Wild Salmon Bake


Men with Carrick-a-Rede salmon at Ballycastle in 1962

Irish wild salmon have benefitted hugely from Ireland’s cleaner rivers and now that they are protected there are less of these majestic fish on the open market.

This is a traditional method for cooking fresh salmon.

The oil from the nuts permeates the fish during baking, producing a sweet aromatic flavour.

  • 1 (3 kg) salmon, whole, gutted, head and tail left on
  • 150 g onions, chopped
  • 75 g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 75 g parsley, chopped
  • 30 ml (approximately) water
  • 60 g butter
  • 10 g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 10 g salt
  • Foil

Preheat oven to 230°C.

Blend the nuts, onions, parsley and water to make a purée, adding the water gradually. It should be a thick purée.

Rub the salmon all over with the butter, season liberally.

Stuff the purée into the gullet.

Wrap the salmon loosely in foil, making sure the ends are sealed, place in a large baking tray, cover with more foil.

Bake at 200°C for 65 minutes.

Remove top layer of foil, and slowly move the salmon out of the second layer onto the tray without breaking it.

Baste with juices and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed buttered potatoes, garnished with parsley.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Langouste Grillée (grilled crawfish)


Antony Batt O’Sullivan of Allihies once made a living catching crawfish off the south-west coast of Ireland, but while the lobster has survived the crawfish is harder to find, and most crawfish sold in Europe is imported from India.

They are needed because grilled crawfish is still very popular, especially in France.

Crawfish with a total weight of 17 kilograms fetched fifty three pounds in the old Irish money in 1974

  • 600 g crawfish
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

With a sharp knife cut the crawfish along their length, remove digestive tract and brown material.

Season lavishly, drizzle with olive oil, leave to marinade for 30 minutes.

Cook under a very hot grill for five minutes.

Serve with the cooking juices.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Merluza a la Gallega (hake with garlic and potatoes)


Another Galician twist on hake, this recipe is featured in Catch of the Day | As Fresh As It Gets, Editions Fricot’s European fish book.

  • 4 (250 g) hake steaks, each 4 cm thick
  • 800 ml water
  • 600 g waxy potatoes, peeled, sliced thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 5 g hot paprika
  • Salt
  • Paprika oil, for dressing (optional)
  • Chilli sauce (optional)

Salt the hake, and leave them to rest for 30 minutes, then wash off the salt.

Place the potato slices in an oiled casserole dish, add the garlic, cover with
water, and cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes.

Dust the hake steaks with paprika.

In a large frying pan heat the oil, and fry the hake, about two minutes each side.

Remove to the casserole dish and finish in the oven, about five

Drain the liquid from the casserole, reduce and serve as a sauce with the hake and potatoes.

Or drizzle chilli sauce or paprika oil over the fish.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Steikt Ýsa í Raspi (pan-fried haddock)


The eponymous breaded haddock fillets, one of Iceland’s most popular traditional dishes.

  • 800 g (4) haddock fillets
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g flour
  • 25 g butter
  • 15 ml milk
  • 15 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • Seasonings, large pinch
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish

Sieve flour onto large plate, season.

Place breadcrumbs on large plate.

Break egg into a shallow bowl and whisk with milk.

Dust fillet with seasoned flour, dip in egg-milk mixture, coat in breadcrumbs.

Press breadcrumbs into fillet.

Repeat with remaining fillets.

Double-dip and breadcrumb fillets if any egg-milk and breadcrumbs are left.

Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Fry fillets, three or four minutes each side depending on thickness.

Serve with lemon and parsley, and potatoes.

Indigenous Ingredients


Condiments | Hummersås (lobster sauce)


Galway Bay fisher Micheal O’Connell with two of his prized lobsters, about to be shipped to France

Swedish lobster sauce was traditionally made using a seasoned sweet roux, cream, milk, egg yolks and pieces of lobster meat, and finished with lemon juice.

Gradually the recipe changed to include the French method (made with a white wine fish fumet and lobster butter, omitting the roux) and then onions or shallots, tomatoes and assorted vegetables.

Fish and concentrated lobster stock was used to make a stronger sauce, and lobster meat was excluded.

This combines the French and Swedish methods.

