June 2018

barbecuing fish

Useful Tips for Barbecuing Fish

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Grilling fish on the barbecue can be immensely rewarding, and can be a refreshing change from burgers and sausages. Served whole or as fillets, fish pairs superbly with the smoky, hearty flavour that comes from barbecuing. Since we at Azzopardi Fisheries offer a varied selection of fresh fish in Malta, we thought we’d share some useful tips for barbecuing fish.

 

Keep the skin on

Fish is much more delicate and flakier than meat, which is a big reason why most prefer to steer clear of it when barbecuing. Instead of removing the skin, leave it on while grilling – this will help to keep the fillet in one place and prevent it from falling apart. Many chefs actually suggest eating the fish with the skin intact instead of removing it after cooking – it leaves a delicious crispy texture, especially with mackerel or trout.

 

Prep the BBQ before grilling

The last thing you want is for the fish to stick to the grill, while you stand there awkwardly in front of your guests doing your best to scrape it off as they wait hungrily in the background. Make sure it’s piping hot beforehand, and that you have greased the BBQ with rag or vegetable oil as a preventative measure. When you place the fish on the grill, leave the skin-side facing down.

 

Wrap it in newspaper

This technique not only adds more flavour, but it also keeps the fish juicy and soft. Wrap the fish in several layers of paper, tie it together to form a package and then allow it to soak in water for a while before grilling.

 

A marinade can make all the difference

The great thing about barbecuing fish is that there are so many different herbs, spices and oils that pair well with it. Before placing the fish on the BBQ, we recommend soaking it in a marinade of your choice for about 20 minutes in the fridge. Salt and pepper should be added afterwards.

 

Use a fish (or grill) basket

Flipping fish on a grill can be a tricky and difficult process; many cooks advise not doing it at all if your fillet isn’t thick or meaty enough. Instead, consider investing in a fish basket. This is a valuable tool that makes it easy for you turn the fish over by flipping the basket instead, keeping it from breaking into pieces. Fish baskets come in all shapes and sizes – mostly oval, square and rectangular.

 

With summer fast approaching, we’re sure that most of you foodies out there have already brought out the BBQs and sent out the Facebook invites to your first big summer shindig. Visit Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay and help yourself to our wide range of fresh fish in Malta – and if any of you have any tips for barbecuing fish, let us know in the comments!

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smoked salmon

Ways of using smoked salmon

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The taste, the texture, the flavour – we’re sure salmon among you knows what we’re talking about! Smoked salmon has now become a staple of the everyman’s refrigerator, partly because of its delicious and unique flavour, and also due to its wide versatility. Don’t leave it lying there in the cold – our team at Azzopardi Fisheries, popular providers of fresh fish in Malta, have put together a few ways of using smoked salmon.

 

Bring it out for breakfast

Whether served on scrambled eggs or in an omelette, smoked salmon makes for a tasty and healthy breakfast ingredient; it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and a number of vitamins which help to prevent depression and are highly beneficial for eye health. Besides this, who can resist juicy layers of salmon spread out on hot, buttery toast and eggs first thing in the morning?

 

Brie & Salmon Cucumber Bites

Feeling fancy? These delicious cheesy morsels are perfect for entertaining guests, and they’re not even complicated to prepare either. Simply bake chunks of brie for about 12 minutes in the oven, add some capers, garlic and scallions, and then spoon the mixture onto cucumber rounds – adding a topping of smoked salmon and dill.

 

Use it in a pasta sauce

Smoked salmon is one of the most flavoursome ingredients you can add to a pasta recipe, preferably served with a creamy base. Combine it with capers, onions, and olive oil to create a simple yet classic sauce. Use leftover salmon trimmings to cook up a carbonara with cream, eggs and chives for an indulgent dinner treat.

 

Serve up a summer salad

Quick, easy and perfect for the hot Maltese summers, a smoked salmon salad is ideal for a light yet nutritious lunch or supper. Grab your favourite greens (spinach, lettuce, celery) and mix them together with cucumber, tomatoes and perhaps some avocado for a variety of textures and flavours. Season with vinegar, oil, pepper, sea salt and lemon juice.

 

Pack a lunch-to-go with a smoked salmon sandwich

Another great summer snack, salmon sandwiches are easy to prepare and very healthy too. The best pairing is, of course, a thick cream cheese to complement the sweet flavour of the fish. Add some Greek yoghurt and dill as an extra layer of topping along with capers and tomatoes; use your favourite sandwich bread to complete the recipe (you can never go wrong with a bagel!)

