Nigellas sexy seafood platter

PHOTOS: Alex and Mel "Tale of two kitchens"

The power of television brought this recipe to my attention via The Food Network Channel. I instantly became fascinated by the idea that seafood could be roasted in such a way.My thoughts turned to how I might adapt this for Casa Rosada´s menu.I watched inquisitively, I had never seen anyone pick out a prawn, rip off its head and devour the whole thing, shell and all, with such noisy abandon.Oooooh, Nigella that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
This is a pure posh totty recipe.No fiddly techniques are required here. Bung the following items in an oiled roasting pan: A couple of potatoes cut into one-inch chunks, a sliced onion, a lemon cut into quarter-inch bits, and a head of garlic separated into cloves. Bake at 400F for an hour. You don’t even need to peel the lemon, garlic or potatoes (easy-peasy). The lemon peel caramelizes and the garlic cloves become crunchy, savoury-sweet morsels of yum.After an hour, scatter your choice of seafood over the roasted bits. The heat from the roasted potatoes etc, gives the seafood a jump-start. Give the pan a splash of white wine (about a quarter cup) and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Everything is perfect about this recipe.It looks stunning,its relatively inexpensive and its "food for friends".If you want something special to share this is the perfect dish to pop in the middle of a dining table. Its tuck in and don´t mind your fingers getting messy sort of food. Most of all this is an ingenious way to get a selection of seafood on the table without slaving over a hot stove.As always there are shortcomings, most of all in the quantities given.No way NigelIa was this enough seafood for four hungry afishionados.I had to increase the quantities of everything in the recipe.So as long as you take into account the number of people you are feeding, you can quite easily adjust it accordingly, and perhaps increase the amounts of one particular favourite. A very important consideration also is to take into account  the amounts of clams that do not open;something completely unknown until you take the dish from the oven.

A comment I loved about the food network episode....

HOLY S***T!! I watched the episode on the Food Network......did that chick just reach in and eat a shrimp without peeling it? Does everyone else eat shrimp with the shell on? I had to rewind 5 times to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Don't get me wrong...I will try anything...but does the shell really taste good??

Roasted Algarvian seafood platter
1 1/2 pounds white-skinned potatoes 
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled 
2 small red onions 
1 unwaxed lemon 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil  
12 ounces small clams ( Berbigao) in their shells 
6 to 8 baby squid 
1 1/4 pounds or 16 unpeeled large raw prawns
3 tablespoons dry white wine 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 to 3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the potatoes, without peeling, into thick slices and each slice into quarters. Put them into a large roasting pan with the whole garlic cloves 

Quarter the onions,then peel them (it is easier to do it this way around), then halve each quarter horizontally. Quarter the lemon and cut each quarter into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the onion and lemon to the pan with the potatoes and garlic.

Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and roast for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, soak the clams in a bowl of water - if any are smashed or don't close after they've soaked, throw them away. Slice the squid into rings.

After 1 hour, take the pan out of the oven and put it over low heat on the stove top so that the pan doesn't cool while you add the seafood.

Arrange the drained closed clams, baby squid rings, and whole raw prawns over the potatoes, garlic, lemon pieces, and onions.

Splash the seafood with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the white wine. 
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Put the roasting pan back in the oven for 15 minutes, by which time the clams should have opened and the shrimp have turned pink. Discard any clams that have not opened.

Scatter with parsley and serve straight from the pan: it couldn't look more beautiful.

Make Ahead Note: Potatoes can be prepared 1 day ahead. Submerge in a bowl of water and store in the refrigerator.Drain and pat dry before using.The onions and lemons  can be cut 1 day ahead and stored in bowls tightly covered with cling film in the refrigerator.


  1. I have a friend who used to live in Majorca. We had gone out for dinner in London and I had had a starter of crayfish. My friend leaned over, said are you done with those? And promptly started to chew my disgarded remains much to my horrified awe. He says that all the best flavour is in the fat in their heads, but I just can't bring myself to eat them because of the texture. Although I eat whitebait and ikan bilas, heads and all . .. go figure!


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