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Christmas Fare: Try some festive seafood recipes from Star Seafoods

Daniel McCarthy of Star Seafoods discusses a difficult year and his chef Zbigniew Blaszchak shares some seafood recipes for you to try at home.

Zbigniew Blaszchak & Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy of Star Seafoods in county Kerry tells of the changes he and colleagues had to implement this year because of Covid, and fast. His chef, Zbigniew Blaszchak also shares a couple of tasty seafood recipes for you to try this Christmas:

IT WAS SCARY, there’s no other word for it. When Covid-19 struck, most of the 350 hotels and restaurants we supply closed overnight, leaving our 40 staff and a fleet of delivery vans virtually idle.

Like so many businesses, we had to think and fast. It’s like being caught in a whirlwind when your long-established business base is gone, literally overnight.

We had already set up an online shopping facility but it was slow, so when Covid-19 shocked us to our shoelaces and we knew we were going to have to really get behind this, get the word out and got it organised and working well; online shopping was going to have to be our lifeline.

And so it has proved to be. So much in fact that we now deliver to homes throughout the country and have garnered a very loyal base of some 10,000 customers countrywide, for which we are eternally grateful.

Our fleet delivers salmon, hake, cod as well as crab, scallops and juicy prawns. Obviously, with most of the country in lockdown for a considerable time this year, the interest in home cooking grew, and with that the need to try new things, such as seafood.

Changing our model like this has saved us, to be honest, and in fact, it has given us a whole new business base. We’re delighted with how it’s going and the most important thing is that we are getting constant repeat custom.

From sea to door

Once the fish has landed it is brought straight to our state of the art factory in Kenmare where it is filleted, iced and packed and from there delivered in our special refrigerated vans for delivery.

If there is anything businesses have learned from 2020 it’s this – in order to survive we have had to reimagine, rejig and reinvent; Star Seafoods has done that and it’s working well.

We’re now on a mission to make fish eaters out of the Irish population; fish and seafood are so versatile, easy and fast to cook, full of goodness, it’s practically impossible to mess up – what’s not to love.

Our chef, Zbigniew Blaszchak is a great man for the scallops, he’d eat them for breakfast and has a lovely easy Scallop Gratin which could make a lovely elegant starter for Christmas Day perhaps, and for people on the go, there’s our Honey Roasted Salmon Baguette which you could eat for breakfast… our version of the ubiquitous breakfast roll. Zbigniew has shared his recipes below. Enjoy, and Happy Christmas to you all.

Zbigniew’s seafood recipes

Scallop Gratin

star-seafoods-scallops-photo-tony-gavin-18112020 Source: Tony Gavin

Ingredients

700 grams of scallops

1/2 cup white wine

20 grams of flour

20 grams of butter

1 cup liquid made up with the white wine (reserved from cooking) and 150ml cream

salt and pepper, to taste

2 slices of white bread

10 grams parsley

Method

  • Poach the scallops in the white wine for 1-2 minutes.
  • In another pan, melt the butter, then stir in the flour until it fully dissolves.
  • Slowly stir in the wine and 150ml of cream into the melted butter and add in salt and pepper to taste before adding back in the scallops.
  • Place your slices of bread with parsley into a blender and blend.
  • Place your scallop and sauce mixture into a ramekin or if you want to be fancy a scallop shell, top with breadcrumbs and grill until golden brown.

 Honey Roasted Salmon Baguette 

star-seafoods-salmon-roll-photo-tony-gavin-18112020 Source: Tony Gavin

Ingredients

Salmon Fillet 800g

Feta cheese 200g

Garlic butter 50g

Cheddar cheese 50g

Spinach 200g

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Large baguette

Honey

Method

  • Spread the honey and garlic butter over the salmon fillet, wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven at 200°c for 25 minutes.
  • Bake feta cheese in the oven at 200°c for 8 minutes until golden brown.
  • Boil the spinach for 3-5 minutes and drain.
  • Hollow out the baguette using a spoon.
  • Mix the cooked salmon, spinach and feta cheese in a bowl.
  • Fill the baguette with the mixture and cut into smaller rolls.
  • Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the baguette and oven bake for another 3 minutes at 200°c until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Zbigniew Blaszchak is chef and Daniel McCarthy is MD of Star Seafoods in Kenmare, Co Kerry. For more, see starseafoods.ie.

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Zbigniew Blaszchak & Daniel McCarthy

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