Georgina Campbell's Cookery Feature - Simple Summer Seafood

Mackerel with Citrus DressingGeorgina Campbell

Summer by the seaside means lots of fresh fish and seafood - and fortunately the best way to treat good seafood is simply, so these recipes are perfect for those summer evenings when you just want something easy and tasty.

Whether at home or away, pasta is especially handy for summer cooking and, like fish, it cooks quickly, so there are two great pasta dishes here - and most of the ingredients will already be in your kitchen, otherwise they are easy to find.

All recipes are from our fish cookbook ‘From Tide To Table’ (which is currently out of print - but not for long, we hope!)

Mackerel with Citrus Dressing

Mackerel is the ultimate summer holiday fish, and this is a simple - but still a bit special - way to cook this healthy oil-rich fish that is naturally low in saturated fat, full of vitamins and minerals, and an excellent source of essential Omega-3 fats. You could also use herring fillets for this recipe. Serves 4.

8 mackerel fillets
4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill. Arrange the mackerel on the grill rack skin side up and cook under a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through. Some fillets of mackerel may be thicker than others, the thicker the piece of fish the longer it will take to cook. If necessary, turn once during cooking.

Whisk the orange, lemon and lime juice together in a small bowl with the olive oil and chives or parsley. Arrange the cooked mackerel fillets on warmed plates and drizzle over the citrus dressing. Serve with a lightly dressed salad and crushed new potatoes.


Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle with Parmesan Cream Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle with Parmesan Cream

For such a simple dish, this turns out very stylishly, and smoked salmon makes a great convenience ingredient. There is a general rule that you should never add Parmesan to a fish-based pasta dish, but this recipe is an exception to the rule. Serves 4-6

350g/12oz tagliatelle
225g/8oz sliced smoked salmon
4 tbsp torn fresh basil plus extra to garnish
300ml/1/2 pint double cream
6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the tagliatelle in a huge pan of boiling salted water - the bigger the pan the less chance of sticking - give it a stir occasionally! This can take between 8-13 minutes from boiling - check with the packet instructions, as they vary.

Cut the smoked salmon into long strips and mix with the basil. Pour the cream into a pan and bring to the boil, then boil for 1 minute until thickening; stir in 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan and season with pepper.

Drain the pasta and toss with the Parmesan cream, finally fold in the smoked salmon and basil mixture until nicely combined. Divide among warmed wide rimmed bowls and garnish with the basil to serve.


Crab Cakes with Coriander and Chilli Crab Cakes with Coriander and Chilli

These crab cakes are really delicious and very easy to prepare. There really is no alternative to crab meat but do try to use white meat sourced from a good fishmonger that is in largish chunks rather than lots of little pieces. Or, if you have access to fresh crabs, you can of course cook them yourself. Variation, for a more traditional flavour: Omit the chilli, use parsley instead of coriander and serve with a simple tomato sauce or mayonnaise.

Serves 4

225g/8oz white crab meat, thawed if frozen
50g/2oz spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
50g/2oz mayonnaise
75g/3oz fresh white breadcrumbs
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red Pepper & Chilli Relish (optional):

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, halved seeded and chopped
2 red onions, chopped
3 red chillies, seeded
2 tsp sugar
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped

First make the Red Pepper & Chilli Relish (Makes about 300ml/1/2 pint)

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the red pepper, red onions and chillies and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes until the vegetables are completely tender but not coloured, stirring regularly.

Sprinkle the sugar over the vegetable mixture and add the tomatoes, then simmer for another 10 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Leave to cool and then blend in a food processor or with a hand-blender, to make a thick purée. Season to taste and place in a sterilised jar. Store in the fridge for up to a week, and use as required.

To make the Crab Cakes: Place the crab meat in a bowl with the spring onions, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, egg, coriander and chilli. Season to taste and mix gently until well combined. Divide the mixture into eight and then shape into crab cakes.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the crab cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until heated through and golden brown. Arrange the crab cakes on plates with some lightly dressed green salad and a good dollop of the red pepper and chilli relish to serve.


Summer Seafood Linguine MarinaraSummer Seafood Linguine Marinara

An important part of this simple yet very tasty dish is getting the pasta just right, as the slight hardness of the pasta against the soft shellfish is what makes it so special.

Serves 4

1.75kg/4lb mixed shellfish (mussels, clams and/or cockles), cleaned
4 tbsp dry white wine
350g/12oz linguine
4 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
300ml/ ½ pint passata rustica (crushed tomatoes)
2 tbsp torn fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mussels, clams and cockles in a pan with a lid and pour over the wine. Cover tightly and cook over a high heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until all the shellfish have opened - discard any that do not. Strain through a sieve, reserving 150ml/1/4 pint of the cooking liquor, and leaving behind any grit.

Meanwhile, twirl the linguine into a pan of boiling salted water; stir once and then cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente, or according to instructions on the packet.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the garlic and chilli, then sauté for about 20 seconds. Pour in the passata and add the reserved cooking liquor. Bring to a gentle simmer and then stir in the cooked shellfish with basil and parsley. Season to taste and allow to just warm through.

Rinse the pasta under cold running water and drain well. Return to the pan, then pour in the seafood sauce and fold together until well combined. Divide among warmed pasta bowls and serve at once.

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