Fish Pie

Fish Pie Serves 4

¾ cups of milk

¾ cups of Saison – Saison DuPont or La Chouffe or Bridge Road Saison

1 fillet of white fleshed fish – approx 180 g (ling, perch, flat head, blue eye etc) skin off

1 fillet of ocean trout approx 180g – skin on

2 tablespoons finely chopped Tarragon

3 potatoes peeled

Milk, cream and butter for making mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons Olive oil

½ leek – white part finely diced

1 carrot peeled and finely diced

1 stick of celery finely diced

8 prawns

8 scallops with roe

28g of butter

28g of flour

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

Squeeze of lemon juice

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/8th tsp white pepper

1/3 cup of grated cheddar cheese or for extra character use a smoked cheese

Place fish fillets in to an oven proof glass dish then pour the milk and Saison over the fillets, season with salt and black pepper and scatter tarragon over. Cover tightly with alfoil and put into an oven at 180 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the fish is soft and flaking when prodded. Remove fish from the milk and break into large flakes – remove and discard the skin from the ocean trout. (I leave the skin on for the poaching process as it adds extra flavour to the poaching liquor.) Set fish aside in a covered bowl to keep warm. Reserve the poaching liquid.

Cut potatoes into eighths and bring to boil in a saucepan with salted water until tender. Drain then mash the potatoes over gentle heat adding a little milk, cream and butter until you get the texture you require season with salt. They should be creamy and buttery but not too firm or overly soft.

While potatoes are coming to the boil put the olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and when hot fry the carrot, celery and leek until softened and slightly coloured. Add the prawns and scallops and stir to combine with the veg and then continue to fry until the prawns and scallops are just cooked. Remove from the heat.

Make a roux – in a saucepan over moderate heat melt the butter. Once it is foaming add the flour and stir to combine then continue to cook – stirring to cook the flour taste out of the roux. Add the poaching liquid a little at a time stirring continuously so as to avoid any lumps. Add the Dijon mustard, the white pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to the thickened sauce then cheese. Stir until the cheese is well melted and combined then remove from the heat.

In an oven proof glass pie dish or casserole bowl place the poached fish, prawns, scallops and the vegetables and mix so it is well combined then pour over the white sauce. Give the mix a gentle stir so the sauce sinks right through all of the seafood and to the bottom of the dish. Gently cover the entire top of the mix with the mashed potato making sure to use a spatula to scrape the mash over the side of the dish so as to seal the top. Using a fork scrape it over the top of the mash to create a rough texture. Sprinkle some extra cheese over the top then put into a hot oven – 220°and cook until the top of the potato browns and crisps a little.

Mussel Soup

Mussel Soup Serves 2

2 tablespoons s unsalted butter

2 cloves of garlic – chopped fine

1 small red chilli – sliced fine

¼ cup white wine

1 tablespoon of flat leaf parsley – chopped

1 ½ kilos blue mussels

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 leek – white part finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 small red chilli finely chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes

½ cup of dry white wine

½ cup of water

Black pepper freshly ground

1/3 cup of flat leaf parsley chopped

1/3 cup of fresh basil chopped

3 pieces of lemon zest finely diced

Melt butter in big pot and gently fry the garlic and chilli till aromatic – do not burn then add parsley cook for a further 2 minutes. Add mussels and then white wine. Put lid on pot and turn heat up let cook for about 5 – 8 minutes or until all the mussels are open. Shake pan occasionally to encourage mussels to open. Remove from the heat pour mussels and cooking liquor into a colander sitting over a bowl to catch all the cooking liquor, strain the liquor through a fine sieve then set aside.

In the same pan over a low heat (don’t worry about washing it as it has already got some nice flavours in there) add the butter and olive oil and when melted add the leek and cook gently for five minutes then add the garlic and chilli and gently cook until the garlic is translucent – about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to high add the tomatoes, wine, strained cooking liquor from the mussels, pepper and the water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chopped parsley, basil and lemon rind (chop them finely together to mix through) and allow the flavours to blend for about 5 minutes then add the mussels and cook for a further  5 minutes on a gentle simmer mixing the mussels through the broth so they are well coated and hot.

