Seasonal produce ideas:
Although summer is often seen as the prime time for embracing fish and seafood on menus, the winter months still offer a wealth of produce to help captivate diners. Look to use flat fish like plaice, which is at its best quality during these later months of the year, or round fish like gurnard, which comes in a range of sizes and can be butterflied.
With pub caterers urged to take wild halibut off their menus amid increasing concern over the sustainability of the fish, farmed halibut offers a great alternative to this popular, meaty fish. Among sustainable options available is Glitne snow white halibut, produced in the Norwegian fjords, which is a finalist in The Caterer Product Excellence Awards 2019. Serving ideas include a sharing dish of oven baked whole halibut with a simple hollandaise sauce and seasonal vegetables.
Native mussels also offer a sustainable and affordable option through the winter months and are great in dishes such as autumnal fish stews or winter soups.
Use them in this delicious dish of curried mussels, sweet potato and leeks.
Native oyster season is also in full swing, with rock oysters ideal for specials boards and event menus such as New Year’s Eve. There are many varieties of the pacific rock oyster, a sustainable species cultivated in cages on the sea bed close to the shoreline, with their taste usually influenced by the area they are grown. For a stunning special try this recipe of baked oysters with a rose harissa and Manchego cheese crust.
Festive buffet ideas
With Christmas menus and events now front of mind, look to frozen seafood to help you deliver customer favourites such as langoustines, which are ideal for pan frying in garlic butter and a great visual feature on any buffet. Green lip mussels on the half shell are also available frozen and are delicious grilled with a mild Stilton topping.
With gin still very much the thing, succulent smoked salmon cured with gin is also guaranteed to be a menu winner and I recommend served with a horseradish sauce. For another festive special, offer smoked trout cured with beetroot, dill and orange or cold smoked salmon infused with whisky and dill.
Duck offal is also ideal for using in a winter salad and can help deliver an excellent gross profit. Try this recipe of wild duck gizzard, heart and liver salad with girolles and pickled vegetables.