Well, that streak of not winning was recently broken when I entered a fish recipe into a little competition that Pembrokeshire Fish Week were running earlier this summer, and knock me down with a feather (or a wet fish) - I won!
You can read my winning recipe here - but what I want to tell you about is my prize.
A fantastic box full of delicious fish and shellfish from Claws Shellfish, a Pembrokeshire based .family run seafood company.
After a bit of to'ing and fro'ing, I picked my box up in Haverford West on a Friday afternoon. We had friends coming for the weekend, and I was stressing that I hadn't got the chicken I'd intended to knock up a Thai chicken curry with, out of the freezer.
But I didn't have to worry, because as well as some fresh fish that I could pop straight in the freezer, my box included a dressed crab, a pot of mackerel pate, 4 scallops, some smoked salmon and a cooked lobster. I needed little more than some bread, salad, some chorizo to cook the scallops with (always in my fridge - the chorizo, not the scallops) and some stuffed mini peppers (and a bottle or 2 of white wine) and we had a feast.
The box also included monkfish, salmon, and a lovely piece of haddock all of which went in the freezer at the time, but has been much enjoyed since. I used the salmon in a version of the quickest (and most delish) fish pie ever, using sugar sap peas and full fat creme fraiche for extra creaminess and comfort.
The monkfish was fantastic in a Thai inspired curry recently. It's a fairly firm fish which can take robust flavours and responds well to quick cooking, perfect in this kind of easy but tasty meal.
So what should follow now is a recipe, but I started this post a good 3 weeks ago and forgot to write down the exact ingredients. What I do know is what the photos tell me - which is that I used courgettes and mangetout peas, and served the curry on noodles.
I can also remember that I made the sauce by frying off a couple of tablespoons of shop bought Thai curry paste, adding a tin of coconut milk, and then adding bits of tamarind paste from a block that I bought not long after we moved to Wales, to taste. The paste that I should have used to cook a curry for our friends, but fed them lobster instead...
The addition of the tamarind paste took the edge off the slightly artificial flavour that my (cheap, inferior, bought in a supermarket in a moment of madness, to be honest) Thai curry paste had. I'd been quite worried about dinner before adding the paste in, and frankly, it rescued dinner and created a sauce worthy of the monkfish.
So this serves to tell 2 tales. Firstly, that Claws Shellfish sell fantastic fresh fish and shellfish, and if you have the opportunity, you should visit their stalls in Haverford West or St Davids Farmers Markets, or anywhere else you find their produce. Secondly, that having some tamarind paste in the fridge is a good idea if you are prone to panic buying jars of cheap Thai curry paste.