Damien Pignolet’s Grilled Tuna with Pistou & Tomato Aioli, with Fennel and Kipfler Potato Salad

Serves: 6

This very much 80s, very much Southern French dish is still absolutely in vogue.

Mayonnaise (aioli) and fish has never, ever dated.

Especially in the warmer months.

The whole thing is just sublime. The olives and fennel with the potato.

The wonderful tomato aioli with the tuna and pistou.

You would knock people’s socks off with this dish and it isn’t that hard to prepare.

Indeed, other than the salad and cooking the fish, the rest could be done in advance.

This is lux, 80s, 1-hat eating.

Just add sunshine and a good, cold white.

I just love it when a dish like this works just so, so well.

Ingredients

6 x 200gm portions tuna fillet
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Pistou

2 small cloves garlic, pelled
20 large basil leaves
3 – 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Tomato aioli*

3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
A drizzle of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 egg yolks
100ml extra virgin olive oil
60 – 80ml grapeseed oil
A little lemon juice

Fennel and kipfler potato salad

8 – 10 medium kipfler potatoes
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-sized fennel bulb
A touch of aged balsamic vinegar
24 Ligurian olives (we used half this amount)

Method

  1. Make the pistou: finely chop the garlic, then work to a paste with a pinch of salt, using the flat of a knife. Transfer to a mortar and then add the basil and grind to a paste, adding a few drops of oil. When smooth, work in the remaining oil and season to taste.
  2. For the tomato aioli, preheat the oven to 250c. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a shallow dish until the tomatoes are scorched and very soft, then pass through a fine sieve and set the juice aside.
  3. Cover the garlic with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain and repeat, cooking this time until the cloves are tender when pierced with a small knife, then drain the garlic, remove the skin and crush with a small spoon in a small mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and a pinch of salt and gradually add the oils in a thin stream, just a few drops to begin with, whisking constantly. The aioli should be very thick; if not, work in a little more oil.**
  4. Work in enough of the reserved tomato puree to flavour the aioli but retain the consistency of thick cream. Adjust the seasoning, adding lemon juice to taste.
  5. Next, make the salad. Peel the potatoes, cut intp 1cm thick slices then steam until tender, about 15 minutes. *** While the potatoes are still hot, dress them with the oil and vinegar, add the olives and season to taste.
  6. Trim the the base and top of the fennel. Shave the fennel bulb into 2mm-thick slices, preferably with a mandoline, then combine with the warm potatoes and olives. Mix well and do not worry if the potatoes break up – this is meant to be rustic food.
  7. Using a thin paring knife, cut a pocket in the side of each piece of tuna and work in the pistou.
  8. Heat a cast-iron grill or a large, heavy based frying pan until very hot but not smoking then lightly brush with olive oil. Brush one side of each tuna portion with oil and season this side only. Sear for about 2 minutes or until the edges of the fish just begin to change colour. Brush the raw side with oil, season, then flip over and cook for another minute or so. Transfer the tuna to warm plates, coat with the tomato aioli and garnish with the salad.

* A dish like this calls for a homemade mayonnaise/aioli, though I also very much get the merits of cheating. Simply follow the tomato step, do this cheat aioli and voila.

** Hats off if you whisk mayonnaise and aioli by hand, though seriously, consider a food processor as has been the norm since the 70s.

*** Microwave container. Splash of water. 8 minutes. Job done.

Josh Niland’s Gurnard Soup

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a remarkably good dish, though it is from Josh Niland and so no suprises there.

Check out that skin!
Beyond elegant. Clearly restaurant.

The bisque (soup) would be the best I have had, with the addition of lemon juice at the end dialing it up a further notch. The crispy skin fish combined with the bisque is just so, so good.

Worth absolutely every bit of effort.

Big grins.

We ended up using flathead instead of gurnard for both the fish and the bisque and Josh is fine with this.

The most interesting part of the process of this recipe, was really exploring how to achieve an optimal crispy skin, something we have never particularly focused on.

We still have a ways to go though after a few attempts, we are close. (N.B. that in the photos on this recipe, you will note that we have scored the skin, something we have heard a few people recommend, though we’ve arrived at don’t score the skin.)

Anyway, our best results:

  • Heavy, cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat.
  • Lot’s of quality ghee, with the addition of more ghee halfway through. (Josh says to discard the first quantity of ghee though to date we have not done this.)
  • Utilising a fish weight. (Thanks to our mate Josh D for ours.) You could also use a small pan.
  • Not flipping the fish and cooking skin-side down only.
  • After 1 minute, moving the fish with an offset palette knife (an absolute must instrument in your kitchen).

