Tag Archives: creamy fish salad

Cooking for John Torode, Andrew Rudd & Ross Golden-Bannon in Competition Final

Making My Fishy Dishy
Making My Fishy Dishy
Ross Golden -Bannon, Andrew Rudd, Hugh Sweeney, Emma Kenneally and John Torode
Ross Golden -Bannon, Andrew Rudd, Hugh Sweeney, Emma Kenneally and John Torode
Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad
Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad

Sometimes I find myself in weird and wonderful situations and wonder how I ever got there. Such was how I felt recently when I arrived at chef Andrew Rudd’s private dining venue, Medley, to serve a dish for him, John Torode (UK Masterchef judge) and Ross Golden-Bannon (editor Food&WINE Magazine) in the final of 3’s search for Ireland’s best fish dish.

3 Mobile All You Can Eat Fish Competition
3 Mobile All You Can Eat Fish Competition

I stumbled across the competition on-line and the prospect of winning a trip to the Cliff House and also getting to meet all the esteemed judges caught my attention straight away! I had made a little fishy dishy already that month that had proved quite popular and so entered that into the competition on a whim, and then immediately forgot about it. Until I got a call from 3. It went something like this:

Friendly girl from 3: “You’re in the final of our All You Can Eat Fish competition in 2 days which is going to be judged by John Torode, Andrew Rudd and Ross Golden-Bannon. Congratulations!”

Me (out loud): “”Oh great”

Me (in my head): “I am going to puke!”

Had I really thought I had a chance, I probably would have given my dish more thought and entered something a little more sophisticated. Not that I don’t love my Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad, because I do. I just wasn’t sure John Torode would love it as much as I do! With my cooking I always try to make delicious dishes that are really simple to make, and don’t take much time. And I don’t fit the slaving-away-under-time-pressure, plating-up-in-a-fit-of-sweats stereotype. But alas, I was thrilled to be a finalist and excited to take part, so decided not to worry, and just do my thing.

Anyway upon entering Medley, I met my other fellow finalist, Hugh. After chatting to him for a while, I felt pretty relaxed about the whole situation. Andrew Rudd and his team were there also to help us set up, and they were so genuinely lovely that I was quite looking forward to the whole thing kicking off and starting to cook!

The only thing I was really nervous about, was that as my dish was so quick and easy to make, that it really only takes about 20 minutes to make. We had an hour head to head to cook…. It was a challenge, but I was determined to cook/make everything as slowly as humanely possible in order to try and make myself look busy. Have you ever spent 10 minutes slicing bread before? I have. And I can tell you, it’s ย not easy to cut bread that slowly.

Getting Ready To Plate Up
Getting Ready To Plate Up

What helped me pass the hour however, was chats with the lovely Ketty from French Foodie in Dublin, who came along to support. Also helping was a glass or two or white wine, however this did also cement a reputation of me being a lush (which was entirely untrue) as of course I had my glass in hand every time the judges were around. It was probably the glass or two of wine in my hand that made me decide to make a few friendly jokes with John Torode when he came over to my work station. The jokes about me hoping to avoid the looks of disgust he sometimes gives on Masterchef when tasting an unpleasant dish were not however found as hilarious as I might have thought, and alas, John Torode is not my new BFF.

Here I Am Looking Pretty Scared Of John Torode
Here I Am Looking Pretty Scared Of John Torode

While I didn’t win, it was a great experience and lots and lots of fun. Hugh, the winner, has a seafood stall in the Dalkey farmer’s market where he sells fresh fish and also pre-prepared fish dishes, and I would recommend trying his stuff if you are out that direction. He also sells delicious fresh crab meat which is hard to find readily available in Dublin City.

On a side note. If you have been reading and enjoying my blog posts over the last year since I began my blog, the Irish Blog Awards are now open for nominations, and if you would consider nominating me, I would greatly appreciate it.

*All photos taken by the talented Richie Stokes on behalf of 3 Ireland.

Making My Fish Dish
Making My Fish Dish

Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad

Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad
Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad
My Posh Picnic
My Posh Picnic
Fishy Close Up
Fishy Close Up

Without wanting to toot my own horn, this is probably the best lunch I’ve ever made! Just as well, as I was asked to write a blog for the RTE Food website, under the theme “picnic” recently and was worried my usual picnic food wouldn’t be sophisticated enough. When I was younger my family spent every summer in West Cork and rain or shine we would be on the beach every day for a swim and of course a lunchtime picnic. Our picnic lunches usually involved Egg Salad sandwiches which we gobbled down hungrily after hours or running around the beach and jumping in and out of the sea. I have an obsession with egg salad sandwiches, and it’s probably because of the reminders of endless, happy days spent on the beach.

Alas, I felt providing the RTE Food website with a recipe for Egg Mayonnaise may be laughed at, so instead I made this recipe which still has the creamy element my dear egg mayonnaise had, and delicious capers and herbs that make a good egg salad, but with mixed fish instead of egg. My mum had just pulled a fresh brown bread out of the oven which I thought would go perfectly, so I pinched half a loaf and skipped out of the house on the way to my posh picnic. This was so delicious that I can see it becoming a weekly meal, chez moi. The monkfish was quite expensive, so if I’m making again I will probably substitute it for another robust white fish and maybe leave out the prawns for a more inexpensive, week-day version. Enjoy this little beaut, but if all else fails, an eggy sandwich is always a crowd pleaser! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients (Serves 2 hungry people):

1 fillet monkfish

1 filled trout

4 Irish prawns (don’t be fooled into getting tiger prawns, they’re horrible, hard and not soft and sweet like the Irish prawns)

Brown Bread sliced

Lettuce

Sauce:

3 tbsp creme fraiche

1 tbsp oil (I used rapeseed)

Zest of one lemon

Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon depending on size (taste as you go)

1 handful capers (you can chop any of the big ones, and leave the little ones whole)

2 stalks of dill torn into little bits and extra for garnishing

Salt and Pepper

1. Bake your fish in an oven 180C with a little oil, salt and pepper until cooked through (about 15 minutes). I put on the monkfish first for 5-7 minutes as it was a much thicker piece and takes longer to cook.

2. For the sauce mix together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, capers, chopped dill and season with salt and pepper.

3. Flake or chop the fish into bite-size pieces and stir into the sauce.

4. Serve the fish mix on brown bread and lettuce with a squeeze of lemon juice on top and a garnish of capers and dill.

5. Enjoy!

Bake Fish First
Bake Fish First
Creamy Caper, Lemon and Dill Fish Sauce
Creamy Caper, Lemon and Dill Fish Sauce
Mix in the Bake Fish to the Sauce
Mix in the Baked Fish to the Sauce
Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad
Creamy Lemon and Caper Mixed Fish Salad
Finally Enjoying The Picnic Feast
Finally Enjoying The Picnic Feast
Fishy Food Porn
Fishy Food Porn