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We are very lucky in Ireland to be living on an island that's surrounded by some of the most fertile fishing grounds in the world. With plentiful supplies of hake, haddock, cod, whiting, lemon sole, mussels, oysters and prawns to name but a few. When buying the perfect piece of fish you need to look for nice shiny skin, translucent white flesh and a nice smell of the sea.
It's most important to build up a relationship and trust with your fishmonger at the supermarket. Trust their judgement and the specials on offer, as they want you to enjoy the seafood and come back on a regular basis to get the great health benefits of eating fresh fish.
Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sea trout and sardines are rich in Omega 3, so they are good for the heart and have also been proven to be good for the brain. It's always best to cook the fish on the day of purchase on returning from the supermarket. My favourite way of cooking fish is to pan fry it flesh side down in a hot heavy based frying pan, seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in Irish rape seed oil. Ireland's answer to olive oil! If you like baking fish, get your SuperValu fishmonger to skin and bone the fish for you, place it in an oven-proof bag and you can add flavours such as fresh herbs, leeks, lemon grass chilli, butter and of course either lemon or lime.
If you like cooking with kids, why not try homemade fish fingers, fish taco's, perhaps a fish pie or maybe a very simple pot of steamed mussels with some chopped onion and garlic, a knob of butter and a couple of spoons of creme fraiche, all cooked in a pot for 4 - 5 minutes with the lid on.
Fish such as cod, hake or salmon, work very well when poached or steamed with some sliced leeks, parsley and lemon. Give them 8 – 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fillet of fish – delicious!
In the last five years, consumption of fish in Ireland has grown hugely. At last people are realizing the health benefits and simplicity of eating more fish.
I am delighted to be working with SuperValu as one of their food ambassadors on the Good Food Karma Project and I’m looking forward to advising and adding my expertise to the SuperValu fish counters around the country. In times gone by, fish was penance and only consumed on a Friday. I am happy to say with the supply, handling and quality of the seafood available, it is now being consumed seven days a week.
A final tip to enjoying nature’s fast food, NO SKIN, NO BONE, NO FEAR. Give your SuperValu fishmonger a hug, and you will have a friend for life.