Ingredients

100gm ghee
4 x 80gm boneless red gurnard fillets, skin on (substiture leatherjacket, red mullet or flathead)
Sea salt flakes

Soup base

4 x 300gm whole red gurnard (or substitute), gills, cuts and gall bladders removed
120gm ghee
Large pinch of sea salt flakes
2 onions, finely sliced
8 garlic cloves, crushed
3 small fennel bulbs, finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 bunch thyme sprigs
5 lemon thyme sprigs (optional)
2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted
2 star anise
Generous pinchof saffron threads
200ml white wine
1 tbsp Pernod
freshly cracked black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste

Method

  1. To make the soup base, use a sharp cleaver to chop each gurnard into approximately eight small pieces, including the liver and roe.
  2. Heat 100gm of the ghee to a light haze in a large, wide, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat, add the chopped fish and salt flakes and cook for 10 minutes until coloured all over. Transfer to a bowl. Using a wide barbecue scraper, scrape off any caramelised fish from the base of the pan and add to the bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining ghee in the pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until softened, then increase the heat to high and cook the garlic and fennel for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, then return the cooked fish to the pan, align with all the remining ingredients except the salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  4. Pour in enough water to cover, then put the lid on and bring to the boil. As soon as it’s boiling, remove the lid and simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes, or until thickened slightly and the taste is well rounded. Pass the stock through a mouli (or pulse in a food processer), then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, disgarding the pulp. Return to the pan, season well with salt, pepper and lemon juice and keep warm.
  5. To cook the gurnard fillets, heat 75gm of the ghee in a large cast-iron frying pan over a medium-high heat to a light haze. Place the fillets in the centre of the pan, skin side down and making sure they are not touching each other, and put a fish weight or small saucepan on their thickest side. Keeping the pan temperatures quite high, cook for about 1 minute, or until you start to see the colour around the edges of the fillets. Use an offset palette knife to lift the fillets, then reposition them to take on new colour. Now place the fish weights in the centre of the pan, covering the majority of the fillets. This will aid in setting the fillets gently from the rising heat. Cook for another 2 minutes and then remove the weights. Discard the ghee and replenish with 45gm more fresh ghee. (This is just to help temper the pan as at this stage it is important to keep the pan heat high but not so high that the skin burns, leaving the flesh on top raw.) If the flesh still seems cool to the touch at this point, position the weight on top for another 1 – 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  6. If you find the fillets exceed your pan size, either use two frying pans or cook them in batches, and double the quantity of ghee.
  7. Once the fish is 75 per cent on the way set, the top of each fillet is warm and the skin is crisp from edge to edge, transfer them directly into warm soup bowls, skin side up and season the skin with salt flakes. Pour a generous amount of soup around the gurnard until the sides of the fish are completely submerged though the skin remains dry (and therefore crisp). Serve immediately.

Gretta Anna’s Coulibiac (Russian Salmon Pie)

Serves: 8

This is one hell of a decadent – and very pleasantly unusual – pie.

Something that Tsar’s no doubt enjoyed a hundred years back.

Scan the ingredients and you would have to agree.

There is a bit of effort in it – thanks Nat – and the handling of the filo pastry was touch and go; make sure you reduce the smoked salmon and mushroom mixtures until well thickened.

Also, we agreed that using fresh salmon might lighten the pie slightly, though the smoked salmon is subtle and the whole point of this pie is to live the good life.

Lobster or prawn bisque can be found at good delis and fishmongers.

Otherwise, I commend the Coulibiac to you. It is such a classic.

Ingredients

10 sheets filo pastry
100gm butter, melted
2 c walnuts, chopped
Beaten egg, for brushing
350gm sour cream (optional)
3 spring onions, finely diced (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rice Mixture

1/2 c medium-grain white rice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp chopped dill
4 golden shallots, chopped
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Mushroom Mixture

400gm mushrooms, chopped
90gm butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml pure cream
2 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp chopped marjoram

Smoked salmon mixture

1 x 400gm tin prawn or lobster bisque
400 ml pure cream
170gm smoked salmon, chopped
1 x 185gm tin crabmeat, drained and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Method

