Eating Out Review | CaféMed at the Market | Doncaster Market

Delicious Mediterranean flavours

CaféMed at the Market (at Doncaster Market)

CafeMed at the Market | Doncaster Market | Catalan Mussels

Catalan Mussels

Earlier this week, I met the lovely James Wheeliker, owner of CaféMed at the Market, when he attended one of my Social Media Marketing workshops (from a social media marketing point of view, I hope to see a proper facebook business page for this business, soon! 😉 )

As a lover of mediterranean food and all things fish & seafood, as soon as I met James and found out about his delightful CaféMed, I knew I had to try it!

I went to Doncaster Market today to buy pork meat and sausage casings from Ben Marshall Butchers to make some Sardinian Sausages and some Lincolnshire Sausages (more about these once I’ve made them!), so decided to treat myself and my daughters to some mediterranean flavours for lunch.

CaféMed is in the middle of the International Food Market area of Doncaster Market and makes excellent use of the small space it is situated in by having a worktop spanning 2 sides, with comfy barstools inside and outside, as well as some lovely mediterranean-style round tables inside the Café space.

We got there at around 1.30pm and the place was bustling with activity.  Lots of people enjoying a glass or bottle of wine at a leisurely pace, along with their abundance of scrumptious mediterranean delicacies. The menu features a variety of seafood- and meat-based dishes from France, Spain and Portugal, and their menu states they’re always happy to cater to vegetarians, too, so there is something for everyone.

I had the Catalan Mussels (see above), which were delicious, with a rich sauce infused with paprika flavours and just a hint of heat; the sauce could have been a soup in its own right and there was plenty of bread to dunk into it!

My eldest daughter had the Bifana; this is a Portuguese dish I wasn’t familiar with but that certainly went down a treat.  Not one, but two pork chops with a rich savoury flavour including a nice gentle kick provided by the presence of chilli flakes, deliciously sweet chunky fried onions, roast potatoes oozing with herby flavours and a lovely fresh side salad.

CafeMed at the Market | Doncaster Market | Bifana

Bifana

Last, but by no means least, my youngest daughter had the Moules Marinières.  These were worthy of any restaurant or café in France!  Absolutely delicious! In fact, by the end of the meal, all three of us were dunking bread into her bowl of creamy sauce and even eating spoonfuls of it on its own! The quality of the mussels in both mussel dishes was outstanding, too.

CafeMed at the Market | Doncaster Market | Moules Marinieres

Moules Marimières

CaféMed at the Market is not a luxurious high-end restaurant, but it is a gem tucked away inside Doncaster Market for anyone who loves delicious simple food and mediterranean flavours.  It offers great value for money (£30 for 3 of us, including soft drinks and as much bread as we could eat!) and all the staff are very friendly and helpful.  Service was great even at the busiest time (it quietened down by the time we finished our meal) and it was a pleasure to eat there.

I’ll certainly be visiting again!

Indulgent Fish Pie | Luxury Fish Pie | Luxurious Fish Pie | Rich Fish Pie | Fish Pie

Indulgent Fish Pie

A word of warning – this is NOT a low-cal dish…but every now and again we need to indulge! I debated whether to create a lower-calorie option…I could have used low-fat spread instead of butter, skimmed milk instead of semi-skimmed, etc, but there are some recipes that I feel just need to be allowed to stay indulgent. 

At ca. 660kcals per portion and 38% fat content, it isn’t an everyday recipe, but it can be incorporated into a healthy balanced diet if your other meals that day are lighter and if you don’t have one of these 5 times a week 🙂

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 60 mins
Serves: 6


Ingredients:
  • 650g fish pie mix, available from most fishmongers & supermarkets (or you can make your own mix by buying a variety of fish and chopping it into big chunks…typical mix includes fresh salmon, cod or haddock, natural smoked haddock or cod, sometimes also monkfish)
  • 250g mussels (bought cooked & shelled)
  • 180g raw king prawns
  • 200g scallops (I used frozen Peruvian scallops today…you could use King Scallops but I feel that these are much nicer eaten as a dish in themselves, whereas when you buy frozen scallops, they tend to be smaller and without roe, which works better in this dish.  The Peruvian variety I used today was particularly tender and tasty)
  • 150g frozen petits pois
  • 1.3-1.5kg potatoes (King Edward or Maris Piper work particularly well, but any variety of white potato that gives a nice creamy mash will be fine)
  • 900ml semi-skimmed milk (750ml for Béchamel Sauce & 150ml for mashed potatoes)
  • 100g butter (10g for softening garlic & shallots, 40g for the mashed potatoes, 20g to sauté the scallops & prawns and 30g for the Béchamel Sauce)
  • 6 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4tbsp plain white flour
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (fan-assisted…adjust temperature/cooking time for non-fan-assisted ovens)
  2. Peel and finely slice the shallots (preferably using a mandolin to ensure the slices are all similar in thickness and very very thin)
  3. Finely chop the garlic
  4. Peel and chop the potatoes into even chunks
  5. Cook (boil, steam or pressure-steam/cook the potatoes until soft but not water-logged/soggy), then mash with 40g butter and 150ml semi-skimmed milk, and leave to one side for later 
    • (Tip: for extra creamy mash, you can add some double cream, or some low-fat greek yoghurt for a lower-fat alternative; mixing a raw egg yolk into the mash while it’s still warm and adding a sprinkling of freshly-grated nutmeg also makes for delicious mashed potato, but I wouldn’t recommend it in fish pie as that will give too many different flavours for the palate to deal with)
  6. In a wide saucepan or sauté pan, melt 10g of butter, then add the shallots & garlic
  7. On a low heat, soften the shallots & garlic until they are translucent (as you’re not using much butter in this, you need to be particularly careful to keep the heat low and stir regularly to avoid the shallots caramelising; it sometimes helps to place a lid on the pan for a couple of minutes to use the steam generated this way to help the softening process)
  8. Add 750ml of milk and lightly season with salt & pepper
  9. Once the milk starts simmering, add the fish pie mix (not the other seafood ingredients)
  10. Keep the heat low – do not boil! 
  11. Poach the fish pie mix gently in the milk for a couple of minutes (even if not completely cooked through at this stage, it doesn’t matter as it will keep cooking in the oven…over-cooking it now will make for a very dry & rubbery fish in the pie!), then lift out of the pan using a slotted spoon (in order to leave the milk behind) and place into the base of a large oven dish (approx. 26cm long by 20cm wide by 10cm high or, if using a shallower dish, it will need to be bigger or you’ll need to reduce quantities accordingly as the ingredients listed for this fish pie easily fill a dish that size)
  12. In a small frying pan, melt 20g of butter and, once it starts sizzling, add the scallops & prawns
  13. Season lightly with salt &pepper
  14. These will only take a couple of minutes to cook; turn once halfway through cooking.  It’s ok if the scallops caramelise a little…this adds to their unique sweetness. Don’t over-cook them or they’ll become really rubbery! Even if they’re still a bit raw, it doesn’t matter as they’ll finish cooking in the oven. Add them to the other fish in the oven dish.
  15. Add the mussels and the petits pois to the oven dish.
  16. In a saucepan, make the Béchamel sauce by starting off with 30g butter and 4tbsp plain white flour, then gradually adding the milk used to poach the fish pie mix (don’t worry if there are bits of shallot in there; they won’t harm the making of the sauce).  For detailed instructions on making Béchamel sauce, click here (use the milk you’ve poached the fish in instead of cold milk…and don’t use any nutmeg!).
  17. Pour the Béchamel Sauce onto the fish, scallops, prawns, mussels & petits pois in the oven dish and stir lightly/gently…just enough to ensure the sauce & other ingredients are evenly distributed.  Be careful not to break up the fish too much. 
  18. Using a spatula, carefully cover the fish & sauce mixture with the mashed potatoes, starting off by placing mash around the edges of the dish, then working inwards. Make sure the mash is distributed evenly and smoothly, then use a fork to decorate it & loosen the surface (run the spikes of the fork down the surface gently, either in straight lines or waves or zigzags), as this will allow for crisping up in the oven.
  19. Place the pie in the pre-heated oven for approx. 30 mins
  20. Leave to stand for about 5 mins before serving, as this will make it easier to serve without it going too ‘sloppy’.

Serve with freshly steamed broccoli or other vegetables of choice.

Gloriously Good!

For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com