Keep In Touch

Follow Mariahalse on Twitter Follow Mariahalse on Pinterest Follow Mariahalse on Instagram

Monday, 16 May 2011

Young's Seafood event

"Ahh comment on va se régaler! La bouffe française est la meilleure! Quel festin!"
*"Oh we're going to eat so well, french food is the best! what a feast!"

These phrases are often uttered by my Frenchman when awaiting a trip to the homeland. I don't appreciate his blindness to my wonderful home cooked meals but understand where he's coming from. They just know how to mix things together to create a delicious platter. On our recent trip to Bretagne we were certainly spoilt by our hosts by dining Coquilles St Jacques one night, and a massive seafood platter filled with Oysters, Spider Crab, Langoustines, Bigornot, Palourde... yum! We sometimes buy fresh prawns, and fish (mackerel in foil with veg chucked in or steamed salmon and broccoli à la Jamie Oliver) but not enough! According to the Department of Health we're meant to eat two portions of fish a week and the Mixed Up household currently goes by one if anything! Oh dear.

With a hope to improve my seafood cuisine and find out more about fish I was delighted be invited by Young's Seafood to L'Atelier de Chefs cookery school in Wigmore Street to perfect my culinary skills and know more about Fish.
Bring it on little fishies!
Two a week
Young's Nutrition Director Clare Leonard shared the nutritional benefits of fish with us; Crammed full of Vitamins A, D, Omega 3, sea minerals and protein, Fish is so GOOD for you! And not very fattening. So make sure you're eating the 2 portions a week including one portion of Oily fish.
Oily fish can be forage fishe e.g. sardine, herring and anchovy or pelagic fish e.g. salmon, trout, herring, fresh tune and mackerel (my staple choice as it's rather cheap!)
White fish include cod (but leave them alone for now!), haddock, whiting and sole.
Oh, and 1 portion = 140g, 1 fillet or 4 fishfingers!

Did you know that:
  • Fish and the Sun give us Vitamin D allowing us to absorb calcium and strengthen teeth and bones, but we're not getting enough of the latter - not because of the lack of sun in the UK, but because we need to get out more. Fish is our biggest dietary source of Vitamin D, so by eating more fish you can stay inside and watch TV! No seriously, get outside more - isn't it awful we're spending so much time indoors that our Vitamin D levels have depleted...?
  • The Omega 3  keeps your heart healthy and is essential for your child's developing brain -  but our bodies can't produce it so our diet needs to include plenty of it so oily fish is a fantastic supplier of omega 3.
  • 1 portion of fish  provides half your daily Protein requirement - which is great for growing kids as it builds muscles, bones and repairs bumps and bruises (Leon's toddling about ensures a constant supply of these!) However you need to vary with other types of proteins (pulses lentils, beans, quinoa, tofu...) 
Easy and healthy
    White fish is low in fat and is so easy to prepare with the simplest ingredients. Onions, tomatoes, spinach, leeks, pancetta, cheddar, mozzarella, butter - all of which I usually have in the fridge or an alternative, will make you three delicious platters that can be ready in 15 mins. Top chef Serge Nollent demonstrated how to easily prepare three fishy dishes and then two teams of mummy bloggers had a go!

    Team Cod cooked up a delicious Roast Cod with cider braised leeks, peas and pancetta and Team Haddock successfully produced this fantastically easy and mouth-watering Smoked Haddock, Cheese and Tomato Bake 

    Serves 4
    4 fillets / portions 100g to 120g each of smoked haddock skin off
    8 medium size ripe tomatoes cut into quarters
    2 slice red onions
    2 crushed garlic cloves
    2 sprigs of rosemary
    80 g grated mild cheddar
    1 ball of mozzarella
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Sea salt &ground black pepper
    • Preheat oven gas mark 6 / 200c
    • Sauté the tomato, red onion & garlic in olive oil on medium heat for up to 4 minutes, season slightly (remember the smoked haddock is already salted).
    • Put into oven proof dish, place fillets on top, sprinkle cheddar & tear up mozzarella, place rosemary sprig between fillets, season with ground black pepper, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
    • Cook in oven, top shelf for 15 minutes. Serve.
    Et voilà! One mouth-watering smoked haddock, cheese & tomato bake
    Team Haddock with Serge Nollent and our final dish
    Cooking up a storm I'm looking forward to trying these out again - with a lot of confidence after tasting the superb dishes that we successfully duplicated (pretty much!). Prepping up by chopping onions etc will definitely help and although following recipes is useful, once you know the basics of a recipe, you can replace with a different ingredients: parmesan instead of cheddar, low fat yoghurt instead of creme fraiche, wine instead of cider and you could live off fish forever!!  

    No Fishy Fishing

    All Young's seafood comes from sustainable sources and are accredited by the MSC. Their purchasing decisions are made with keeping in mind the capacity of the environment to support the fishing practices involved and supplying seafood for over 200 years definitely know their stuff when it comes to fish. Young's have developed positive steps to fish sustainability through Fish for Life - their award winning approach to sustainable fishing, by funding research and engaging with the fish industry and lobbying governments to implement better legislation. Young's understand their ethical obligation to do so, if future generations are to enjoy the delicious fish we do today! Additionally, frozen fish reduces food waste as it'll keep for months!

    Young's Fish Expert Duncan Lucas demonstrating his filleting skills
    Young's fish expert Duncan Lucas shared his filleting skills with us and we discovered what it takes to produce a top quality fillet that any chef would be thrilled to receive. From slicing, snipping, flipping, cutting and plucking out the bones, we learned the importance of a well filleted fish and I was pleased to know that at Young's they are hot on minimising fish waste. Duncan explained how fish heads are send to Malaysia where they are eaten as a delicacy and fish cheeks and tongues are highly sought after luxuries in Norway! We were lucky enough to have a taste of these fishy facial parts and I indeed say that they were deliciously tender and lighter than the main fish.

    I was very happy to have tasted a range of Young's products especially the breaded chip shop Mackerel and King Prawns that were absolutely delicious. It was certainly inspiring to taste how the accompaniments can totally liven up a dish and change it from a weekday evening meal to a lighter lunch. We tasted the breaded fish alongside a sublimely healthy basil salad and the king prawns in a pomegranate and mango salad - divine!! It's so easy to include fish in your diet and there are plenty more recipes and Serge's podcasts on the Young's website. I'm definitely going to delight my husband with showing off my new culinary skills with these beautiful seafood dishes.

    It was also a pleasure meeting some other mummy bloggers so please take a look at their blogs if you haven't yet : The heavily preggers, mum of toddler and poster of beautiful photos, another mexicana married to a frenchman, yet another femme de français and foodie blogger, first to review Young's event and super reviewer

    1 comment:

    1. wow looks great fun! hope to see some fishy recipes on your blog soon then x