  1. To make the rice mixture, cook the rice until tender. Season with salt and pepper, then mix in the dill, shallots and pine nuts. Place in the refridgerator until required.
  2. To make the mushroom mixture, sauté the mushrooms in the butter in a frying pan until soft, then season with salt and pepper and add the cream. Stir in the cornflour mixture to thicken, then add the majoram. Place in the refridgerator until required.
  3. To make the smoked salmon mixture, place the bisque into a saucepan with the cream and and bring to the boil, whisking until it thickens. Add the salmon and crabmeat and season with salt and pepper. Add the boiled egg. Place in the refridgerator until needed.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190c and grease an overnproof serving dish.
  5. Place 2 sheets of filo pastry on the bench top with 2 further sheets alongside the first two. Brush the top sheet of each set of filo pastry sheets with melted butter and chopped walnuts. Add 2 more sheets of the follow to each set and add more melted butter and chopped walnuts. Add the last 2 sheets of filo, one on top of each set.
  6. Leaving a 5cm space top and bottom (to allow for tuck-in when rolling), place a 10cm band of each of the three mixtures (using half of each mixture), one on top of the other, down one set of pastry. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg and fold the pastry over the top and bottom. Fold the pastry in on both sides of the mixture to form a roll, tucking in both tops and bottoms as they are rolled.
  7. Repeat with the other set of pastry and remaining filling.
  8. Place the two rolls in the prepared serving dish and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining chopped walnuts and bake for about 40 minutes until crisp and golden
  9. Combine the sour cream with the spring onions and season with salt and pepper. Serve the coulibiac in slices with the sour cream, or leave it unsauced.

Neil Perry’s Prawn Scrambled Eggs

Serves: 2 as a starter

Neil Perry is famous for his Asian omelettes and my first experience was in 1997 when I graduated from school (boarding school no-less) and in a surprise, my old-man picked me up and we drove into the Sydney CBD and had lunch at the original Rockpool.

We had Neil’s famous blue swimmer crap omelette and it was just awesome.

This particular dish is simpler – incredibly simple in fact – though it is that simplicity that makes it just such a wonderful treat.

What a cracking starter by Nat for a long afternoon of Chinese grazing.

Ingredients

300gm green king prawns, peeled and deveined
2 large eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 spring onion, sliced

Sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
A few drops of sesame oil

Method

  1. To make the sauce, combine the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil with 2 tbsp water in a small pot and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly break up with a fork.
  3. Heat a wok until it is almost smoking, Add half the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the prawns in two batches until almost cooked through. Remove the prawns and wipe the wok clean.
  4. Heat the remaining oil and stir fry the eggs until just beginning to set, then add the prawns and spring onion and gently toss together. Remove from the heat, spoon onto a plate and pour the warm sauce over the eggs to serve.

Neil Perry’s Stir-Fried Blue Eye with Snake Beans

Serves: 4

Another cracking dried curry – which I love – and one from Neil Perry’s book Balance and Harmony: cooked by Nat no less as part of a long Covid lockdown lunch.

I appreciate that pastes can be painful on first inspection though take the time. This is how we make the food that we love, right?

Dried shrimp and shrimp paste are easily gettable and the rest is mainstream.

Enjoy. (I certainly did with a side-bowl of steamed white rice.)

Ingredients

300gm blue eye fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
8 snake beans, cut into 3cm pieces
100ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

Spice Paste

1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and chopped
1 tsp sea salt
3 red shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp finely chopped galangal
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, chopped
6 coriander roots, scraped and chopped
1 tsp Thai shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and roasted until fragrant

Method

  1. To make the spice paste, lightly roast the peppercorns, fennel and cumin seeds in a dry heavy-based pan until very fragrant and dark, then grind to a powder in a spice grinder. The pound all the past ingredients in a mortar and pestle until you have a fine paste. (Or use a blender, adding a little water if necessary.)
  2. Boil the beans until tender, then drain and refresh in iced water.
  3. Heat a wok until smoking. Add half the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the blue eye in batches until golden, then remove. Add the remaining oil to the pan and stir fry the spice paste until fragrant, then add the palm sugar, fish sauce, beans and shrimp and toss together. Return the blue eye to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Josh Niland’s John Dory Tagine

Serves: 6

Wow, this is a just a brilliant tagine.

The heat is perfect. The unusual addition of thyme and fish sauce and anchovies.

The f-you preserved lemon yoghurt.

And the pine nuts toasted with salt and then sherry vinegar.

I mean it when I say, skip now to that part of the recipe and simply do the pine nuts as a snack. They are addictive.

(If they lose their crunch, refresh them in a hot oven for a minute or two.)

This was our first Josh Niland recipe from his book Take One Fish and I really don’t know why we delayed buying his books or cooking his stuff. We have every other cookbook in the world, and there is a reason he won James Beard Book of the year.

We didn’t source John Dory darnes because we didn’t have the time to get to the markets; and also because we’re not entirely ready for whole fish-tail in our tagine. (It’s us Josh, not you.)

We cooked cubbed Snapper, though next time I’d do cubbed Dory or even Barramundi.

As Josh interestingly points out, the whole piece of John Dory tail with the bones means you get the addition of gelatine into the sauce which would just wonderfully balance it out: I guess it dependents on whether you’re a fish-tail tagine sort of person.

Either way, this tagine is absolutely on point. We just loved it.

Put the kids to bed, open a cold Chardonnay and do this next Saturday.

