Alternative Christmas dinner: Seafood from MarrFish in Bishop’s Stortford plus a rosemary mince pie recipe

Potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon,asparagus and sour cream. Image: Sarsmis/Getty Images/iSto

Potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon,asparagus and sour cream. Image: Sarsmis/Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fancy a festive table with a difference? Sharon recommends a Bishop’s Stortford family seafood specialist | Sharon Struckman

If you’re looking to add style, quality and taste to your Christmas culinary efforts (and who isn’t?), look no further than MarrFish in Bishop’s Stortford.

The seafood specialist supplies top restaurants and hotels with the freshest fish but I, along with many others, discovered them in lockdown as the company shifted to delivering direct to homes throughout Herts and indeed the UK.

MarrFish offers a range of delicious fresh seafood, packaged up as family favourites, British fish, wild fish, delicatessen, and fish boxes to name just a few.

I ordered the salmon, crab and scallops (cleaned and in their shells) and cooked up a seafood extravaganza that my whole family enjoyed. I have to say there are few things more delicious than fresh top-quality seafood.

Selling top quality produce for over 150 years, the Marr family are pioneers in the trawling industry, adopting new technologies and practices across the fishing industry to improve conditions and maintain the quality of caught fish by trialling freezing at sea.

If you are passionate about exceptional quality, variety and taste, professional staff can advise you on any aspect of their produce from seasonality to price over the phone or go online to marrfishhome.co.uk – purchases can be made either way.

There are even MarrFish gift vouchers for a fishy friend.

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Rosemary Christmas Mince Pies

Crumbly sticky pies served with a sweet basil cream, perfect for the festive season

Ingredients - (for 12 pies)

- 250g puff pastry

- 1 tbsp rosemary

- 250g mincemeat

- 2 tbsp brandy (optional)

- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

- 1 tbsp flour

- butter for greasing

- 1 egg (beaten)

- 100ml double cream

- 2 tsp basil (chopped)

- 1 tbsp icing sugar

Method - (prep & cook: 40 mins)

1) Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 12-pocket muffin tin with butter until all the pockets are thoroughly covered. Place the pastry on a smooth floured surface. With a three inch cutter cut out 12 pie bases and put them in the tin. Cut out 12 lids and leave to one side.

2) Put the mincemeat in a bowl and stir in the cinnamon, rosemary and brandy. Put a little in each pie base (making sure not to overfill) then brush the edges with beaten egg. Place the lids on top of the pies, pressing slightly at the edges to seal. Brush the lids of the pies with egg to glaze. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.

3) Once cooked, leave to slightly cool then dust with icing sugar. While cooling, put add the cream, basil and icing sugar to a jug and and whisk into soft peaks. Serve with the warm mince pies.

Recipe by Tina Richardson, Humble Herbs cookbook author and keeper of the kitchen garden at Foxholes Farm in Hertford.

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