  • 1 lobster
  • 500 ml brandy
  • 500 ml cream
  • 500 ml + 60 ml white wine
  • 100 g shallots, chopped
  • 30 g lobster butter (000)
  • 30 butter
  • 5 g cayenne pepper
  • Seasonings

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Boil lobster, remove meat, remove to refrigerator, crush shells.

Roast shells in oven for 20 minutes.

Sauté shallots in butter for ten minutes, add brandy, wine and shells, simmer for an hour, strain.

Whip cream, put in a large pot with four tablespoons of wine, bring to the boil, season and add lobster stock. Add cayenne and reduce. Finish with lobster butter.

If a creamy sauce is needed serve without adding lobster meat.

If adding the meat, heat in the sauce for five minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Mussels with Butter, Garlic and White Wine


Another in-shore fruit of the sea caught by the Irish and sold to the French, who, like their Belgian and Flemish neighbours, eat it daily in countless variations.

Still, it is hard to beat a large bowl of steamed flavoured mussels sitting outside an Irish pub overlooking the wild Atlantic – in the warmer weather of course!

  • 2 kg mussels, cleaned
  • 350 ml white wine
  • 1 bulb garlic, cloves finely chopped
  • 45 g butter
  • 10 g black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 2 bay leaves

Sauté garlic in butter in a large deep pot over a low heat for 20 minutes, without letting it brown.

Pour in the wine followed by the bay leaves and black pepper. Bring to the boil, add mussels.

Cover the pot, cook over a high heat, shaking the pot occasionally to redistribute the mussels, until they are all open.

Discard any that are closed.

Strain the liquid, pass through a sieve, into a saucepan, reduce, season.

Serve the mussels with the sauce, and chunks of country bread on the side.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Bretlinu Omlete (sprat omelette)


The sprat population of the Baltic sea has remained stable despite successive catches of 300,000 tonnes in the late 2010s and fears of a collapse of the entire eco-system have been allayed for now.

An annual plan was put in place in 2016 to manage sprat numbers in conjunction with cod and herring. The Baltic cod fishery is under pressure and, as cod prey on their pelagic relatives, over fishing of the sprat population would be detrimental to the dwindling cod.

Sprats have become the dominant fish in the Baltic amidst continuing climate change which may yet impact the eco-system.

In the meantime the sprat is as popular as ever, an essential ingredient in the traditional dishes of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia.

  • 800 g smoked sprats
  • 12 eggs
  • 300 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, large pinches

Whisk three of the eggs. Heat a large frying pan with a tablespoon of oil, add a quarter of the sprats, then the whisked eggs.

Cook until the eggs are done, garnish with dill and parsley, season with salt and pepper, serve with tomatoes.

Repeat the process with remaining ingredients, to serve a total of 4 people.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Fofos de Bacalhau (cod puffins)

  • 500 g salt cod, soaked for 24 hours in 12 changes of water
  • 400 ml water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 45 g white wheat flour
  • 45 ml milk
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Seasonings

Put the cod into the water, bring to the boil, simmer for three minutes. Drain and retain water.

Make a loose batter with the milk, olive oil, adding and whisking the flour slowly. Adjust with some of the cod water.

Whisk in the egg whites.

Heat a pot or deep frier with vegetable oil to 190°C.

Cut cod into 3 cm pieces, dip in batter.

Deep fry.

Dry on kitchen paper.

Serve with tomato rice.

Indigenous Ingredients

Salt Cod

Legendary Dishes | Bolinhos de Bacalhau (fish balls)

  • 1 kg salt cod, soaked for 48 hours in 12 changes of fresh water
  • 650 g potatoes, baked, mashed
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100 g onions, chopped
  • 50 g parsley, chopped
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25 g cilantro, chopped
  • 15 g cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying


4 lemons, quartered
50 g piri piri sauce


Small bowl filled with water

Place stockfish in a large pot with sufficient water to cover, bring to a low boil, simmer for 15 minutes, drain. Flake when cold, removing skin and bones. Shred in a food processor.

Combine cod and potatoes in a large bowl, knead for five minutes.

Sauté onions in olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for five minutes.

Add garlic, sauté for a further five minutes, until garlic and onions are soft.

Stir into the cod-potato mixture.

Add the cilantro and parsley, mix, then fold in the eggs.

Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.

Weigh 50 grams of the mixture, shape into balls using a wet hand.

Heat a pot or deep frier with vegetable oil to 190°C.