Serve in big deep bowls with some fresh baked crusty sour dough and a spoon to slurp up the fantastic broth.

You do not have to throw out the mussels that do not open if you bought the mussels really fresh – just pry them open with a knife and eat them. Also if the mussels are super fresh they will most likely be full of sea water which can make the soup quite salty which is why have not added any salt in this recipe. So taste the mussel broth and if it is really salty only add half of it back into the soup and perhaps add an extra half cup of water to reduce the salt content.

Beer Scrambled Eggs

Beer scrambled eggs with Smoked Trout and Goats Cheese Serves 2

4 free range eggs

Pouring cream

A  nice hoppy Pale Ale – I used Hop Hog

Fresh dill finely chopped

1 fillet of smoked trout

Salt and pepper

Good soft Goats Cheese

Cherry tomatoes on the vine

Put tomatoes into a pan with some olive oil making sure they are lightly coated and then put them in a hot oven – 220° until they have broken down – about 10 – 15 minutes.

Break eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk then add a little bit of cream and then twice as much beer i.e. one part cream to two parts beer. Give it a good whisk, add salt, pepper and dill whisk again, then taste for flavour and adjust as necessary.

Put a good knob of butter into a warm fry pan and let it melt, when it begins to foam tip in your egg mix. Let the eggs cook gently folding them with a spatula. After a minute to a minute and a half add in the flaked smoked trout and the crumbled goat’s cheese and fold through to combine. Be gentle so as not to break the trout up any more. When you think the eggs are almost cooked remove pan from heat. The idea is to remove the pan from the heat before the eggs are fully cooked as they will continue to cook for a minute or two once removed.

Divide the eggs between two plates and add three or four of the roasted tomatoes still on the vine to the side of the eggs.

You can serve with toast or you can make my potato rosti below.

2 large waxy potatoes grated

½ teaspoon of plain flour

1 beaten egg

Olive oil for shallow frying

To make the rosti make sure you squeeze as much liquid out of the grated potato as you can then put it in a bowl. Sprinkle in the flour and about1/4 of the beaten egg and mix well. You don’t want to create a wet mix you just want the potato to hold together a little bit. Heat enough olive oil in a fry pan to shallow fry the rosti and when starting to smoke a little take a handful of the potato mix, form it into a ball or pattie shape and gently put into the fry pan. Using an egg flip squash the pattie down so that it flattens and spreads out – it should be about 3/4 of a centimeter thick. Repeat with more of the mix. When golden brown on one side gently flip and cook until golden brown on the other. Remove from the pan and allow to drain on absorbent paper and season with a little salt.

Prosciutto Wrapped Cod and Cassoluet

Prosciutto Wrapped Flat Head Tails with Cassoluet Serves 2

Four Flat Head Tails

Prosciutto – 2 per piece of Flat head

1 onion chopped

one 100g slice of pancetta – diced

2 cloves of garlic – chopped

1 carrot – chopped

2 sticks of celery – chopped

1 small red chili – chopped – optional

350g of Cannellini beans soaked over night

Chicken stock

White wine

3 sprigs of Rosemary

Parsley- chopped

Add some olive oil to a hot pan and then add onions and cook down until translucent. Add pancetta and mix through for a few minutes then add the garlic, carrot, celery and chilli if using. Sweat this down for about five minutes then add the beans and mix through. Add equal parts of white wine and chicken stock so as to cover the contents of the pan. Add rosemary. Simmer stirring quite often until beans are tender approx 4o mins – adding more stock and wine as needed to keep the mixture moist. Add salt to taste at the end of the cooking process – if you add it earlier the beans will become tough. Mix through chopped parsley before serving.

