Thursday night has been Seafood night for the last two weeks in the Foodie Quine household. Last week courtesy of Rock & Oyster and this week a Nigel Slater dish. I was really excited when I heard that a new seafood restaurant was opening in Aberdeen. Due to its proximity to the fishing grounds of the North Sea you would think there would be a proliferation of seafood on offer in the city but unfortunately that has not been the case.
I was delighted to be invited to attend the launch event for the new venture in the former Pavarottis on Union Terrace. The Head Chef is 25 year old Ryan Fowler who lists flavour and food integrity as his top priorities. It was great to chat to him about the venture and his down to earth, non pretentious and passionate style really shone through. We were treated to a fantastic selection of items from across the menu. I'm first to admit that I really don't see the attraction of oysters but I did at least try one of the Rockerfella. I absolutely loved the deep fried whitebait and calamari which were cooked to perfection. Crispy, non greasy and accompanied by delicious lemon aioli and spicy tomato sauce. I most probably ate way more than my share of them from the communal plates.
Foodie Loon's favorites were the Mussels and the King Prawn Arribata. He wouldn't even eat prawns when I fist met him so has come a long way under my guidance. Departing from seafood was In-House Oak Smoked Pork Belly. This was awesome. There is something very clever going on in the kitchen with the beer glaze and cooking of this. The food just kept on coming. So much more than the promised canapes on the invitation. Arbroath Smokie Fishcakes, Fish Pie, Beer Battered Haddock and fab homemade mushy peas and tartare sauce to accompany. A great night. Left with full bellies and a great impression. We will be back.
A week later and seafood was back on the menu. We have a fab fish shop The Creel in Stonehaven which has a great selection. I bought smoked haddock and mussels to make chowder and some crab and samphire for a Friday night risotto.I followed a Nigel Slater Simple Suppers Smoked haddock chowder with leeks and sweetcorn recipe so I'm linking this post up to Farmersgirl Kitchen Dish of the Month Challenge. I didn't get round to taking part last month due to holidays so its good to be back.
I'm not very good at leaving recipes alone so I made a few additions. Firstly I used some oil alongside the required "good slice of butter" to cook the leeks. It was Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil "as used by Nigel Slater" so I hope that's okay.
Tatties, thyme and parsley were harvested from the garden. Alas no leeks in my veggie patch. Had never come across the method of using a circle of greaseproof paper in addition to a lid but it worked well. Added some garliky garlic to the milk infusion followed by mussels and smoked paprika at the last minute.
A fantastically hearty dish with great fresh flavours. Actually very simple to make and the ingredients spoke for themselves. Crab and Samphire Risotto tonight and I guess I'd better line up something fishy for next Thursday. Or perhaps I'll go for Paper and Scissors. Third option would be to head back to Rock & Oyster and sample their Seared Scallops with a black pudding and apple risotto served with a Stella Cidre reduction. Best go book me a table.