Cookery Feature - From Tide To Table

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of a new edition of Ireland’s original ‘seafood bible’, From Tide To Table - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Buying, Preparing & Cooking Fish and Seafood. A user-friendly book designed to help even the most reluctant of home cooks to feel comfortable cooking, and shopping for, fish and seafood, it is sure to become a favourite go-to reference on many a kitchen bookshelf.

From nutritious easy-to-prepare family meals to classic seafood dishes that always impress, this seriously delicious ‘How To’ book is a complete guide to identifying, buying, preparing and cooking the wide variety of fish and seafood caught or harvested in Irish waters - and the recipes specially photographed by Paul Sherwood not only suit every mood and occasion, but they are more than the sum of their parts as they add up to create a versatile repertoire that can be adapted for other similar types of fish and seafood, as available.

Giving the lie to the idea that cooking fish is ‘tricky’, From Tide To Table gives home cooks the low-down on all the basic cooking methods, and - importantly - the sauces, side dishes and accompaniments (including sea vegetables) that pair best with fish and seafood.

This practical book also provides an insight into the wide range of fish and seafood available in Ireland and introduces some of the dedicated people who help to bring quality seafood to our tables and those who encourage us to learn more - through visits to specialist producers, for example, and foreshore foraging trips. Dishes featured include everything from wonderful chowders, great classics like prawn cocktail and grilled lobster or sole on the bone, to comfort food, family fare, international favourites and gorgeous seafood party platters.

Although of special interest to Irish cooks, the range of species covered will be familiar in other territories, and the principles of preparation and cooking are universal

Available in good book shops, selected fish retailers and online From Tide To Table is priced at EUR20/stg18/$20; p&p free in Ireland (North and South)



Aromatic Prawns
This clever recipe is ideal as a starter or light meal and will quickly become a favourite as it’s perfect for preparing in advance, to pop into the oven when you are ready to eat. The fragrant seeds and spices add a wonderful aromatic scented flavour to the prawns but will not overpower their own subtle taste. Make sure you have plenty of warm crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices.
450g/1lb large raw peeled Dublin Bay prawns (langoustines), veins removed
butter, for greasing
good pinch each of dill seeds, mustard seeds and coriander seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
good pinch each cayenne pepper, ground allspice and cloves
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve: warm crusty bread


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 4. Place the prawns in buttered individual ovenproof dishes or one shallow casserole dish.

Heat a small frying pan and toast the dill, mustard and coriander seeds for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Tip into a mini-blender or food processor. Blend to a fine powder and then add the onion, garlic and parsley with the rest of the ground spices.

Add the wine vinegar to the mixture and then pour in the oil, in a steady trickle, until the mixture emulsifies. Pour over the prawns, place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve straight to the table with a basket of crusty bread to hand around.

Salmon Parcels
Salmon is Ireland’s favourite fish and one of its greatest attractions is how well it adapts to different cooking methods. This is a very healthy way to cook it, but it must not be overcooked. When the parcels are opened the salmon should still be pink inside when it is served: press the flesh gently – it should give slightly; if it is wobbly or jelly-like it is undercooked but don’t allow it to become firm, as it will then be overcooked and will have lost its succulent texture.

4 x 175g/6oz skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed
handful of fresh herb sprigs, choose from dill, parsley, coriander, marjoram and chives
a few green peppercorns 4 tbsp dry white wine salt and freshly ground black pepper lemon wedges, to garnish

To Serve
basil crushed potatoes (see below)


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5. Using a dinner plate as a size guide, cut out four circles of non-stick parchment paper. Place a piece of salmon on each one and gently scrunch up the sides.

Scatter the herbs over the salmon portions with the peppercorns and season to taste, then drizzle a tablespoon of the wine on each one. Wrap up to enclose and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake the salmon parcels for 8-10 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and tender.

Open the salmon parcels and garnish each one with a lemon wedge. Serve on warmed plates with the basil crushed new potatoes, if liked.

Instead of salmon, try using cod, trout, lemon sole, brill or even turbot.

Basil Crushed New Potatoes

These potatoes are a kind of textured mash, so don’t be tempted to make it too smooth. Pile them into a cooking ring (small metal circular mould) set on the serving plates for a really professional result.

675g/11/2lb new / baby potatoes, scraped or scrubbed
120ml/4fl oz extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4-6

Place the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until tender, then drain well.

Tip the cooked potatoes into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and with the back of a fork, gently crush each potato until it just splits. Season, and then mix carefully until all the oil has been absorbed. Finely chop the basil and stir through the potatoes, then season to taste and serve at once.

Grilled Plaice with Red Onion, Caper and Fennel Butter (cover image)

Beautifully located on Galway Bay, Michael O’Grady’s charming restaurant, O’Grady’s on the Pier, offers a varied seafood menu with views over the harbour and beach at Barna, County Galway. A typical dish is grilled fish, with an accompanying butter – very simple and straightforward, and really delicious. Alternatives to the butter that is given here include parsley & lemon butter and lime, chilli & coriander butter.

4 large plaice fillets
100g/4oz butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
pinch of lemon rind
squeeze of lemon juice
a few capers
2 tbsp finely diced fresh fennel
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve
braised puy lentils, roasted Piedmont peppers (see below)


Preheat the grill.

To prepare the red onion, caper & fennel butter, place the butter in a pan with the red onion, lemon rind and juice, capers and fennel and warm together until just softening - there should still be a crunch.

Arrange the plaice fillets on a non-stick baking sheet and spoon over enough of the butter sauce to just coat. Place directly under the grill for about 4 minutes, without turning, until just cooked.

To serve, spoon the braised puy lentils onto warmed plates and arrange the roasted Piedmont peppers to the side. Warm through the remaining butter sauce and then carefully transfer the plaice fillets onto the plates, spooning the remaining butter sauce on top.

For a special occasion, use Dover sole; otherwise small brill or lemon sole would work well.

Braised Puy Lentils

These puy lentils are cooked with plenty of vegetable stock and have real layers of flavour. If you haven’t got the time to make homemade stock, a good quality stock cube will do the trick. They can be made well in advance and reheated as needed.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
225g/8oz puy lentils
900ml/1½ pints vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Stir in the garlic and chilli, if using, and sauté briefly. Add the lentils and then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain off any excess liquid and season to taste. Use as required.

Roasted Piedmont Peppers

Although the stalks of the peppers are not edible they do look attractive and help the peppers keep their shape. They are also delicious filled with some peeled, quartered and seeded plum tomatoes or even with a couple of anchovy fillets snipped inside before roasting.

4 large red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Serves 4-6

Preheat to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds but leave the stalks intact. Arrange the pepper halves in a lightly oiled baking tin.

Season the pepper halves and drizzle the olive oil on top. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are completely tender and lightly charred around the edges.

Transfer the peppers to plates and spoon over all of the cooking juices. Garnish with the basil leaves and serve warm, or at room temperature.

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