Fork Magazine: The best of this winters catch - by Rob Wing
Navigation lights twinkle at the busy quaysides of Cornwall's fishing ports, while fish lovers throughout the country are tucked up asleep in their warm beds. Fishermen land their night's catch in boxes covered with ice, weighed and offered for sale to hovering buyers, keen to secure the best seafood for their customers.
So, what seafood can we look forward to as this year draws to a close and we welcome in the next one? Make a regular slot for fish in your winter diet; what could be better to warm the cockles of your heart than sage and onion roasted monkfish tail, creamy fish pie or home made fish and chips.
Christmas will soon be with us and with it all our favourite fishy indulgences. King prawns, fresh white crabmeat and smoked salmon make quick and easy dishes for unexpected guests and, don't forget about kippers and smoked haddock for breakfast. A well stocked freezer will help with the creation of tasty nibbles for a drinks party or a post Christmas day lunch or dinner.
Ask your trusted fishmonger which fish are in season and plentiful at this time of the year. Sea bass should be one choice but, if your budget will not run to wild line caught (ask for the tag as proof), seek out Welsh farmed fish that are more reasonably priced. Try to select whole fish and have it prepared while you wait; this will ensure you buy best quality. Look for signs of fresh fish, bright clear eyes, glistening silvery scales and firm flesh; discard those fish with dry dull skin and sunken eyes that have seen better days long ago!
Welcome in the New Year with a resolution to eat more fish as part of a healthy diet. Winter Cornish Sardines and Mackerel are full of the flavour of the sea, taste fantastic and make the perfect fast food supper when time is at a premium. If white fish is your preference, ask your fishmonger for Megrim sole (or Cornish Sole as it is sometimes known); under rated, adored by the Spanish and in plentiful supply, this fish is tasty and great value for money.