Season Flat Head with pepper and then wrap each fillet in 2 pieces of prosciutto. It is best to do this not more than five or ten minutes before cooking as the longer the fish stays wrapped in the prosciutto the more salt it will draw into its flesh. In a hot pan with olive oil cook the Flat Head fillets, gently turning them once. The fish should be cooked through and the prosciutto will be browned and crisp.

Serve the cassoluet in the middle of a plate and then place two Flat Head fillets one over the other. Garnish with a little parsley.

Prosecco Lobster Mornay

Prosecco Lobster Mornay Serves 2

30g unsalted butter

30g plain flour

150 mil of Prosecco

150 mil of full cream milk

1 ½ cups of good cheddar cheese

¾ cup of parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons of Fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped Fresh chives

Nutmeg powder to taste – about ¼ to ½ a teaspoon

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

1 clove crushed garlic

1 small red chilli finely chopped (optional)

For the Sauce: In a sauce pan over medium high heat make a roux by adding the butter and heat until it begins to foam then gradually add the flour stirring well as you do. Let this mix cook for a few minutes – keep stirring – this will cook the flour taste out of it. Make sure you do not colour the roux by cooking it over too high a heat.  Next slowly whisk in the milk so that it combines well with the roux then gradually whisk in the Prosecco. If the sauce is too thick and you need to add more liquid add it in equal amounts of Prosecco and milk.  You want the sauce to have a consistency a bit like thick pouring custard and keep in mind that when you add the cheese the sauce will thicken a little more. When you are happy with the sauce consistency add in the cheeses and mix it through so that it melts into the sauce. Add the parsley, chives and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and taste for balance – if you think it needs it add a little more nutmeg until you are happy with the balance.  Season with some freshly cracked black pepper.

Pre heat your oven to 180°c

Prepare you lobster by cutting it in half keeping the head and tail intact. Quickly blanch each half in boiling water for a few seconds then remove from the water – this helps to remove the meat from the tail in one piece. Using a spoon carefully scoop/remove the tail meat from the shell and set aside the shell. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and when hot add the garlic and chili if using and cook stirring for a couple of minutes. Chop the tail meat into small pieces and add to the fry pan and stir through the garlic chili mix and cook for a couple of minutes then season with salt. You do not want to cook the lobster all the way through at this stage so when it has turned opaque remove from the fry pan and arrange the meat evenly into each tail. Place the tails on a baking tray and generously spoon the mornay sauce over the lobster and sprinkle a little extra cheese over the top. Put into your hot oven and cook until the lobster meat is cooked and the sauce bubbling and slightly coloured.

Remove from the oven and eat!

Massaman Fish Curry

Massaman Fish Curry

This curry is so easy and simple to make that I am always amazed at how good it tastes. Of course the secret is in using great quality ingredients and super fresh fish. You could make you own curry paste but nowadays there are some really terrific curry pastes being sold in gourmet grocery stores, farmers markets and supermarkets that you don’t need to if you don’t want to.

This recipe is from my Cooking for One series and is for one serve only. If you wanted to make it for two you do not need to adjust the sauce amount just add another piece of fish and double the vegetables.

1 tablespoon of peanut oil

¼ red onion – finely sliced

1 small cheek of red capsicum – finely sliced

2 tablespoons of Massaman curry paste

1 165mil can of coconut milk

Juice of half a lime (2 teaspoons)

2 – 3 drops fish sauce

5 snow peas – top and tails and cut in half

5 sugar snap peas – top and tailed

¼ small zucchini – cut into batons

1 piece of white fleshed fish – snapper, flake, ling, flat head approx 150g

1 tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander

Put the peanut oil into non stick fry pan over medium heat and when hot add the sliced onion and fry gently for about three minutes stirring often then add the capsicum and fry for a further five minutes. You do not want to burn the onions but I quite like bringing them to the point where they start to go a little brown as I like the flavour that lends the dish. Add the coconut milk and curry paste stirring well to combine and bring to a simmer then add the lime juice and the fish sauce stirring to combine and taste for flavour. Place the fillet of fish into the centre of the pan and put the vegetables around the outside of the fish, turn the heat down so the sauce simmers gently and cover with a lid. Turn the fish after five minutes and stir and turn the vegetables also so they are well coated with the sauce. Cook for another five minutes then turn again and check for doneness. The fish should easily flake apart once it is cooked. The total cooking time should be between 10 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish fillet. Finish with the coriander.

