This year we attempted to grow some fruit and vegetables in our garden for the first time. It was all a bit trial and error, but one of the surprise success stories were our watermelons – a few seeds thrown down as a bit of an afterthought in mid summer did really well and yielded at least ten decent sized specimens.
We were a little over enthusiastic when the first of the melons reached ‘supermarket size’ and were disappointed to discover that the fruit was not quite ripe. Not wanting to waste the considerable amount of flesh that there was (albeit white rather than pink), we quickly searched the internet for ideas of what to do with unripe melon.
In Norway a few summers back, freshly caught mackerel from the fjord were our staple food for the entire week. They were so plentiful that it was easy to catch enough each day to feed four adults and three hungry children. Simply seasoned and grilled on the barbecue, they provided a healthy, filling and delicious dinner each night. However by the end of the holiday we were all ready for something a bit different, but with several mackerel remaining in the fridge we had to get creative with what we already had.
I had my trusty River Cottage Handbook No. 6 with me and leafing through the pages for inspiration I stumbled across a recipe that sounded perfect for the situation: “a great recipe for using up a glut of oily fish, and it’s perfect for large group of fish diners”. The recipe was ‘escabeche’.
Last week we were invited to some friends for our first barbecue of the year and asked to bring some fish for the grill. Not wanting to take over our friends’ kitchen I needed something I could prep at home, parcel up and just whack straight on the coals when we got there – foil baked sea bass with lemon, olives and rosemary it was then. The results were delicious – here’s how you do it …
Autumn is prime time for hunting big perch on freshwater rivers and lakes, it’s also the season for wild mushrooms. This is a great breakfast to set you up for an autumn’s day out on the water.
The first fish I caught and ate myself was a brown trout. I was probably around seven and caught it with my Dad on a float-fished worm on the River Wharfe. Since then, I have eaten many and cooked them in numerous ways, but this is my current favourite recipe – very simple, but absolutely delicious.
Although you rarely see zander in English fishmongers, they are a common sight in fish markets across Europe, along with a whole host of other coarse fish that many British anglers wouldn’t even think were edible.
My mother-in-law is Polish and every year we celebrate Wigilia – the traditional Christmas Eve vigil supper – with her. Fish dishes comprise the main component of this meal and recently we trialled this recipe as a possible centre piece dish for the celebrations. It came out really well. The fillets were beautiful and crisp on the outside and the pure, white flakes of the flesh not dissimilar to cod or haddock.
This is a little smorgasbord my Dad and I will often knock-up when the tackle has been put back in the garage and we are back in the warm after a cold winter’s day on the bank.
Welcome to North & Wild, a blog about fishing the beautiful rivers and lakes of the North of England and beyond, the satisfaction of cooking what you have caught, grown or gathered, and the soundtrack that, for me, compliments these simple pursuits and pleasures.
In today’s fast paced world, it’s easy to lose touch with the things that make us who we truly are, the things that exhilarate and excite us, fire our imagination and fuel our dreams … I started writing as a means of ensuring I make time for my passions, I hope this blog inspires you to do the same.
Thanks for reading.