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A cook book to celebrate the British seafood community and their food

For The Love of the Sea, Published by Meze Publishing (out on April 12)

Following the success of For The Love of the Land in summer 2020, which celebrated farmers and their food through a collection of recipes and stories from all over the British Isles, this second cook book compiled by Jenny Jefferies showcases the incredible seafood community in the UK.

For The Love of the Sea highlights the hard work and dedication of the men and women who work in the British fishing industry, as well as those who support them including the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Marine Stewardship Council.

Among the businesses and individuals featured are Dee Caffari MBE, a British sailor and the first woman to sail solo and non-stop in both directions around the globe; Ashton Fishmongers, one of the largest fish retailers in the country; L. Robson & Sons, producers of the legendary traditional oak-smoked Craster Kippers in Northumberland; Cornwall’s National Lobster Hatchery; and Kames Fish Farming, the oldest family-run fish farm in Scotland famous for its Scottish Steelhead Trout. The book also features a foreword by Marcus Coleman, the Chief Executive of Seafish which works with businesses and the government to support the UK seafood sector.

Recipes include luxurious roast turbot with samphire and clams, a classic cod fish and chip supper, Morrocan spiced langoustines, mussels with seaweed, a crispy homemade whiting burger, salmon en croute and lots more. From the kitchen novice to the keen home cook, there’s a dish for everyone and a wonderful range of fish and seafood that takes in popular British staples alongside hidden gems brought to light by experienced and knowledgeable fishermen.

In recent years the brilliant variety of our native species has been overshadowed by imports and exotic fish on the supermarket shelves. This book aims to encourage everyone to fall in love with British fish and seafood again, making the most of our rich coastal waters and highlighting the skills and passion of those in the industry. It also champions sustainability and shines a light on women who take up this dangerous profession but whose voices are not always heard. 

For The Love of the Sea is a 192 page hardback and retails at £22. It will be available to purchase from Amazon, bookshops including Waterstones and online from www.mezepublishing.co.uk & www.jennyjefferies.co.uk .The author, Jenny Jefferies, has also become a Food Hero with Love British Food www.lovebritishfood.co.uk

A proportion of Jenny’s profits from For The Love Of The Sea will be donated to the @RNLI.*

Front cover: Paul Gregory Photography

Clam and chorizo pasta with parsley gremolata

Clam and Chorizo Pasta with Parsley Gremolata – Marine Stewardship Council

Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Serves 2

I love cooking with clams! They are easy to prepare, really meaty and delicious in pasta! The clams used in this recipe are sourced from the small scale Poole Harbour Clam & Cockle Fishery, which is MSC certified as a sustainable and well managed fishery. — Loren Hiller

For the clam and chorizo pasta

24 MSC certified Poole Harbour clams (or other MSC clams, just look for the blue label)

½ white onion

2 cloves of garlic

100g spicy chorizo sausage (not cooking chorizo)

160g dried spaghetti

2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved

200ml dry white wine

Pinch of salt and pepper

For the parsley gremolata

Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

1 clove of garlic, grated

1 lemon, zested

For the clam and chorizo pasta

Before cooking, check for any broken shells or clams that don’t close when tapped; these are dead and shouldn’t be eaten. Any dirty shells need to be scrubbed clean. Finely dice the onion and garlic, and dice the chorizo. Place all three ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and season with salt. You shouldn’t need any oil as the chorizo will naturally release its own oils. Stirring frequently, cook until the onion and garlic are tender, usually around 10 to 12 minutes.

Bring a pan of water to the boil for your spaghetti. Salt the water and cook the spaghetti until al dente, or 1 minute before the final cooking time recommended on the packaging.

Once the onions are tender, add the tomatoes and let them soften slightly. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble and reduce. Now for the fun part! Place your clams into the pan, put the lid on and allow them to steam. When the clams are cooked they’ll pop open. This should take 3 to 5 minutes (any clams which do not open should be discarded).

Take the spaghetti out with tongs, reserving the cooking water, and place the pasta into the pan of clams. Stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Put a tablespoon of the pasta water into the pan with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the parsley gremolata

Finely chop the parsley until it’s almost minced (don’t use a food processor). Stir the garlic and lemon zest into the parsley and chop a little more to get everything incorporated. 

To serve

Serve the clam and chorizo pasta in bowls and sprinkle over the parsley gremolata. Enjoy!

Laverbread and cockle fritters

Laverbread and Cockle Fritters – Vin Sullivan Foods

Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 5-10 minutes | Serves 4

I’m a longstanding friend of Vin Sullivan so was happy to share this easy yet unusual recipe for them; it was always a favourite in their cookery school. Laverbread is a traditional Welsh product made from edible seaweed, and it pairs very well with the delicious savoury flavours of cockles and parmesan. — Chef Franco Taruschio

140g self-raising flour

1 egg

Salt and pepper

30g parmesan, grated

100g laverbread (tinned or fresh)

110-140g shelled cooked cockles

1 litre sunflower or grapeseed oil

Put the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre and crack in the egg. Add a little water, then whisk the dry ingredients into the liquids until you have a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper, but don’t use a lot because the main ingredients are salty already.

Stir the grated parmesan into your batter, then fold through the laverbread and cockles. Make sure everything is well mixed and there are no lumps of flour left. 

Heat the sunflower or grapeseed oil in a large sturdy pan with deep sides. Drop a small piece of batter into the oil to check whether it’s at the right temperature to fry without browning too quickly.

Carefully place dessertspoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil in small batches, turning as needed and removing the fritters when they have a good colour all over. It should take about 6 minutes for them to turn golden. Place them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil before serving at once, while the fritters are still hot.

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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