Serve over a mix of jasmine and basmati rice – approx ½ cup cooked rice.

Note: Store bought curries are really convenient and really tasty however I would urge you to read the ingredients list on them before buying. If the first ingredient is oil then don’t buy it, the first ingredient should be a flavour like onion, chilli, lemongrass etc. Also some of these pastes use palm oil which I don’t like for health and ethical reasons, it is up to you to make your own mind up however I think it is better to not use products containing palm oil.

Salad of Cerviche

Salad of Cerviche’d Dory, Blood Sausage and Grapefruit

200 g fillet of fresh Snapper sliced thin

Juice of one lime

1 baby fennel very finely sliced

Handful Baby rocket

1 ruby grapefruit segmented

½ cup of chopped coriander

80g of fresh chorizo finely diced

80 of blood sausage (also called blood pudding) finely diced

Fennel tips ripped up

Salt and pepper

Four star Balsamic

Olive oil

Place the sliced dory into a mixing bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime over the fish. Give it a mix and let it sit whilst you prepare the salad.

In a hot fry pan with some olive oil fry the chorizo and blood sausage until colored and crispy then remove and set aside.

In a salad bowl combine the fennel, rocket, grapefruit segments, fennel tips and coriander and give it all a good mix then add in the chorizo and blood sausage and mix through again.

Put the fish into a strainer and let the excess lime juice drain away – you don’t want this in the salad as it will make the salad too sour. Once drained add fish to  salad and mix through

Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous drizzle of the balsamic.

Note: you will see four stars on the side of the balsamic bottle. This balsamic is the best quality balsamic and is also quite thick and sweet so it is perfect for countering the bitterness from the grapefruit and sourness from the lime.

Seafood Salad

Seafood salad Serve 4 As Main

The key to this salad and really to anything you cook is absolute freshness! If everything in this salad is absolutely fresh then the flavours will zing out in absolute harmony and the contrast in texture, sweetness and clarity will certainly leave a smile lingering for sometime after you have finished eating. I also like to make the dressing first so it has some time to sit allowing the flavours to combine.

20 green prawns peeled but tails in tact

2 small calamari hoods or one large one

12 scallops

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 clove of garlic – crushed

1 small red chilli – finely sliced

1 bunch or punnet of Enoki mushrooms – (bottom part of the stems cut off and discarded)

1 red capsicum – julienned

1 Lebanese Cucumber peeled, deseeded and julienned

1 carrot peeled and julienned

1 small red onion peeled, halved and very finely sliced

3 tablespoon Coriander roughly chopped

10 mint leaves sliced

1 Mignonette lettuce leaves washed and roughly torn

Dressing

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon White wine vinegar

2 tablespoon of Lime juice

2 tablespoons Soy sauce

½ tablespoon of castor sugar

½ tablespoon of Sesame oil

½ teaspoon of Fish sauce

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of chilli powder

If you have small or baby squid hoods give them a wash and then finely slice them so you end up with fine small rings of squid. If you have one large hood then cut it open like a book remove any cartilage from the inside. Give it a wash then in half so you have two equal size pieces. Using a sharp knife finely score the inside or soft side of the skin in a criss cross pattern then cut into 4cm by 1cm strips.

To make the dressing combine all of the ingredients in a jar put the lid on and give a really good shake. You want a really fine balance between the sourness from the lime, sweetness from the sugar, saltiness from the soy and the pungency from the fish sauce. If you need to adjust this dressing do so in very small amounts so as not to through the whole dressing out of whack.

In a fry pan over medium heat melt the butter with the garlic and chilli then gently fry for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat to medium high add the prawns, scallops and calamari and cook tossing them so they cook evenly until just cooked remove from the pan and set aside whilst you make the salad.

