We are very lucky to work with many talented food writers and chefs who help to inspire and delight with their fish cooking skills. Recently Claire Davies, a freelance writer base in York known as The Greedy Wordsmith, kindly volunteered to try out our range of Catch of the Day fresh fish and create some new and delicious recipes for our customers to try at home.
We chatted to Claire about her work, her inspirations and most of all which fish she enjoyed most. Watch out for her recipes coming soon.
Q1. Tell us a bit about The Greedy Wordsmith and your passion for food and writing.
I have always loved my food, long before I fell in love with cooking. In my early twenties I developed a long illness and couldn’t work for a number of years. During this time I spent a lot of time watching cookery shows and reading the beautiful cookbooks that I found on shopping trips out. I was also lucky enough to have a close relationship with both of my grandmothers, chatting with them about their lives in the decades before and after the Second World War. Through these conversations, listening to the stories they told, I became interested in food history and started collecting old cookbooks. Eventually I started developing recipes of my own and began writing my first blog.
I love recipes that people can cook at home. For me, eating should be a social occasion, cooking for someone is an act of love and friendship. I passionately believe that good food should be available to us all, or at least the knowledge to cook the best food that you can afford. I try to write recipes that are accessible to as many people as possible, from the absolute beginner to the experienced. Environmental impact, seasonality and local economy are all important to me, and I also try to reflect this in the way I cook.
Q2 You very kindly agreed to try out some of the Ramus Catch of the Day fresh fish range. Over the 4 week period you sampled 6 different types of fish plus the fish pie mix. Which ones did you like best and why?
The first thing that struck me about the Ramus Catch of the Day packs was that all of the fish was extremely fresh. I think that my favourite has to have been the hake. It was so incredibly easy to cook and tasted delicious, with a firm meaty texture.
The smoked haddock was also a firm favourite at home. I’m not always a fan of smoked foods as I find the smoke too strong. But Ramus smoked haddock had a subtle flavour that balanced perfectly with the fish.
Q3 Which fish would you say was the most versatile? Which one did you enjoy cooking with most?
I always love cooking fresh mackerel. It is not as popular as a fish like salmon or haddock but has a great flavour and pan fries brilliantly. And it is really good for you!
I think the most versatile of all the fish that I tried from your Catch of the Day has to be a close call between the salmon and the seabass. Both of them are simple to cook and eat alone, but also pair well with lots of different sauces.
Q4 How would you rate the quality of the fish?
Excellent. Much better than the quality that I would normally find in a regular supermarket.
Q5 What are your top tips for cooking with fish?
Never, ever be tempted to overcook it. Whether you are steaming, pan frying or poaching, the fish will usually cook much quicker than you initially expect. There are lots of recipes on your website and online generally. This can be a good place to check how long a particular piece of fish might take to cook.
Also, experiment with different sauces or accompaniments. From a cheese sauce with a piece of smoked haddock to a zingy salsa to cut through a fillet of pan fried mackerel – there are lots of ways that you can add a bit of interest. Not that your fish needs a lot of distraction, it is beautiful cooked just as it is with a squeeze of lemon.
Q6 Going forward do you think you will be buying and eating more fish?
Like a lot of people, I got out of the habit of buying and cooking fish. Now that I know where I can go to buy good quality fish from a sustainable source I will definitely be eating more.