Marinara challenge… seafood for Bowes

We do love a good challenge here at foodisthebestshitever, and petebowes.com has not only set down a challenge but this fiery young man has been more then vocal, and may I say a little impatient in the waiting for said challenge to be complete. But we really do like the cut of his jib, so I am going to create a marinara especially for him.

Now to be honest I don’t usually cook marinara and have definitely never had it on any of my menus… why’s this you ask?

It’s mainly because seafood all has varied cooking times and to just whack it all in a pan with some tomato sauce, just seems ridiculous. And as for that hideous marinara mix that consists of fish scrotums and what not… fuck me that shit has no place in any kitchen ever!!!

I have read a few of Petebowes.com’s comments and he seems to use cream and burnt cream at that… well that also seems fucking ludicrous, unless he means burnt butter, this I could see working as a finishing touch… but burnt cream is not a French delicacy it is just burnt cream plain and simple.

So I am going to break this recipe down into several components so feel free to make the sauce and the pasta ahead of time, as to make all in one sitting would be a decent effort.

Sauce… Nap sauce

To make the Nap sauce simply fine dice 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 large stick of celery then cook off in a medium sized saucepan in some olive oil and salt.

Once this is looking a little coloured, whack in 1 cup of red wine, reduce by ½

Now add in 1 kg of chopped and peeled tomatoes (these can come from a tin, or peel your own by dropping in boiling water for a second then ice water, not forgetting to put a cross in the top)

Add 1 bay leave, 2 sprigs of thyme and simmer on a very low heat for at least 1 hour, really the longer you can keep this on the better (remembering burnt is bad, especially for cream ☺)

Place to one side, some people blend this but I like it chunky, you choose.

Pasta… potato gnocchi

1.5kg mashed potato
1 cup parmesan grated
4 eggs
2 cups fresh basil (sliced fine)
500g plain flour
pinch of nutmeg
salt

To make Gnocchi is easy and extremely hard all at the same time… its not an exact science so it may take a little more flour , less cheese etc but you will get it if you keep trying.

Place your chilled potato on a floured bench and place the eggs in little wells you have created by hand, sprinkle the flour all over the potato and with you hands work all the ingredients together.

Once it starts to come together add all other remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly, making sure not to over work the mix… you just want the mix to not be sticky and when you push it, for it to spring back.

Now cut into 6 pieces and roll out into 1.5 cm logs and then cut into 2cm pieces, making sure to flour well as to not stick together.

Drop in salted boiling water until they float then place in cold water, drain and lightly oil them.

At this point they can be refrigerated until needed, when needed just blanch in salted boiling water again.

Seafood…

This can be made up of what ever you have on hand or what ever you wish to buy.
I am going to use the basic’s … Kings prawns, mussels, pink snapper and scallops

But feel free to use Bugs, clams, crays, occy, crabs (no petebowes the one’s from the ocean, not your pants) basically any seafood but just treat each item with the respect it deserves.

The prawns and scallops I seared on a bbq with a little salt and a tiny sprinkle of Spanish paprika, then literally after a few seconds on each side… place to one side.

The fish should be cooked as a large piece as to keep the moisture and flavour at its peak, so salt the skin and cook skin side down in pan for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy, bang a knob of butter in pan with it and turn over then turn temp down for further 3-4 minutes and it will be sorted… place to one side

In a large hot saucepan whack the cleaned mussels in, then add 1 cup of sweet vermouth and whack a lid on… shake the pan around… literally straight away mussels should start opening… as soon as they do grab them out and place to one side… once all the mussels are out of the pan remove ½ of the liquid and place to one side.

Making the final dish

• In the pot with ½ the mussel liquid add the nap sauce and stir
• Now add in the prawns, scallops and mussels gently toss and place into large bowls for serving
• Place the piece of fish on each bowl
• With the remaining mussel liquid add equal amount of warm cream and with a stick blender, wiz up until it triples in size and making a delicious foam
• In a bowl combine the blanched gnocchi with the foam
• Spoon small amounts of the gnocchi around the fish.

Serve this immediately ☺

I hope with all my heart that this appeases the mighty petebowes.com and with all jokes aside I really do hope he takes the time to make tis because quite frankly it will blow his fucking mind… enjoy ☺

P