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28 December 2011

Fish For Festive Season

Hogmanay and festive family feasts this winter provide a great opportunity for Scots to enjoy a wealth of sustainable Scottish fish and seafood.

Breakfast and brunch ideas include kippers made from Scottish North Sea herring or the classic Omelette Arnold Bennet, using Scottish smoked haddock - both of which are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified for sustainability.

For supper, a bowl of steaming-hot Moules Marinieres from Friend of the Sea certified Scottish mussel farms, perhaps preceded by a dozen oysters grilled with garlic butter and breadcrumbs, or a peppered smoked mackerel pate using MSC Scottish mackerel flaked through yogurt. A plate of grilled langoustine would also make a perfect light dish, as would grilled megrim, lemon sole or witch.

For a grand gesture on New Year's Day imagine a towering seafood platter featuring Scottish farmed smoked salmon and fresh rainbow trout, home-grown mussels and oysters, plus locally caught lobster, crab, langoustine, surf clams and razor clams. Served with fresh bread and a bowl of mayonnaise, this offers the perfect celebratory feast. All are available from many fishmongers or supermarkets and are simple to prepare.

Chef Roy Brett, from premium seafood restaurant Ondine in Edinburgh, recommends that we consider seafood this season. He said:

"There is an abundance of fresh fish and shellfish to buy at this time of year and cooked and served very simply, it can be great celebration food. For a real gourmet treat for guests, mix a dressed crab with breadcrumbs, cheddar and nutmeg, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. They will be clamouring for more!"

Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

Cooking cod roe for Boxing Day breakfast
"The seafood landed by Scottish fishermen and the fish and shellfish farmed in the pristine waters around our coasts, offers some of the most delicious and top quality seafood found anywhere in the world. This festive season I would encourage more Scots to tuck into sustainable Scottish seafood - not only is it a tasty and healthy option, but it supports our hardworking fishermen and fish farmers."

Libby Woodhatch, CEO of Seafood Scotland said:

"More than 60 species of fish and shellfish are landed in Scotland, and in 2010 this amounted to 385,000 tonnes worth £435.2 million. However, Scottish consumers are conservative in their seafood habits and a great deal of the catch is exported. My New Year's wish is for the nation to become more adventurous with seafood, and the festive season offers a perfect opportunity to make a start! We have lots of tasty recipes on the Seafood Scotland website and are always happy to make suggestions."
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