Visit Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay, where we have a variety of smoked fish in Malta, including a wide selection of smoked salmon: Smoked Salmon Gravlax, Smoked Salmon Superior and even Smoked Salmon trimmings. If any of you would like to share any ways of using smoked salmon, feel free to do so in the comments – we love hearing your ideas!

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fish for barbecuing

Top 5 Fish Perfect for Barbecuing

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When barbecuing meat, we can only eat so much steak before it starts to weigh us down, and with the arrival of summer, why not try cooking up something lighter and healthier on the grill? Grilling fish tends to be a bit trickier than meat. That said, certain types of fish make better choices than others, and some more delicate fillets just aren’t suited for grilling at all. That’s why our team at Azzopardi Fisheries has come up with a guide to help you choose the best fish for barbecuing.

 

1. Tuna

We’re obviously not referring to the canned stuff here – we’re talking about thick, fresh cuts of tuna steaks that you can season freely and throw on the grill without worrying it’ll fall through. Tuna steak boasts a distinct flavour, and its thickness makes it a perfect fish to sear and cook to medium rare.

 

2. Snapper

Snapper is a great mild white fish, whose skin helps keep the tasty meat from getting overcooked when grilling. Although it can be cooked in portioned fillets, this ever-popular fish stands up to the grill well when cooked whole. A hearty snapper may very well become your new spring or summertime grill favourite!

 

3. Salmon

This popular oily fish has become quite a staple in Malta, as it’s meaty enough to satisfy the hungriest mouths, yet light enough for the calorie-counters at table. Its somewhat strong flavour lends itself nicely to the smokiness that the grill will impart. Whether you cook it as a steak or a fillet, salmon can withstand the heat of the grill while keeping its distinct flavour, making it a perfect fish for barbecuing!

 

4. Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi – also known as dorado or dolphinfish – is a flavourful white fish. With a firm texture that makes it wonderful for grilling, not only is this seafood one of the more sustainable options out there, it’s also meaty and delicately flavoured.

 

5. Swordfish

Of all the types of fish you could grill, swordfish may possibly be the best choice. It’s very firm texture means you’ll get great grill marks. It tastes delicious whether seasoned with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper or not. Although a mild-tasting fish, it holds up great on the grill. You’ll find this fish sold as steaks — whether you want to cook it whole or cut it up and skewer it, it’ll surely be the star of your meal.

 

When choosing a fish for barbecuing and grilling, it’s important to consider how firm it is. Going for delicate fish won’t fare so well on an open flame, as they are more likely to become flaky, break apart or fall through the grates. So forget about burgers and hot dogs – fish is awesome on the grill and a much better option for a well-balanced diet. Choose from a great selection of seafood – visit Malta’s favourite fishmonger – Azzopardi Fisheries!

 

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prepare razor clams

Razor Clams: Choosing, Cleaning & Cooking Guidelines

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Razor clams are obscure creatures which despite their foreboding name, are not only edible, but delicious. Their fine white flesh is similar to squid, resembling the latter more than some of its closer relatives. Our team at Azzopardi Fisheries – your favourite fish shop in Malta – share some tips on how to prepare razor clams by choosing, cooking and cleaning them.

 

Buying

Make sure razor clams are alive and fresh. Poke the white fleshy part gently and if it wriggles back inside the shell, this indicates freshness. However, don’t keep razor clams immersed in fresh water as they’ll drown.

 

Cleaning

Knowing how to clean and prepare razor clams before cooking is necessary, yet it is a process which takes some time as each one needs to be checked separately. Check whether the clams are closed – any open shells should close when gently tapped – if not, you should discard them. If the outside of the shells are damaged, they too should be discarded. Once everything is checked, place all the clams in a colander and continually run cold water over them to get rid of any excess sand.

 

Cooking

The classic method for cooking razor clams is steaming them in a tasty liquid, perhaps with a dash of wine and onions and garlic. However, there are plenty of other options as razor clams’ sweet, delicate meat goes well with to a wide variety of flavours. Some opt for chilli with grated Parmesan and add breadcrumbs for added texture.

We suggest dicing them and presenting them in the shell with delicate pairings of spring onion and almond. If you’re going for a meatier texture, how about trying them with bacon, baby asparagus and seaweed? The options are endless! Before eating, be sure to remove the ‘foot’ and cut out the central dark intestinal tract, leaving only the firm white lam meat. Just avoid overcooking razor clams as they can become tough quite quickly!

 

Whatever the recipe or cooking method you choose to prepare razor clams, be sure to purchase some of the best from our wide selection of fresh fish and seafood at Azzopardi Fisheries! Keep up to date with news and competitions by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn!