Extended immersion in a marinade can tenderize poultry and game, or have the effect of cooking fish. Anne Williams concocts aromatic liquids; photographs by Tim Imrie

By marinating lean meats such as game, veal or rabbit with oil, you add unsaturated fat which will prevent the flesh from drying out while cooking. Wine, herbs and spices in marinades impart their own flavours. Acidic liquids such as

Lime juice and vinegar add flavour to fish dishes, as well as being a way of ‘cooking’ the raw flesh. In warm weather, when hanging game is difficult, marinating is a way of tenderizing the meat and preserving it at the same time.

Marinated dishes need to be planned in advance so that all the flavours are imparted, but their advantage is that they need little subsequent attention when cooking. With fish, it can be a way of avoiding cooking altogether.

According to Alan Davidson’s authoritative North Atlantic Seafood (Penguin, £9.99), the American name for redfish is red perch or ocean perch. Be careful when gutting and filleting the fish: it is spiny, but worth the effort as the flesh is tasty, firm and moist.

2 redfish, filleted

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper Freshly-ground black pepper

1 hot pepper, or 2 green chillies, deseeded and diced

1 large onion, sliced lengthways

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 tablespoons freshly-grated coconut 4 large, ripe tomatoes, liquidized 1/4 pint (300 ml) thin coconut milk

Sprinkle the flesh sides of the four fillets with the cayenne and freshly-ground black peppers, and leave to stand. Saute the onion and pepper or chillies in the oil until softened. Meanwhile, dry roast the grated coconut in a frying pan until lightly browned. Add the coconut to the onion with the tomatoes and thin coconut milk. Cover the pan, and cook for 12 minutes, then lay in the fish fillets and continue cooking for about 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked as you like it.

Serves 4

Magic marinades

3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

3 bay leaves

1 large red pepper

1 large yellow pepper

1 large clove garlic, crushed Little oil and butter

Split the guinea-fowl in half lengthways, cutting out the central backbone entirely. Lay the pieces in a deep dish. Crush the thyme to bruise it and sprinkle over the meat with the onion and bay leaves. Pour on the wine and vinegar and leave for 24 hours, turning once.

Remove the guinea-fowl, and strain the marinade, keeping both the liquid and the onion, but pick out the large thyme stalks. Deseed and slice the peppers. Fry the guinea-fowl in a little oil and butter over a high heat until lightly browned, then remove from pan. Put the peppers and onion from the marinade, and the crushed garlic into the pan, and saute over a high heat for a few minutes. Replace the guinea-fowl, pour over the wine marinade and a little water. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the flesh is cooked.

Remove the guinea-fowl pieces and keep warm while you reduce the sauce by half, then serve them surrounded by the peppers, with the sauce spooned over.

Serves 4



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