Being surrounded by sea on an idyllic island in the Channel has given us the opportunity to try some “living off the land/sea”. With its crystal clear waters Guernsey’s micro-climate gives a bountiful supply of food for free (as long as you’ve got the time and patience!) So going through all four seasons here has been both interesting and exciting. It has ignited our passion for both foraging and feeding. So this post is an example of some of the recipes that we have managed to cobble together from recipes and experimentation with the available resources.
Any recipes not written here are available on our Recipes page.
Baked Pollock Head. An interesting Steve-only meal!! Following Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s recipe and a leap of faith! He did remove the meat before bringing the dish to the table – thankfully! Although the eye rolling around was slightly off-putting!
Pasta with Chestnut Pesto. After roasting and then storing in the freezer, we finally plucked up the courage to use our chestnuts and thought a nice simple pesto would be a good choice. It worked extremely well. Roasted chestnuts, basil, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice – all whizzied together. Add to cooked pasta of your choice, mix well, serve and eat!
Devilled Spider Crab. Won’t win any prizes in a beauty contest but tastes wonderful (says Steve).
Lobster Foo Yung. This recipe will be included in Steve’s 101 ways to cook with lobster!
Limpets In Garlic Butter. This recipe is very similar to the first time Steve ate snails in France and is just as good. However, with only one person eating it, no kissing allowed!
Grey Mullet is considered a dirty fish due to the fact that it is vegetarian. For those with a sensitive nose/stomach it does smell when first caught and cleaned but within twenty four hours you wouldn’t know you had fish on board. It is also notoriously difficult to catch as it has very soft lips and does not take a baited hook readily. However, crust-on white bread with a very small hook and lots of patience works. The biggest fish landed to date – 4lb!
Baked Tandoori Mullet. Using our normal tandoori recipe, the mullet tasted just as good as seabass.
Cured Grey Mullet. With a nice sized fish, remove the scales (the size of adult fingernails), remove the two fillets and de-bone and cure using a 50:50 salt and sugar mix. Place fillets in the mix, flesh together ensuring a good coverage of the cure in between, wrap tightly in greaseproof paper then clingfilm. Refrigerate in an airtight container for three days (depending on the thickness of the fillets), turning every twenty four hours. After the three days rinse well and pat dry. The fish can then be eaten as is or used in other dishes.
Grey Mullet Ceviche. Rehydrate the previously cured mullet by soaking in water for approximately 2 hours, changing the water at least once. Slice the flesh as thinly as you would smoked salmon, then marinade with onions, white wine vinegar, lime juice and sugar for two hours, stirring occasionally. Surprisingly the mullet didn’t smell but the onions did!!
Poor Cod Ceviche. An unknown visitor to Steve’s lobster pot meant online searches to discover what type of fish he was. It turned out (as expected) to be a member of the cod family and was treated culinarily as such. One fillet was made into ceviche and the other was simply pan-fried with a dusting of flour. The skin was removed post cooking as it didn’t crisp well enough to eat.
Lobster Steamed Buns. Tastes amazing, could look better! I know that I am using the wrong flour so it is not white and I think I am rolling my dough a bit too thin!!
Marinated Squid. Yet another unusual visitor to Steve’s pot! Watching him cleaning it in a white tee-shirt gave me palpitations but amazingly the ink did not migrate to his shirt! His fingernails took days to look clean again after though!
Potted Winkles. When his pot wasn’t providing enough entertainment, off he wandered to the beach with bucket in hand returning with a couple of pints of winkles. He then subsequently boiled them and sat outside, after stealing my curved sewing needle, for the next two hours removing the flesh and the toenail flap whilst deciding what to do with them.
Souffléd Spider Crab Quiche. Yet another variation of quiche using spider crab and horseradish.
Pollock Fishy Sandwich. This is the only fish recipe I have actually eaten. Battered pollock fillets in buttered crappy sliced white bread – delicious!
Butternut Squash Risotto. I absolutely love making risotto, I find it very therapeutic and will quite happily stand stirring for as long as it takes just as long as the boat is not too rocky or rolly!
Tofu & Mushroom Stir-Fry. In one of our trips to the charity shops for books and DVDs we came across ‘Natural Alternatives to HRT Cookbook’ by Marilyn Glenville and, considering my age and temperament at the moment, Steve thought it prudent to purchase it. A very informative read and some interesting recipes. This was our first attempt and worked fairly well but I am still not a big fan of the texture of tofu!