It's the Valentine's issue, and we're heady with notions of love and predictably, a little bit hungry. I thought a visit to Eddie's Seafood Market in Marchmont would be a good place for menu ideas for a suitably tasty dinner. Eddie's opened in 1986, and has since become one of the best-known fishmongers in the city. They supply many of Edinburgh's top chefs, and it's well worth the jaunt across town to stop in at this buzzy shop if you aren't lucky enough to be a local.
Getting here early is the top tip for a chance of finding the best of the day's catches, and expect long queues on Saturday mornings. Eddie himself, and indeed all the staff are always ultra-enthusiastic about helping you to choose some great shellfish for a paella, expertly filleted fish, or deftly plucking one of the live lobsters from the tank.
So how about a couple of dishes to prepare for your good lady or fella (and not forgetting yourself) on the 14th of February? The supposed aphrodisiac qualities of oysters might seem like a bit of a cliché, however this theory goes back as far as Roman times so I figure it's been tried and tested! Although a common accompaniment, I'd avoid the sledgehammer qualities of Tabasco, and instead suggest pairing oysters with a tangy mignonette dressing made with Champagne, white wine vinegar, finely-chopped shallots and black pepper. For the bubbles, 'blanc des blancs' work well with the saltiness of the oysters, so you if you want to splash out, try a bottle of Ruinart Champagne. Otherwise, try Lindauer's excellent and budget-friendly Special Reserve (both from www.majestic.co.uk).
For a main course, it's good to keep things simple. A BBQ would get my first vote, but sadly February's temperatures don't really allow, so instead go for pan-searing or grilling a chunky fillet. On any given day, Eddie's will have a great choice of fish for this kind of dinner, and I'd be keen on a nice tuna or mahi-mahi steak. Teamed up with some freshly made salsa verde, salad and new potatoes, this is easy cooking, and leaves plenty of time for romancing!
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