Back At It!


BAKED FISH

Now I know this isn’t a very Heston like dish but this is one that takes me back to my childhood. When I was growing up in the small far north town of Exmouth in Western Australia we use to go camping quite a lot sometimes for weeks at a time. We would catch crayfish and fish by the limit load. So why not use what you caught fresh that day and that’s exactly what we did. Lighting up a big fire and baking fish in the coals was perfect under a full star sky. Now I live in the big smoke of Perth, I still quite frequently go and buy a whole fish and prepare it the same way as my parents use to and have adapted that technique to use at home.

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INGREDIENTS

– 1 Whole Fish (Scaled and Gutted)

– 2 Capsicum (Different Colors Cut into Strips)

– 1 Handful of Baby Tomatoes (Whole or Halved)

– 1 Handful of Kalamata Olives

– 1 Onion (Cut into Wedges)

– 6 Sprigs of Thyme

– 2 Cloves of Garlic

– 1 Lemon (Cut into Wedges)

– 1 Tbsp of Butter

– Salt and Pepper

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METHOD

First preheat the oven to 180º and lay some aluminium foil out on a clean bench. Give your fish a bit of a wash under some cold water and lay it on top of the foil. You then want to put a few shallow incisions into both sides of the fish (shown in the photo below). Rub the butter all over the skin of the fish and season with salt and pepper. Next you want to cut up your onions, capsicum, tomatoes and lemons into wedges and arrange them and the remaining of the ingredients underneath, in and on top of the fish.

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Once complete, wrap the foil up nice and tight to ensure that none of the juices escape while it is cooking (this is flavour). For a fish that will feed two people you want to leave it in the oven for 25 minutes before checking. Peel the foil back and with a night try to move a bit of the flesh from on of the incisions to see if you have the sam white cooked fish consistency all the way to the spine of the fish. If this is the case you are ready to serve and if not place it back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until cooked. Otherwise enjoy!

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If you were to do this on the open fire out camping, get you big bonfire cranking and git to down to some very hot coals. Make a well in the middle of the pit, place the fish in and cover back over with coals. This is going to most probably be hotter than the oven so cook for 20 minutes and check. if it’s not cooked just place back on top of the coals for 5 minutes at a time until cooked through.

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The MANE Liquor boys recommend this dish be paired with the Bootleg Pils or for something a little more daring the Tilquin Gueuze Sour.

Cuttlefish with Meatballs and Peas


SEPIA AMB ALBÓNDIGAS Y GUISANTES

Over the weekend it was a bit chilly so cooking a big hearty stew was in order to help warm us up. We decided to look to one of our favourite chefs, Rick Stein, for inspiration. In the week leading up to our cookup for this weeks blog we were sending ideas back and forth of different recipes in our Rick Stein books (and combined I think we are one book shy of the collection) before we came across an amazing sounding dish: cuttlefish with meatballs and peas. This is an excellent spanish dish and best served with a big crusty loaf of bread, which went down an absolute treat.

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INGREDIENTS
– 6 tbsp Olive oil
– 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1 Medium onion, finely chopped
– 90 ml (3.2fl oz) Dry white wine
– 1 Large vine tomato (about 200g), halved
– 2 tsp Tomato pur
– 15 g Slice crustless white bread
– 1.5 tbsp Milk
– 2 tbsp Chopped flat-leaf parsley
– 225g Minced chicken
– 225 g Minced pork
– 1 Pinch, freshly grated nutmeg
– 6 Large shell-on raw prawns
– 375g Cleaned cuttlefish, cut into 2cm strips
– 150ml Chicken stock
– 100g Shelled peas, fresh or frozen
– 1 Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Picada
– 2 tbsp Olive oil
– 2 Fat garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
– 10g Slice crustless white bread
– 10g Toasted blanched almonds
– 1 Small vine-ripened or beef tomato, halved
– 1 tsp Flat-leaf parsley leaves

 

METHOD

First you want to grate the halved tomatoes for the sauce and the picada. Discard the skin. Right for the picada, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic, the slice of bread and fry. Turning over now and then until golden brown all over. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl of a mini food processor with the almonds, tomato, parsley and a tablespoon of cold water. Blend to a paste and set aside.

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Next place 2 tablespoons of the oil, half the garlic and the onion into a large saucepan and fry for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly golden. Add the wine, grated tomato and tomato purée and reduce to a simmer (stirring occasionally) for 6-7 minutes or until reduced and thickened. For the meatballs first you want to tear the bread into a small bowl, sprinkle with the milk and leave until soft.  Next break apart with your fingers and add the remaining chopped garlic, parsley, minced chicken and pork, nutmeg and a good pinch each of salt and black pepper. Mix together well and shape roughly into 3cm balls.

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Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add the meatballs and fry for 3 minutes. Shake the pan every now and cook until golden brown. Set aside on a plate and add the prawns. Fry for 1 minute on each side until just cooked through and set aside on another plate. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then the cuttlefish and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until it is nicely caramelized and just cooked through. Set aside with the prawns.

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Next we combine the tomato sauce and picada to a large pan then bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the stock and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Add the peas, meatballs and cuttlefish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Lastly scatter the prawns in and simmer for 5 minutes until any remaining liquid has reduced, the cuttlefish has cooked through and throw some parsley on to garnish. Serve with crusty fresh loaf of bread.

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