After working all day at Holkham I couldn't leave for home without a hunting out a tasty bit of fish for supper. The problem is everywhere gets booked up in the season and I didn't want fish and chips and hadn't got time for a full 3 course meal. Chancing it I stuck my head in the door at the nearby Wells Crab House and the lovely Maitre D' offered my daughter and I the bar seat (more of a shelf, but a perfectly good place to eat a snack). We ordered four starters: Potted Shrimps (pictured) A crab tart. Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes and Pan fried Scallops with a ham fritter. Perfectly hitting the spot and washed down with an alcohol free Adnams Ghost Ship. More about Drinks for Drivers in another blog.
Do you fancy yourself as the Chief Taster for Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill? You get paid in fish! Details here...
A quick and easy crab recipe which serves eight as a starter, or four as a large main course.
2 dressed crabs ( I use brown and white meat, some prefer just the white meat)
10 tbsp very good olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp finely chopped fresh red chilli
75ml dry white wine
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped basil
Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine for 9-11 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the garlic and chilli.
Fry lightly without colouring for about one minute.
Stir in the crabmeat and heat through for another minute.
Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble and reduce a little.
Drain the linguine and add to the crab mixture.
Stir in the parsley and basil and toss everything together to coat evenly.
Finish with the lemon juice and grated zest.
Season to taste and serve immediately
A pre- theatre snack is always better with a cocktail or two, and we had ours at La Bodegra Negra with a side order of tortillas and ceviche which by all accounts is the 'next big thing'. But only if you live in the Caribbean and can get the best quality and freshest raw fish, which here most of us can't. If you are by the seaside here it's worth trying with just a squeeze of lime, oil, salt, pepper and chili. One American website I looked at said the name came from English-speaking people, who watched fishermen on the coast of Peru eating their fish directly from the sea with just lemons and salt, and said 'See the beach.' and since this was a phrase that the locals couldn't repeat, they pronounced it 'Ceviche' instead. Well Americans - just because you don't have as much folklore as us there's no need to make it up.