Daniel McCarthy of Star Seafoods in County Kerry talks about the changes he and his colleagues had to implement this year because of Covid, and quickly. Its chef, Zbigniew Blaszchak also shares some delicious seafood recipes to try this Christmas:
IT WAS SCARY, there is no other word for it. When Covid-19 hit, most of the 350 hotels and restaurants we supply closed overnight, leaving our 40 employees and a fleet of delivery vans virtually idle.
Like so many companies, we had to think quickly. It’s like being caught in a whirlwind when your long-established business base is gone, literally overnight.
We had already set up an online shopping center, but it was slow, so when Covid-19 shocked us with our shoelaces and we knew we were really going to have to engage, spread the word and organize it and work well; online shopping had to be our lifeline.
And that’s what turned out. So much so that we now deliver door to door nationwide and have acquired a very loyal base of some 10,000 customers nationwide, for whom we are eternally grateful.
Our fleet delivers salmon, hake, cod as well as crab, scallops and juicy shrimp. Obviously, with most of the country stranded for a considerable period of time this year, interest in home cooking has increased, and with it the need to try new things, like seafood.
To be honest, changing our model like this saved us, and in fact, it gave us a whole new business base. We are delighted with the way it is going and the most important thing is that we get constant repetition of the custom.
From the sea to the door
Once the fish are landed, they are brought straight to our state-of-the-art Kenmare plant where they are filleted, glazed and packaged, then delivered to our special refrigerated vans for delivery.
If there is anything companies have learned from 2020, it is this: to survive we have had to reinvent, reorganize and reinvent; Star Seafoods has done it and it is working well.
Our mission now is to make the Irish people fish eaters; fish and seafood are so versatile, easy and quick to cook, full of goodness, that it’s practically impossible to mess it all up – which is not to like.
Our chef, Zbigniew Blaszchak is a big man for scallops, he would eat them for breakfast and has a nice easy scallop gratin that could make a nice, elegant starter for Christmas Day perhaps, and for people on the go. , there’s our Roasted Honey Salmon Baguette that you could eat for breakfast… our version of the ubiquitous breakfast. Zbigniew has shared his recipes below. Enjoy it and Merry Christmas to you all.
Zbigniew’s Seafood Recipes
Gratin of Saint-Jacques
Source: Tony Gavin
700 grams of scallops
1/2 cup white wine
20 grams of flour
20 grams of butter
1 cup of liquid composed of white wine (reserved from cooking) and 150 ml of cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of white bread
10 grams of parsley
- Poach the scallops in white wine for 1 to 2 minutes.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the flour until completely dissolved.
- Slowly stir in the wine and 150 ml of melted buttercream and add salt and pepper to taste before adding the scallops.
- Place your slices of bread with parsley in a blender and blend.
- Place your scallop and sauce mixture in a ramekin or if you want a fancy scallop shell, top with breadcrumbs and grill until golden brown.
Honey roasted salmon baguette
Source: Tony Gavin
800g salmon fillet
Feta cheese 200g
Garlic butter 50g
Cheddar cheese 50g
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- Spread the honey and garlic butter over the salmon fillet, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 200 ° C for 25 minutes.
- Bake the feta in the oven at 200 ° C for 8 minutes until golden brown.
- Boil the spinach for 3 to 5 minutes and drain it.
- Scoop out the baguette with a spoon.
- Combine cooked salmon, spinach and feta in a bowl.
- Fill the baguette with the mixture and cut it into small rolls.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese on the baguette and bake for another 3 minutes at 200 ° C until golden brown.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Zbigniew Blaszchak is Chef and Daniel McCarthy is Managing Director of Star Seafoods in Kenmare, County Kerry. For more information, see starseafoods.ie.