How to net profits from seafood
Seafood servings out of home increased 2.3% to 979.2million last year in the UK driven in part by growing demand for healthier options. So how can operators ride this wave? Here six, seafood-loving chefs share their thoughts and ideas for cooking with fish…
Ben Bartlett, celebrity chef and brand ambassador for Lion sauces The secret when preparing fish and seafood is to keep things simple – the fish should always be the star. It’s hard to beat a nice piece of high quality, fresh and sustainably sourced fish, simply grilled or fried with a suitable sauce. Serve sustainably-farmed salmon, glazed with very hot chilli sauce and a splash of soy sauce. Cook on the grill, or bake in the oven, then serve with stir fried pak choi and your choice of rice or noodles for a classic Asian-inspired combination that shows off the salmon to its full potential.
Willie Pike, Major’s consultant development chef for Scotland No need to be shellfish when it comes to your fish and seafood offering. With customers looking for the latest in dining experiences chefs can dare to push the boat out a little and explore popular global flavours, whilst ticking the healthy box. With a little imagination, chefs can create mouth-watering dishes which scream fresh, bold and exciting flavour. Some ideas include:
• Middle Eastern or Mediterranean barbecue style grilled fish.
• Sushi-inspired cured salmon starter served with pickled Asian vegetables, wasabi mayo and sorbet with a kick of lime fruit base
• Gluten and dairy-free baked sea bass with prawns, Pad Thai noodles in a Pan-Asian infused curry sauce
Barry Tonks, head chef at Searcys at the Gherkin, London
• When making Spaghetti Bolognaise, just before serving gently fold in some tinned tuna into the Ragu!! Seriously it’s another level!
• If there is any roe on the lobsters, remove this and whip this with some butter. This lobster butter is great to cook lobsters or langoustines when butter roasting in a pan.
• Always buy whole fish “so you can see how fresh and vibrant the fish is”. Also use all the bones and trimmings for a delicious bouillabaisse.
• When opening scallops always keep the skirt. When cooked in some red wine, port and fish stock these make for a great casserole accompaniment for a pan-fried scallop.
• When using live langoustines or lobsters for raviolis always keep their shells to make a bisque which will accompany the raviolis to enhance their already amazing flavour.
• When filleting red mullet, always keep the livers. These have a fantastic flavour which can be added to a sauce that you make from the red mullet bones.
Anjula Devi, TV chef and author of ‘Spice for Life’ With the nation’s everincreasing love of good Indian food, more and more Indian seafood recipes are appearing on quality restaurant menus. You don’t have to have a large menu, just a wellbalanced selection that will have a broad appeal. It would be great to see more seafood, especially in Indian restaurants, as often the only choice is prawns. Once you have mastered the blending of spices, which does take a little time, you can grow the knowledge required to create great Indian seafood dishes. Some of my favourite seafood recipes are prawns and mahi mahi, salmon wrapped in banana leaves and mussels with green mango and coconut milk. Offering mussels on the menu makes sense – bold flavours, bought together for a quick service with the sauce prepared beforehand, without comprising on taste.
Darren Chapman, business development chef, Nestlé Professional Schools always seem to struggle with getting pupils to eat fish, especially oily fish. They can be hidden in things such as fish pie, fish fingers and fish cakes but this can only be served so many times on a menu cycle. As a chef we can take these ideas and still using the same basic recipe make them into something slightly different. Take fish cakes, if you pipe them into croquettes and coat with Maggi Crunchy Bake, then bake them and serve in a hot dog roll you have fish dogs. Fish pie can be turned into a fish lasagne or even a fish carbonara with tagliatelli. Use Maggi Béchamel as a base instead of cream to make it healthier and save on costs. These are only a few simple ideas but you could even go down the route of hand held on-trend foods such as Mexican tortillas with a seafood filling. None of these dishes are expensive and could all contain an element of vegetables to ensure that the dish is balanced, bulked with cheaper ingredients and within the guidelines of a balanced meal.
Preston Walker, chef director at Oak House residential home in Leicester and regional chair for the NACC Midlands I’ve noticed over the last 10 years that the tastes of our residents have changed considerably. Your tastebuds deplete as you age and a lot of our residents are choosing strong flavoured foods, particularly our dementia residents. As a result some of the dishes we are now serving may not have featured on our menus 10 years ago. One such dish is Cullen Skink, a smoked haddock and potato soup. It’s a great comfort food, energy dense and highly nutritious. You can puree it for dysphagia sufferers too.0