Ahhh, love is in the air, the shops are full of heart shaped chocolates and everyone’s desperately thinking of an original way to show that special person how truly special they are.
At the Anyfish shop we’ve made sure we’ll be well stocked with loved-up lobsters, seductive scallops, a-morous mussels and oi - you’re gorgeous oysters… the perfect foodie options if you fancy avoiding overcrowded restaurants and would rather rustle up a romantic Valentine’s Day meal yourself.
Fresh and tasty shellfish is famously good for serving up seductively.
Not only are many varieties thought to be aphrodisiacs (it’s the rare amino acids apparently) but our four Valentine’s favourites: oysters, scallops, lobster and mussels look posh and are super simple to prepare.
We’re open on Tuesday in the daytime so that’s the ideal time to pop in and collect your romantic recipe ingredients (you can give us a call before then if you’d like us to put something aside for you).
We’ve gathered together some simple, impressive recipe ideas for wooing that special someone on Valentine’s day. Once you’ve grabbed your ingredients from the Anyfish shop and done a little bit of prep, it’ll just be a case of lighting a few candles, choosing the perfect musical soundtrack (best to avoid Barry White) and cracking open the fizz.
Fresh Anyfish oysters served the old fashioned way.
This traditional recipe from everyone’s favourite jamieoliver.com is a breeze.
Ingredients: 6 oysters, lemon juice, tabasco and pepper.
When you buy your oysters from Anyfish, we’ll make sure they’re tightly closed and heavy (which means they’re super fresh and delicious). When you’re ready to eat them, you’ll need a blunt knife or screwdriver to jimmy them open (be careful and hold them in a tea towel so they don’t slip out of your hands). If you’re worried, just ask Stu in the Anyfish shop and he’ll show you how.
Once you’ve opened your oysters, discard the top part of the shells. Pick out any fragments of shell from the oysters and then arrange them on some crushed ice, seasoned with a twist of pepper and a couple of drops of lemon juice or tabasco - whatever you fancy. Share and enjoy.
Fresh Anyfish Shetland king scallops served with some kind of spaghetti
Deliciousmagazine.co.uk is a goldmine when it comes to delicious recipes and this simple way to serve scallops caught our eye.
Ingredients: 500g runner beans/courgette spaghetti/actual spaghetti, 150g pancetta cubes, olive oil, 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced, zest of 1 lemon and squeeze of juice, plus lemon wedges to serve, 3 tbsp crème fraîche, 12–16 scallops (depending on size) with roe (optional)
If you’re pretty hungry, opt for pasta in this recipe but if not why not try the lighter vegetable alternatives? Trim, slice and cook the beans, prep your courgette spaghetti in a spiraliser or cook your pasta, depending on your preference (or go for a combination).
Heat a large frying pan, fry the pancetta until crisp (5-10mins) and then drain it on kitchen paper. In a separate pan, gently fry the chilli and lemon zest for a couple of minutes and then add the beans/courgettes/pasta and toss with a squeeze of lemon and the creme fraiche. Add a twist of pepper and salt, sprinkle in the pancetta and set aside. Grab the pan you used to fry the pancetta and heat the fat ’tip sizzling. Fry the scallops for 30 secs each side (so they’re a nice and browned). Pile up the spaghetti mixture in a nice dish and arrange the scallops on top. Share and enjoy.
Tasty grilled Anyfish lobster thermidor
It’s easy to be a little bit scared of lobster but actually they’re truly easy to turn into a delicious supper. We have them ready cooked for Valentine’s day so you (and the lobster) don’t have to suffer any pre-meal trauma and this recipe from www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk is fantastic.
Ingredients: 2 cooked lobsters, each about 700g, a large knob of butter, 2 large shallots, finely chopped, 300ml fresh fish stock, 100ml dry white wine, 100ml double cream, 4 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives and dill, plus extra sprigs to garnish, pinch of cayenne pepper, 30g Parmesan, finely grated
Stu in the Anyfish shop can prepare the lobsters for you but otherwise, remove the claws and crack them by covering with a cloth and gently hitting with a rolling pin. Remove the meat from the claws in large pieces and put in a bowl. Remove and discard the legs.
Cut the lobsters in half lengthways, first through the head, between the eyes, then turn around and continue to cut through the tail. Remove the tail meat from each lobster half and cut into chunky pieces. Add to the bowl with the claw meat. Remove the red roe and add to the bowl – it has an excellent flavour. Gently mix.
Remove and discard the long, thin, black line running the length of the body (unless Stu hs already done this for you).
Transfer the empty shells to a baking tray. Divide the meat mixture equally between each shell cavity, cover and chill.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the shallots for 3-4 minutes, ’tip they start to soften. Add the fish stock and wine and boil until reduced by half. Stir in the cream and cook gently for a further 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened up a bit. Take off the heat and stir in the chopped herbs and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Spoon plenty of the sauce over each lobster half and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Grill for 3-4 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Sprinkle with extra herbs. Serve with crusty bread and salad and enjoy.
Fresh Moules Marinieres.
A simple, sharable dish of fresh mussels is one of our absolute favourites and late winter is the best time to serve them up. This easy recipe which we found on the excellent www.seriouseats.com only take 15 minutes to prepare too.
Ingredients: Large knob of unsalted butter, 1 small leek (thinly sliced), 1 small shallot (thinly sliced), 4 medium cloves garlic (thinly sliced), 2 bay leaves, pepper & salt, 1 cup of white wine, 2lbs of mussels, a small pot of creme fraiche, 1tbsp juice plus zest from a lemon, 3tbsp chopped fresh parsley.
We can prepare your mussels for you in the Anyfish shop, but as a general rule of thumb you should scrub them before use and remove their straggly beards. Discard any cracked or open mussels which don’t close when tapped.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, and bay. Add a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are very soft but not browned, for about 10 minutes.
Increase heat to high and add wine. Bring to a boil and let the mixture reduce by half (about 2 minutes). Add the mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds. As soon as all the mussels are open, transfer mussels to a bowl using tongs. Place pan lid over bowl to keep mussels warm.
Remove sauce from the heat and whisk in another knob of butter along crème fraîche. Return mussels to pot, add parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest, stir to combine, then transfer to a warm serving bowl. Serve with griddled crusty bread and (if you fancy it) some garlic mayo.
Simple, tasty shellfish make a really healthy, lovely looking spread for a Valentine’s supper but they’re also brilliant all year round.
Pop in to the Anyfish shop this weekend, or give us a buzz if you’d like some other fish related Valentine’s supper ideas or if you’d like to order something special.
For these lovely recipes (and to find the excellent photos we've shown here), search the recipe index at www.jamieoliver.com, www.deliciousmagazine and www.seriouseats.com. Yum.