Deep fry balls until golden brown, about five minutes.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve with lemon wedges and piri piri sauce.

Indigenous Ingredients

Piri Piri Sauce
Salt Cod

Legendary Dishes | Coquilles Saint-Jacques au Sauce (scallops with sauce)


Scallops in a pesto sauce with linquine.

From late October until mid-December every year the coastline of Calvados comes alive to the enigmatic sound of the great shell. The Festival of the Saint-Jacques Scallop Shell in Ouistreham and the Taste of the Sea at Port-en-Bessin are two of the highlights amidst numerous events along the Normandy coast.

The great scallop Saint-Jacques is a sustainable species and the fishers of the region want to keep it that way. They adhere to a strict regime that allows some areas to remain fallow to allow the creatures to reproduce and grow.

In 2018, when French and British boats clashed, the quote for French fishers in French terroritial water was 1800 kilos a day for a boat of 15 meters, 2000 kilos a day for a boat between 15 and 16 meters and 2200 kilos a day for more than 16 meters.

The French consume up 20,000 tonnes a year of the Saint-Jacques scallop, of which half are caught by Normandy fishers.

In 2002, in response to new World Trade Organisation regulations that did not distinquish between the sizes and varieties of scallops, Normandie Fraîcheur Mer obtained a ‘Red Label’ for their Coquilles Saint-Jacques. Dimitri Rogoff, a fisher of Port-en-Bessin and president of Normandie Fraîcheur Mer, said it was ‘the only way to get a quality recognised superior product of our fishery’. In 2009 the label was upgraded. Fisher Claude Beaufils said the label recognised the quality of his work, and the need to return quickly to port to guarantee the freshness and organoleptic superiority of the product.

The Label Rouge requires the shell to be fished at maturity (the size greater than or equal to 11 centimetres which corresponds to a minimum age of two years). The shell must be clean and intact (neither broken nor chipped, neither loose, nor split) and must be able to conserve water to survive. Boxes of shells are numbered and labelled to ensure traceability to the fishing boat and date of fishing.

‘Now, with the Label Rouge, we know what we have bought. For the nuts, it makes all the difference,’ said Frédéric Chevallet, director at Lequertier, a company that markets the unique scallops of Normandy. The arrival of Label Rouge Noix de coquille Saint-Jacques in 2009 allowed consumers to identify the great scallop of Normandy as an emblem of sustainable fishing, distinct from other Atlantic scallops.

The label can be withdrawn from fishers who do not follow the requirements.

The scallop is a source of calcium, iodine, magnesium, omega 3, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and zinc.

Coquille Saint-Jacques is popularily served in the shell accompanied by an assortment of aromatics. And there was a time that still lingers when these scallops were served in a sauce.

Here are some selections.


  • 32 scallop shells

Heat scallop shells in a warm oven.


  • 500 g linguine

Prepare pasta while shallots are frying.

Apple Sauce

  • 1 kg apples (from Calville, Clochard, Rainette), quartered
  • 250 g onions, minced
  • 200 ml cider
  • 50 g butter (beurre d’Isigny)

Bake the apples in a low oven until they are soft, press through a mesh or sieve to produce a compote.

Sweat the onions in the butter until they soften.

Add the cider and compote to the onions, reduce. Keep warm.

Shrimp Sauce

This recipe is also suitable for crab and crawfish.

  • 250 g shrimp meat, cut small
  • 150 g shallots
  • 120 ml white wine
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 15 g butter (beurre d’Isigny)
  • 15 g rapeseed oil
  • 5 g salt

Sauté shallots in butter and oil, deglaze with wine, less than this quantity if a thick sauce is preferred. Stir shrimp meat into shallot mixture, add lemon juice and zest and a little salt. Keep warm.

Pesto Sauce

  • 250 ml crème fraîche / sour cream
  • 150 g shallots
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 120 g basil leaves
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 30 g butter (beurre d’Isigny)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 15 g olive oil
  • 10 g black peppercorns

Place garlic and peppercorns in a mortar, pound with pestle, add anchovies, pound, add basil, pound, add pine nuts and oil, pound into a paste.

Sauté shallots in butter.

Deglaze shallots with wine, season and reduce. Add cream and pesto, reduce. Keep warm.


  • 16 scallops, corals and nuts
  • 30 g butter (beurre d’Isigny)

Fry four corals and four nuts at a time in a knob of butter 1 minute on each side in a large frying pan.

Place pasta in large bowls, arrange scallops on top, finish with sauce.

Alternatively serve the scallops in choice of sauce in the warmed shells.

Indigenous Ingredients

Great Scallop


1 Norwegian Breakfast

Lefse – Potato Cakes

Once upon a time travellers on Norwegian Railways sleeper trains were handed special tickets by the train chief. ‘These are for your breakfast, go to the hotel across from the station,’ the chief would explain to bemused travellers. The sight on arrival in the grand hall of the grand hotel was a grand breakfast, an assortment of hot and cold foods that had no rival anywhere in the world. Sadly this tradition has lapsed. On the sleeper trains between Oslo, the capital of Norway, and Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim and between Trondheim and Bodø in the far north, a modest breakfast is served onboard. The grandiose buffet breakfasts are becoming a thing of the past, but some hotels are clinging to tradition by presenting modest grand buffets. Think of every possible breakfast food that is served across Europe, add the Norwegian love for loaves and fishes, cheeses and crispbreads, bacon and eggs, pickles and potatoes, and then something you never imagined.

  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Cheese – Brunost Cheese – Gamalost Cheese – Gudbrandsdalsost Cheese – Jarlsberg Cheese – Norvegia Cheese – Pultost Cheese – Ridder Cheese – Snøfrisk Coffee
  • Crackers
  • Crispbreads
  • Eggs – boiled, fried, poached
  • Fishes – Klippfisk (cod), Lutefisk (lyed cod or ling), Sild (herring)
  • Leverpostej (liver paste)
  • Milk
  • Museli
  • Pickles
  • Lefse (potato flatbreads)
  • Potatoes
  • Smoked bacon, grilled to a crisp
  • Smoked salmon, with lefse or toast
  • Tea
  • Toast
  • Yoghurt

2 Welsh Breakfast

Bacon and eggs are a traditional breakfast throughout Europe, cockels and laverbread less so. In south Wales the sands stretch the length of the Gower peninsula. This is the cockel shore – a place of the laver. Laver is a soft purplish sea vegetable found at Atlantic shores, picked from rocks at low tide. It is thoroughly washed in two changes of water, drained, cooked and sold dried or fresh.

  • 8 slices smoked back bacon
  • 400 g laver pulp
  • 100 g oatmeal
  • Cockles
  • Eggs

Combine laver pulp and oatmeal, shape into 5 cm wide, 2 cm thick cakes. Fry bacon, remove, allowing fat to drip into the frying pan, keep warm. Bring heat up, wait until the bacon fat is starting to smoke, then fry the laver cakes, two minutes each side. Serve with bacon, sausages and poached (or fried) eggs … And fresh cockles.

3 Irish Breakfast

  • 8 potatoes
  • 4 mackerel, filleted
  • 90 g butter
  • Seasonings

Boil the potatoes in their skins. Pan-fry the mackerel in half of the butter, skin-side down first. Serve with the potatoes, split in half, a little butter in each.

4 Sicilian Breakfast

  • 2 squid, cleaned, cut into small pieces
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 5 g chilli flakes
  • Water, for boiling

Bring water to the boil, heat oil in a deep frying pan. Place squid in the boiling water, boil for 90 seconds, then transfer it to the frying pan. Flash fry squid, about three minutes, adding the chilli after two minutes. Deglaze pan with lemon juice, pour over squid, serve.

5 French Breakfast

  • 16 oysters
  • 4 slices thick country bread
  • 4-6 slices streaky bacon
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 15 ml anchovy sauce
  • Pepper, large pinch
  • 4 wooden skewers

Shell the oysters, soak in the anchovy sauce and lemon juice. Season, wrap a piece of bacon around the oyster, skewer, four to each stick. Toast the bread and place the oyster wraps under a hot grill for two minutes.

6 English and Scottish Breakfast

  • 600 g haddock / smoked haddock, cut into chunks
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 350 g long grain rice
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 75 g onion, chopped
  • 25 g butter
  • 5 g parsley, chopped
  • 5 cardamoms, crushed
  • 3 g cinnamon
  • Turmeric powder, very large pinch
  • Seasonings
  • Water, for boiling

Sauté onion in butter in a large frying pan for ten minutes, add bay leaf, spices and seasonings. Stir rice into the onion mixture, add stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Simmer haddock in water for five minutes, flake and set aside. Chop eggs into small pieces. Stir the eggs, fish and parsley into the rice, heat through, season.

