Monday, 30 June 2008

All Wet And Sloppy

Greetings to you all from Donostia-San Sebastián in the Basque Country. I'm heading to the beach. Meanwhile, here's a guest post from my brother Joel.

One minute you've just started dating - the next minute you've been together for ever. It only seems like yesterday that Aliyyah and I started a lifelong partnership, but in reality it was a full six years ago. Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself!

Aliyyah and me at a wedding in Portugal
It was our iron anniversary recently - a special day when a woman traditionally expects her partner to give her an amethyst as a token of love. However, we know that we can't really afford that at the moment, as we've both recently started our first professional jobs since leaving university. The good thing about having been together for so long is that we don't need expensive presents - we were happy to spend the day together cooking some of our favourite food. But the least I could do was take Aliyyah somewhere with a romantic French name to buy the ingredients. Portsmouth Fish Market.

You guys in the smoke may have your Borough Market, but we have decent food out here in the sticks as well. Viviers (French for fish ponds) is the company that runs Portsmouth's main wholesale and retail fish market, located on the historic Camber Quay in the old town. The largest shellfish merchant on the south coast, Viviers owns its own fleet of fishing vessels.

They specialise in shellfish, especially crabs and lobsters, which they purify in their own massive seawater tanks and sell across southern England as well as exporting. My brother's not the only person who can cook in our family and the purpose of our visit was to buy food for the meals we planned in the week's run up to our anniversary. Now that's a sign of true love. Aliyyah likes my cooking and my willingness to learn and I really love her cooking and that of her mother Jacqui (hence the Trinidadian element of the main course).
Portsmouth's amazing fish market

Sautéed prawns in a garlic, butter and chive sauce

So the menu for our anniversary dinner was:

First course: Sautéed Prawns in a Garlic, Butter and Chive Sauce.

Main course: Curried Crab Claws and Butternut Squash Choka with Stuffed Bull-Tomatoes (Stuffed with Crab Meat, Mexican chilli cheese, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard and chives).
Curried crab claws and butternut squash chokaBull-tomatoes stuffed with crab, chilli cheese, mustard, breadcrumbs and chives

OK - so maybe my photography isn't brilliant and my plates aren't quite as artistic as the ones that little brother lays out - but I was feeding the stomach as well as the soul. And it went down very well.


Mike said...

Right - next time you're up at my place you are doing the cooking!

David Hall said...

Congrats Trig! That food sounds heavenly. Anything with crab is my idea of heaven. Hope its all going well mate.


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