Fed up with the fish market – The latest adventure of Glasgow cook Mrs Conetta
LEE Conetta is Glasgow’s culinary royalty, with many years of experience running one of the city’s largest restaurant groups.
Each fortnight in Times Out, she will share memories of her less ordinary life, her travels in Scotland and Italy and beyond, and the food she loves to cook.
This week, Ms. Conetta shares a fish story and cooks up a quick and tasty halibut dinnerâ¦
WHEN we got married Joe’s dad Tony gave us the fish and chips shop across from Belvedere Hospital in Glasgow as a wedding present.
It was a good place.
Joe would go to the fish market very early in the morning, then go to Cooper’s in St Enoch Square for breakfast.
It was the good old days, it’s true – we worked hard and for long hours but we were very happy.
Once the chip shop – which was called Conetta’s – maybe some Glasgow Times readers will remember? – had closed for the night, Joe and I were rushing home to see the midnight movie on our TV.
At that time, Netflix did not exist.
If you didn’t get home on time, you missed it. The very first one we watched was Zulu, with Michael Caine I still remember.
Before we left, we would put a whole chicken in the frying pan and fry it until crisp, then take it home and eat it while watching the movie with a bottle of white wine.
It was an adventure for Joe, romantic for me.
One morning I told Joe to lie and I would go to the fish market.
I got up early and walked over to Mr. Eddie’s position and asked for 10 fish stones. (They would deliver it later. I didn’t have to ride it down Main Street in a cart.)
He showed me the haddock but I was not impressed.
We were young and fairly inexperienced, but one thing I knew – nothing but the best for my clients.
I told the fishmonger that I didn’t like the look of the fish, and he yelled, âMrs. Conetta, beggars can’t choose. It was my first and last time to go to the fish market and we switched to Bernard Corrigan.
My mom and dad used them and 55 years later they support and still provide fish for my son and nephew at Di Maggio and the rest of the restaurant group.
READ MORE: ‘Tommy Cooper was a regular’ – Ms. Conetta’s nightclub memorabilia
Founded in 1949, Bernard Corrigan is now owned and operated by the founder’s two sons, Bernard and Sean, and they supply Scotland’s main restaurants and hotels.
The next generation is now actively involved in the business, with Sean Patrick Corrigan working hard on the e-commerce side and they now deliver direct to people’s homes through their website throughout the Central Belt.
Lots of companies had to improvise during the pandemic and we’re the same – more on that in my next column.
It’s great, so many family businesses are still in business – Glasgow has thrived on them.
WALNUT CRUST Halibut
This week’s recipe is one of my favorite fish dishes. You can serve it with whatever you like, so it’s good for a winter supper or a summer breakfast. Enjoy your lunch !
3 tablespoons of melted butter
750g halibut fillets
55 g pistachios, shelled and finely chopped
Mixed salad and lemon wedges
Brush the melted butter over the halibut fillets.
Spread the pistachios on a large, flat plate. Roll the fish in pistachios, pressing gently until covered.
Preheat the pan or griddle to medium heat. Cook the halibut, turning once, for 10 minutes or until firm but tender – the exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish, but this is a rough guide.
Remove the loose fish and pistachios from the heat and transfer them to a hot dish.
Serve immediately, accompanied by a delicious mixed salad and a few lemon wedges.
Or, if you already have the perfect figure, drizzle yourself with a side of creamed mashed potatoes.