7 Swedish Breakfast

  • 2 litres water
  • 250 g smoked salmon, sliced thin
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices wholewheat bread
  • 10 g salt
  • Black peppercorns, crushed

Salt the water and bring to the boil. Break an egg into a small bowl, carefully let it slip into the water, reduce heat and poach for three minutes, remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper. Repeat with remaining eggs. Toast bread, place a poached egg on each slice, garnish with equal amounts of the salmon and a sprinkling of black pepper.

8 Turkish Breakfast

  • 1 kg Black Sea anchovy fillets
  • 250 g corn / maize flour
  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • Sunflower oil

Pour flour into a large bowl, dredge anchovies through flour, place side by side on plates. Heat oil, fry anchovies until crisp, drain. Serve with lemon juice.

9 Greek Breakfast

The art of preparing octopus for the grill has consumed the time of Greeks for centuries. The tenderising process alternates between pounding, freezing, baking, marinating and slow cooking. Yet the one method that remains infallible is drying the whole fish under a hot sun in a light breeze.

  • 1 kg octopus, sun dried
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 30 ml vinegar
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp oregano

Blend the oil and vinegar, cut the octopus into pieces. Marinade in this mixture for an hour. Grill under a high heat for three or four minutes until the flesh is tender. Serve with vinaigrette of lemon juice and oregano.

10 Russian Breakfast

Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat describes caviar as ‘the last legendary food of modern times’. Traditionally caviar was made from the roe of wild sturgeon in the nutrient rich Caspian Sea.

It came in four varieties: –

Beluga (pale to dark grey eggs from the larger fish, up to 1000 kg).

Oscietra (various coloured eggs from the smaller fish, 300 kg).

Sevruga (dark grey to black eggs from the smallest fish, 60 kg).

Sterlet (a very small sturgeon that is almost extinct).

Seruga is thought to be too strong for a breakfast caviar, beluga too rich, which leaves oscietra, a light nutty caviar. Because of its flavour, roe from the Icelandic capelin is accepted as caviar and suitable for breakfast.

  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g oscietra caviar / black capelin caviar
  • 45 ml kefir
  • 45 g flour
  • 10 g sugar
  • Baking soda, large pinch
  • Oil, for frying
  • Salt, pinch

Whisk the kefir into the eggs, season, add flour and soda to make a smooth batter, leave to froth. Heat some oil in a hot frying pan, pour a tablespoon of the batter into the centre of the pan, remove from heat. When holes form on the surface, flip over, and after a few seconds press with a spatula into the pan, putting it back on the heat for a minute. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with the caviar.

Legendary Dishes | Fagottini agli Scampi (prawn dumplings)


It would be a stretch of the imagination to suggest that Marco Polo brought the idea of these delightful prawn dumplings back from China. It is probably a coincidence that the same idea existed in Europe and in Asia at the same time. It is when you realise that anchovy sauce is the secret ingredient in both versions that the similiarity becomes spooky!


  • 300 g white durum wheat flour, t00
  • 3 eggs


  • 350 g prawns, chopped small
  • 90 g breadcrumbs
  • 45 ml white wine
  • 3 spring onions, sliced thin and long
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp anchovy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 10 g salt
  • Savory

Sauce – 1

  • 200 ml fish stock
  • 150 g carrots, cut into cubes
  • 100 g potato, cut into cubes
  • 50 g tomato passata
  • 15 ml olive oil

Sauce – 2

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 30 g black pepper

Brown the garlic and spring onions in the oil, remove the garlic. Add them prawns, sauté for a few minutes, pour the wine and heat through. Season, add choice of herb and take off the heat. Mix the breadcrumbs into the prawn mixture, leave to cool.

Meanwhile make the pasta dough. Roll thin, cut into rounds or squares, fill with the prawn mixture, twist ends to seal.

If using the first sauce, cook the carrots and potatoes in the fish stock. When the carrots and potatoes are cooked, add the passata and olive oil. Heat. For a coarse sauce mash the carrots and potatoes. For a smooth sauce blend the carrots, potatoes and passata.