Spring is on the way and apart from the days slowly getting longer and warmer, it is also a time to lighten up what we shoved down our gullets during winter.

And nothing lightens the load more than a few simple seafood dishes. Whether you’re entertaining or simply want to treat yourself at home with a couple of simple yet delicious seafood recipes, former chef turned politician Simon Lapping has shared two of his recipes to do just that.

When Lapping is not fighting the good fight in council chambers, he spends a lot of his free time mentoring a young chef, Chesley Furlong, who is interning at a clubhouse near his home in Kempton Park.

Lapping said: “Food is my absolute passion, and the secret to seriously good flavour in any dish is not to overkill on spices and sauces. The natural flavour must be allowed to come through and choose your other ingredients to enhance that. It’s no fun trying to enjoy a chicken or a steak when they could both really be tasting the same, after tossing a bottle of the marinade into the pot”.

This weekend Lapping swapped his council clobber to don a hairnet and an apron in the clubhouse kitchen and workshopped seafood with Furlong. He shared two of his favorites, simple and easy to cook recipes.

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He added: “There’s just nothing better than cooking at home, to your own taste. It is healthy and there’s something to be said for the cost, too. Calamari is already expensive, but a simple prep can deliver restaurant quality delicious in your kitchen”.

Lapping added: “I make almost everything at home, from scratch. It works out cheaper and it’s possible to freeze and enjoy more, a few days later. I make my own ice cream, bake my own bread, sauces and marinades”.

He said you don’t have to be a chef to experiment in the kitchen: “The recipes below can be amended, adjusted and different seasoning used or, for that matter, replacing the calamari with some prawns or using the sauce for the battered hake on some thinly sliced, home spiced carpaccio”.   

Seafood recipes     

Beer Battered Hake

  • I can of beer
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup flour
  • Salt pepper
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fish spice

Beat all the ingredients together until a thick gooey porridge consistency.

Remove skin off fish whilst frozen. Allow fish to defrost then dab fish in flour and dip into beer batter. Deep fry till golden brown.

Sauce

  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 250 ml cream
  • Knob butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Fresh chopped garlic
  • Seasoning.

Make a roux from flour and butter. Add wine and whisk over the flame until a creamy sauce.

Finish with creamy garlic and seasoning. Serve

Calamari

  • Falkland Calamari tubes
  • Butter
  • Seasoning

Pan fry in butter until soft and firm. Season accordingly.

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