Put all of the salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl giving them a good toss so as to combine evenly. Add the warm prawns, scallops and calamari and mix through then add the dressing and mix again.

Serve 4 as main

Marinated Sardine Fillets

Marinated Sardine Fillets

8 sardine fillets

½ brown onion – finely sliced

Baby fennel – equal amount to onion finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic – finely sliced

Pinch of dried chili flakes

1 tbls of chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbls of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

½ cup of sherry vinegar

¼ cup of water

8 black pepper corns

4 dried bay leaves

Flour

Salt and black pepper

olive oil

Dredge the sardines in the seasoned flour and dust off excess. Put some olive oil in to a fry pan and over medium high heat fry the sardines in hot olive oil until coloured and cooked – about 3 minutes per side. Place the cooked sardines in a shallow dish that will fit all of the sardines in one layer.

Add a little more olive oil to the fry pan if needed and gently fry the onions, fennel, garlic and chili until softened. Add the herbs, sherry water, pepper corns and bay leaves and bring the liquid to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3. Pour mixture over sardine, cover dish with plastic wrap and marinate for 12 hours and up to 2 days in the fridge.

To serve: remove the dish with the sardines from the fridge about an hour or so before you plan to eat them so they may come up to room temperature. Simply serve a sardine fillet on a piece of toasted sour dough – with or without butter depending on your preference but definitely with a cold beer!

Seafood Party Snacks

Seafood party snacks

Scallops with wasabi mayo on kettle chip

2 tablespoons of olive oil

8 large white scallops

Salt and black pepper

1 jar of Thommey Mayonnaise

1 tube of wasabi paste

1 large bag of plain salted Kettle Chips

1 jar of pickled ginger

Buy large white scallops and cut in half so you have two disks. Heat your bbq hot plate and when hot drizzle over some olive oil and place the scallops onto the plate. Cook for several minutes until they get some colour on them and then turn to cook the other side. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper.

To make wasabi mayo: Put two tablespoons of good quality mayo ( I use Thommey Brand) in a bowl and add some wasabi and mix through then taste. You want enough wasabi in the mayo to taste it and get some heat off it.

To serve: go through the packet of kettle chips and find the biggest chips. Put about ¼ to ½  a teaspoon of the mayo mix on the chip then place a disk of scallop on top. Lastly place a small piece of pickled ginger on top of the scallop.

Note: I use Kettle brand chips as they don’t seem as oily as Smiths brand chips

Note: I cut the ginger into small strips as the pieces in the jar are a just bit big to put on the scallop.

Sichuan Pepper Calamari Rings

2 tubes of baby calamari

4 tablespoons of Sichuan pepper corns

1 tablespoon of rice flour

½ teaspoon of Sea Salt

Olive oil for frying

Clean calamari tubes as needed then cut across the body to create nice thin rings.

Toast the Sichuan pepper corns in a dry fry pan over high heat until they begin to smoke then put in a pestle along with the salt and use the mortar to grind them down to a powder. Add rice flower and give it all a good mix then tip into a bowl. Put the calamari rings into the bowl and give it all a good toss so they are well coated. Heat enough oil in a wok or fry pan to shallow fry the calamari and when hot cook in batches draining each batch on some kitchen paper.

Serve Calamari rings piled up in a bowl.

Smoke Ocean Trout Tacos

Beer brined cured and smoked ocean trout

Red onion – finely sliced

Fennel – finely sliced

Crispy lettuce – sliced

3 tablespoons of Mayo

1 tablespoon Horseradish cream

1 tablespoon Masterfoods minced Chilli

Corn Tortilla

Combine mayo, horseradish and chilli paste in a bowl and adjust flavours to your taste.

Warm the tortilla’s either in the microwave or on the bbq. Place a teaspoon or so of the mayo mix then scatter some of the red onion and fennel over the middle of the tortilla then place a chunk of the smoked ocean trout in the middle of the tortilla and lastly some lettuce slices. Roll up and eat!