Most people would be familiar with 'Turbot au beurre blanc', a staple of French seafood cuisine. Some people might know of 'Raie au beurre noir'...
Turns out, I don't like skate, probably the only fish I won't eat, but I like that sauce usually seven with capers. So, as I found a beautiful turbot chez De Costi at the Sydney Fish Market, I decided to treat it like skate...
I prepared a salad of Red Cabbage, Pear, Fennel, Carrot and Persian Feta to put some colour back in the plate, just dressed with balsamic vinegar and EVOO from Alto Olives. So, here is the drill (ready to put your skates on?...)
As previously explained, use a frozen 60grams piece of Pepe Saya butterPrepare the salad first and plate right away, as the beurre noir and the cooking of the fish are very quick and will require all your attention...
You will need two pans, one for the fish that you will just grill int olive oil and some butter to give it more colour, and one to prepare the "beurre noir", literally "black butter", but not too black, that's the secret and the tricky bit!
As previously featured, use a 60 grams frozen piece of Pepe Saya butter (or any quality butter like Isigny, Lescure, Le Conquérant...) and melt it in the pan on top of some olive oil (I use Rosto Mellow evoo for cooking, available at Harris Farm Markets here). Use about 20 grams for the fish and reserve the balance for the beurre noir.
To prepare the beurre noir, melt 40 grams of butter with a small amount of olive oil to prevent the butter to burn to quickly. Then turn the heat up until it foams and almost separate. At that point you can either throw the capers with some of their vinegar in the pan, or, as I did use some raspberry vinegar for a touch more "five star" deliciousness. This will coagulate the butter. Turn the heat down, add the capers and turn the heat off after a few moments - don't burn the capers basically...
Yes, I know, the Tour is finished...But I always planned to give you six recipes from places that would be on or near one of the Tour stages this year. The Tour didn't quite make it to the Cote d'Azur, but I thought some of you would still like a mediterranean fish recipe. So here it is!
And no, it is not a bouillabaisse, as you already got this one. Instead, I was inspired by a few dishes I had a chance to try at various restaurants this week as I had a visitor from overseas and also by Jeremy Strode John Dory recipe at the SMH Growers Market in Pyrmont yesterday.
So, over my weekly visit to the Sydney Fish Market, I found some beautiful flathead, a fish I have not cooked in a long time and one that suits my recipe just fine.
Roasted Flathead on a bed of polenta and rich tomato sauce
First up, you need to prepare the polenta, as it needs to cook for longer. I used five cups of water for one cup of polenta. I poured the water in a large and high saucepan and on high heat, then poured the polenta into it without waiting for it to boil. then when it boils, reduce the heat and stir from time to time (not constantly as many recipes suggest...). It will take about 20 minutes to cook.
Then, start the tomato sauce: Olive oil, shallots, tin tomatoes, salt, pepper and a bit of garlic and half a glass of wine towards the end, and you are done! You add some tomato purée as well.
Finally on to the fish: Cut big chunks of the fish, according to your number of guests. In an oven proof pan, sear the fish in enough olive oil. Once evenly cooked on the outside, move the pan into a pre heated oven to about 200 degrees and roasted for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the fish. Check every 5 minutes to make sure you are not overcooking it.
Aubergines, LEEKs, Haloumi and a few other things!
I have to credit my Facebook and Tasmanian based friend, Dillon Kesur for this recipe.
I am not a vegetarian, far from it, as some of these postson my blog will attest, but I am currently hosting a delicious young French lady, on exchange from the French Film School Louis Lumière, where my son spent a year in 2012/13, and she is vegetarian, which means we had to adjust our menus ...just so slightly.
And Dillon came to the rescue unexpectedly in the form of a FB post with this delicious recipe:
Dillon was born in Fiji and is blessed with Irish and Indian heritage and is very keen on growing his own food, bake his own bread and grace his Facebook page for our pleasure and "émerveillement' with beautiful photos and recipes of his daily experiments and adventures in food, wine and life in general.
A convicted romantic, he also shares with us his love for his family, good music and Leunig cartoons.
Certainly a "gentilhomme" in the Renaissance meaning of the word! We have not met yet in person but it is only "partie remise", and what a party it promises to be!
So without further delay, here is Dillon's recipe and my photos of my own implementation:
Firstly slice and slowly cook 2 onions in olive oil. Adding Salt and Pepper (careful with the salt because haloumi is quite salty). When they are soft (approx. 15 mins) add 1 large sliced leek , 2 cloves of garlic sliced and a ½ cup of chopped oven dried tomatoes.
I used two leeks, crushed the garlic and didn't chop the sundries tomatoes - but I should have!
Once the leeks are soft and cooked, I mixed ½ cup of leftover cooked rice and ¼ of a cup cream. Any other cooked grain or lentil would be nice as well. Stir well.
Comment: I kept the rice and cream, as well as the sundered tomatoes until I assembled the dish
While leeks are cooking, thinly slice an aubergine lengthways. Next time I’ll use 2, because it needs to be the star ingredient. Brush the slices with olive oil, then grill them till brown on both sides.
Comment: I used three aubergines because of the size of my dish and ended up with enough for 8 people - 2 meals for four people - my daughter unfortunately missed out...
Butter and line an earthen ware dish with the aubergines, cover gaps with more dried toms, then spoon in a little of the leek mixture . Layer with thin slices of haloumi, torn bocconcini and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan. Build alternate layers , finishing with the cheeses. Fold over aubergine flaps on top (see pic) Cover with foil and lid.
Comment: I used olive oil instead of butter...
Comment: Slice the aubergines and the haloumi as thin as you can, so you can build three layers - I managed only two...
I would use more rice and cream, and I am not sure I would use bocconcinis and parmesan again as I don't think it adds anything significant.
I had the oven preheated at 220C. Baked for 10 minutes then reduced the heat to 170c for a further 45 minutes. Unmould onto a plate carefully after resting for 10 mns.
Comment: The whole thing was ready in 45 mns, but obviously that depends on your oven. Check from time to time and you will know when it is ready - the smell will be a proper giveaway!
Unmould on a big enough plate - try not to burn your fingers in the process. Slice at the table to serve!
Drink a Valpolicella Superiore or a nice Côtes du Rhone and be merry!
Again a great thank you to Dillon for what is essentially our first guest post. Stay tuned for more!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
A link here for our non-metric readers: