Three surf-and-turf dishes to convince the sceptics

Paul Flynn: Dublin lunch set my mind to pairing fish and meat as I had a few creamy pints

Grilled lobster, Iberico butter and seabeet. Photograph: Harry Weir

Grilled lobster, Iberico butter and seabeet. Photograph: Harry Weir

 

I was in Dublin yesterday. It felt good to be walking around my old stomping ground of the South William Street area again. The sun was out and thankfully there wasn’t a marauding youth to be seen. Change was evident from the last time I was there, more outside tables and a sense of cautious joy.

It was a family day out, allowing everyone a bit of time to shop.My clothing needs were put at the top of the list as, unlike the others, I didn’t have the luxury of my own DPD delivery man during the pandemic.

This is a frightening prospect as I’ve never been comfortable when my wife takes over my styling, that for me is a capitulation of my masculinity. On the other hand, if it were left up to me, I would happily shop in symphony with the rare eclipse. I was becoming ragged.

We went for lunch. I had my eye on the scallops with corn cream and crispy chicken skin. They were lovely, but it got me thinking. I’ve never been entirely sure of the idea of surf and turf. I needed to go to Grogans to settle the nerves and think it through over a couple of creamy pints.

Pea and bacon frittata with crab creme fraiche. Photograph: Harry Weir
Pea and bacon frittata with crab creme fraiche. Photograph: Harry Weir

Needless to say, lobster is a real treat. I associate it with summertime and trips down to Boatstrand on the Copper Coast. Here, I’m pairing it simply with Iberico ham and butter. The ham’s flavour is deep and intense, its heavenly fat melts on your tongue. If you can’t get it, use serrano or Parma ham, just look for a deep colour as that reflects the intensity. Seabeet is a favourite of mine, but use asparagus if you’re not feeling forage-y.

Korean drumsticks, sweet and sour clams. Photograph: Harry Weir
Korean drumsticks, sweet and sour clams. Photograph: Harry Weir

Korean gochujang paste is a revelation to me, sweet and hot, it goes with clams like a dream. I was looking for chicken wings but they were scrawny and miserable, so I settled for drumsticks. Apologies if a couple of ingredients used this week are hard to get. If you can’t find the paste use two tablespoons of harissa, and white wine will work instead of the mirin.

This frittata is a handy, satisfying number. The crab cream elevates it but it also would be good on brown bread on its own.

Recipe: Grilled lobster, Iberico butter and seabeet

Recipe: Korean drumsticks, sweet and sour clams

Recipe: Pea and bacon frittata with crab creme fraiche

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