I am constantly being asked to provide more fish recipes, but how do we know we are buying the right fish? Perfect fresh fish is available all over Spain and as it doesn’t keep very long, it’s important to use it quickly.

It will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but check before you buy for signs of age. Fish should smell fresh and not fishy; it should not curl at the edges or be discoloured and should be firm and springy to the touch. Whether you are grilling, barbequing, cooking in salt or frying your fish, remember it is very easy to overcook fish, so always test with a knife. The flesh should appear opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork. Fish of course is very healthy and contains lots of ingredients that are good for us. Your local fish mongers will gut and clean your fish for you if you can’t tackle it yourself.

Buen Appetito

Spicy Prawns

1 small onion
2 sticks celery
5 small green chillies
2 tbsp sunflower oil
400g can chopped tomatoes
1tsp brown sugar
700g prawns
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
½ dried thyme
Peel and chop the onions and celery. Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely chop. Heat the oil and fry the onion, celery and chillies for 5 minutes until soft and brown. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme and sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until thickens slightly. Peel the prawns and add to the sauce and gently cook for 5 minutes. Serve in Tabasco sauce and serve immediately.

Clams with Garlic

2kg clams in shells
2 tomatoes
1 courgette
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ paprika
300ml fish stock
150ml white wine
Salt and pepper
Scrub the clams and discard any cracked or open. Roughly chop the tomatoes and cut the courgettes into thin strips. Heat oil in a large pan and fry onions, garlic and paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and wine and bring to the boil. Add the clams, tomatoes and courgettes and cook for a further 5-6 minutes or until the clams have opened. Discard any clams that remain closed. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Fisherman’s pie

575g potatoes
Salt and pepper
50g butter
225ml milk
225g haddock
225g white fillet
3 tsp lemon juice
1oz plain flour
75g cheddar cheese
Small pkt of frozen peas
Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Salt and boil in water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with 25g butter and 125ml milk. Rinse fish and pat dry. Cut into bite-size cubes and sprinkle with lemon juice. Melt remaining butter and add flour. Heat for a further minute and then add milk. Stir until thick sauce is created and then add fish and peas. Pour fish sauce into an oven proof dish and cover with the mash. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake on 200º for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Chilli Tuna balls

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 green chilli
1 tbsp olive oil
185g can tuna or fresh
75g breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
4-6 tbsp plain flour
Peel and chop the onion and garlic. De-seed and chop the pepper and chilli. Fry the chopped vegetables in olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain the tuna and flake into a bowl. Add vegetables and mix in the breadcrumbs. Stir the egg yolk into the mixture. Grate and then squeeze the lemon into the mixture. Season and divide into balls. Coat each ball with flour. Heat oil and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Fish Cakes

350g salmon
175g haddock
300ml milk
3 bay leaves
450g potatoes
25g butter
1 tbsp tarragon and dill
Pinch of nutmeg
50g flour
2 eggs
75g breadcrumbs
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Put the fish in a pan with the milk and bay leaves. Bring to boil and simmer until flaky. Peel and chop potatoes. Cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash with butter. Mix in herbs and nutmeg. Skin fish and break into large flakes. Mix with mash and shape into patties (makes around 8). Coat each one first with flour then egg and finally dip in breadcrumbs. Cook fishcakes for 3 minutes on each side in oil until golden.