A day by the beach, cockel and French bean chowder
Lately we had a bit of a mini heatwave. It doesn’t happen here too often so it is a bit of a treat. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of a day by the sea. The sun rises over the beach and it is just gorgeous. All I need to do it set my alarm and actually get out of bed.I have to admit that I am not up when the sun goes up very often but every now and then it is worth it. The world is so still and the first rays of sunshine are stunning.
The dogs enjoyed the morning walk even if they took longer to wake up than me!
As I was walking home I saw a rose. It had just passed it prime but was holding on to the petals and it was so beautiful.
We had breakfast in the garden, the sun was shining and decided to head for Dungeness for the day. Dungeness is a strange but beautiful place. Everything is overpowered by a massive nuclear plant. There are a few scattered houses around, most of them look like second homes but not all. The beach is vast and you can see old boats, old, crumbling shacks, winches and other things related to the sea. The winds and time has worn them and the place has a bit if an eerie feeling about it.
We brought lunch and walked across the beach. It looked so close and it was so far! Luckily we had a lovely lunch and I tool some photos on the way back.
Whilst taking the photographs I couldn’t help but wonder who, seemingly just left them on the beach, if they meant to never come back or if circumstances stopped them from returning.
It was a wonderfully sun drenched and truly warm day (a bit of a treat) and I knew it had to be fish for dinner. Inspired by the day I went to the fishmonger and got some cockels.
Cockels are related to clams and I thought they would be perfect in a chowder. I didn’t want to use cream so I opted for coconut milk and I added French beans as the garden is full of them!
Cockel and French bean chowder
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes
- 1 cup of cockels, shelled
- 1 tin of lighter coconut milk
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3 potatoes,medium size
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 handful of French beans
- salt & pepper to taste
Rinse the cockels to make sure there is no sand in them and let them drain. Peel and cube the potato. Place coconut milk in a pan and add potato and onion. Bring to a boil and let simmer for five minutes. Add the fish sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and half of the lemon juice. Add soy sauce and taste. Add the cockels and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and then gently mash the potatoes. Taste again and serve with fresh parsley and lemon zest. If you want to bulk up the meal add some bread on the side and enjoy.
We ate the chowder and were so happy to have enjoyed a perfect day on the beach, it is quite rare around here!