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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.
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Who Needs The Mediterranean
Posted: July 20, 2010
Most years at around this time, I feel the need for a nice relaxing break in the sunshine. Usually, I head for the Mediterranean - that idyllic little corner of Europe where the sun always shines, the beaches are pure and white, and life moves at a rather more sedate pace than we are used to.
But this year, I decided to do something quite different - I chose instead to holiday at home, here in the UK! My destination of choice was Cornwall…….. a quaint little land tucked away in the far south west of the mainland only four hours from London, yet it feels like a million miles away! Time here definitely moves at a slower pace, and within hours of our arrival, so were we!! No queuing at busy airport terminals followed by lengthy transfers in inadequately air-conditioned coaches for us this time - just an easy road journey and the holiday had begun!
"What about the weather?" I hear you asking. Yes, this is of course a much talked about subject in these fair isles that we call home. And this year, the talk is of not of the wettest on record as we had last year, but instead the warmest and driest for a good many years! Certainly in our week away, it was truly glorious. We enjoyed near perfect conditions with sunshine every day and temperatures in the mid to upper 20's centigrade.
Anyone who reads my posts regularly will know by now that I'm a bit of a "foodie"! And I'm happy to report that our little group ate VERY well indeed that week! Cornwall offers an abundant supply of wonderful, local foods as well as an astonishing selection of very good, modestly priced eateries. Even snack foods are memorable - believe me when I say that a Cornish Pasty (a hearty lightly seasoned meat & potato pastry), a tub of freshly caught cockles or an indulgent homemade ice cream are the stuff of what a truly memorable, British seaside holiday are made of!
As the weather was so perfect, we decided to make the most of outdoor living and cooked over a barbecue most evenings. Cornwall is abundant with fresh fish, so on several nights we bought some freshly caught varieties from the quayside and experimented with different recipes. But best of all was our grilled mixed fish with samphire (a fragrant green vegetable freshly picked from the local marshes). The great thing about this recipe is that you can use almost any fish - just use whatever is freshest and plentiful:
4 scallops, cleaned and left attached to the half shell
4 small or 2 large mullet
Another fish such as brill, plaice, mackerel or whatever is available
Vegetable oil for brushing
90g /3oz butter
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
A couple of handfuls of samphire
Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1. Preheat the barbecue.
2. Brush the fish lightly with the oil and season with salt & freshly milled black pepper.
3. Grill the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on one side and then turn them over and grill for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Grill the scallops for 2 minutes with the flesh side down facing the grill.
5. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a pan and toss the samphire in it for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and season with freshly ground black pepper and the chopped parsley.
6. Arrange the fish on a warm serving platter and spoon the samphire and butter over it.
But alas like all holidays, this one too had to come to an end! However, I am happy to say that I will be holidaying again here in the UK - let's just hope that the weather is just as kind to me next time!