Growing up, Friday night was Fish and Chip night, which was the highlight of the week. One of us would be in charge of writing who was getting what, another to run around to the shop and collect the order. And the unfortunate others would be on setting the table.
Now when I talk Fish and Chips, I mean FISH and chips. None of this palm sized morsel that you pay the earth for. I’m talking proper fresh juicy fish. However I’m digressing
I’ve had a clients of late, ask me how to cook and how to choose fresh fish.
Melbourne is fortunate to have a host of fresh food markets to choose from.
Ideally buy your fish Tue-Sat as the fishing traulers don’t go out over the weekend.
Try and choose Australian or New Zealand fish. As you are guaranteed clean,fresh water and the ‘catch to table’ time is diratically reduced
Build a repoure with your Fish Monger. They will be more likely to give you the best cuts of fish
Fish shouldn’t smell like Fish!
Look for plump,bright coloured flesh. It shouldn’t look dull or flat or have a slimly feel to it.
If buying whole fish, the gills should be bright colour and eyes bright and still prodtruding.
Often you can smell fish cooking from a mile away. To help with this try cooking in an oven bag. This greatly reduces cooking time and cleaning up. Adding vegetables to the bag gives you a meal all in one.
Remember to rotate your fish. Often you find one you like and just keep buying it. Again ask your fish monger to recommend different varieties to you.
Try adding Fish to our recipe for Cauliflower fritters (available on line)
Oven bake is a hassle free way also of preparing fish. Often marinating fish overnight or during the day helps create a different flavor. Whether it be an Asian theme Ginger/Corriander or Spanish flare with a Salsa Verde.
Try mixing salmon with white fish and making Fish Balls. Good way to use end cuts and use up left overs.
A nut crust is a nice textural difference to add. Add some seasame seeds and lemon juice, blend and genourously smoother fish.
Poaching fish is not commonly done in the home but is very easy. You can just use a high sided tray and fill 2cm deep with either a fish stock or white wine/water mix. Lemon juice, Salt and Pepper, herbs. Place a piece of baking paper with butter smeared on the inside side (side to touch fish) Fish is done when white droplets appear on surface of Fish.
Corriander/Lime and Olive oil dressing
Heading into summer, this is a nice refreshing dressing to add to your seafood dish
Handfull of Corriander
Zest and Juice of 1 lime
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Honey
½ cup Olive Oil
Shread coriander and place in bowl. Add lime juice and zest.
Add salt and pepper, honey.
With a whisk, slowly add in Olive Oil making sure you are whisking the whole time.
The more Oil you add, the thicker the dressing will be. So play around with Oil amount for desired coating.
This is a lovely summer feel to it. It also keeps well in the fridge and can be used with Chicken and Pork.
2 Red Capsicums
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 Cloves garlic, peeled and pan fried
¼ cup roasted Almonds
2 Tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar (Red wine vinegar can be substituted)
½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
Preheat oven to 180 degree. Put the capsicums on a baking paper lined tray. Cook for 30 mins or until the Capsicums have turned black and starting to collapse. Set aside to cool. Remove skin and seeds.
Put the garlic in a food processor and blitz. Add the almonds and blitz to a coarse crumb. Add the capsicum and tomatoes, the Olive Oil, sherry vinegar and smoked paprika. Season to taste and set aside.
2 Cups Nuts (salted if you like)
1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
Place ingredients into food processor and pulse to semi course consistency.
You can brush fish with melted coconut oil to help with cohesion of rub.
Salsa Verde (Adapted):
Large Handful of Parsley
Handful of Basil
Handful of Mint
2-3 Roasted Cloves Garlic (just quick pan fry)
Small Handful of Capers
1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
8 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Small Lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place all items except Olive Oil into food processor. While blending, drizzle in Olive Oil.
You can play around with the consistency by how much Olive Oil you put in. More you put in the thicker it will be.
With this you can use as either a basting/sauce to cook seafood in or as a sauce to drizzle over once seafood is cooked.
Missing the satisfaction of spreading butter or margarine over your potatoes? Simply put a small container of Olive Oil in the fridge. It will harden and become like a soft butter!. Also add garlic or herbs and create your own flavoured oil spread.