Ingredients

6 x 150gm John Dory tail shank chops or darnes (or 1kg firm white fish, cubbed)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
1/4 c currants
1/4 c coriander leaves
1/4 c mint leaves
Couscous to serve

Tagine Paste

1/4 c chilli flakes
1/4 c ras el hanout
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground turmeric
3 tsp sweet paprika
3 large onions, finely diced
6 large garlic cloves, finely grated
100gm peeled ginger coarsely chopped
2 long red chillies, seeds removed
12 thyme springs, leaves picked
1 bunch coriander, washed
1 bunch flat leaf (Italian) parsley, washed
12 salted anchovy fillets
1 c extra virgin olive oil

Tagine Base

100ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 x 400gm tins crushed tomatoes
1/2 star anise
500ml brown fish stock
Pinch of sea salt flakes
1 x 400gm tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large fennel bulb, coarsely diced
Generous pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 60ml boiling water
1/4 c honey
Zest of 1 orange
Lemon juice, to taste
Fish sauce

Salt and Vinegar Pine Nuts

1/2 c pine nuts
1 tsp fine salt
3 tsp sherry vinegar

Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

90gm preserved lemon, pith removed
350gm natural yoghurt

Method

  1. To make the tagine paste, blitz all the ingredients in a blender until completely smooth.
  2. For the tagine base, warm the olive oil in a large, wide-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the tagine paste and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until thoroughly cooked out and aromatic. Add the crushed tomatoes, star anise, stock and salt. Brind to a simmer and cook for 25 – 30 minutes until thick and fragrant, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Rub each of the John Dory shanks with a little olive oil and season lightly with salt flakes.
  4. Using a tagine pot or flameproof casserole dish with a fitted lid, pour in enough of the sauce to completely cover the base to a depth of roughly 2.5cm, then nestle the shanks/cubbed fish into the sauce. Bring to the boil over a medium-heat, then cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer very gently for 6 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. (46 – 48c if cooking the tail). Remove from the heat and leave the residual heat of the tagine to finish cooking the fish.
  5. To make the salt and vinegar pine nuts, add the pine nuts and salt to a dry frying pan and set over a high heat and toast for 3 – 4 minutes, tossing the nuts as you go, until evenly coloured all over.
  6. Add the sherry vinegar and continue to cook, tossing for 2 minutes until the nuts are thoroughly dried out. Remove from the heat.
  7. For the preserved lemon yoghurt, place the preserved lemon in a blender and blitz to a fine paste, adding a splash of warm water if necessary to deliver a simply smooth finish. Stir into the yoghurt and set aside until needed.
  8. To serve, bring the tagline to the table and serve with the pine nuts, preserved lemon yoghurt, currants, coriander, mint leaves and couscous.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Fish Koftas in Ancho Chilli and Tomato Sauce

Serves: 4

The genius Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book – Test Kitchen, Shelf Love – was one of my presents for Nat this Christmas just gone.

We’re spending the week post-Christmas, laying low. Waking up late, cooking or eating out, opening a Champagne each day no later than 1.

I kicked it off with this recipe last night.

It is just excellent.

With fluffy white rice and yoghurt to cool the spice kick, it is unique and particularly moorish.

The sauce can be made a day or two ahead meaning it is only a matter of frying the koftas when you need them.

Could not be easier. Could not be better for a lazy night in.

Cold beer essential.

And Merry Christmas 2021. Stay safe.

Ingredients

For the koftas

500gm firm sustainable white fish (e.g. cod, though we used barramundi)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
10gm dill plus extra to serve
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
30gm panko crumbs
3 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce

1 1/2 dried ancho chillies, stems removed
2 tsp caraway seeds toasted and roughly crushed
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, roughly chopped
60ml olive oil
1 green chilli, halved lengthways
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 – 4 plum tomatoes, skinned and roughly grated
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp caster sugar
25gm fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. For the sauce, put the ancho chillies into a small bowl and cover with plenty of boiling water. Leave to soften for 20 minutes then drain, discarding the liquid. Roughly chop the chillies, then put them in a food processor alone with two-thirds of the caraway and cumin, all the garlic, the onion and 2 tbsp of oil. Blitz to a coarse paste.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat. Add the ancho paste, green chilli and tomato paste and cook for 7 minutes, stirring often, until softened and fragrant. Add the grated tomatoes, stock, 200ml of boiling water, the sugar, half the coriander, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and a good grind of pepper and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep warm on a low heat until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, make the koftas. Finely chop the fish into 1/2 – 1cm pieces. Put them into a large bowl along with the spring onions, dill, chilli, lemon zest, egg, panko, the remaining coriander, the remaining caraway and cumin, 1 tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper and mix well to combine. Form into 12 round fish cakes.
  4. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil in a large frypan on a medium-high heat. Add half the koftas and fry for 2 1/2 minutes per side, until golden. Transfer to a plate, then repeat with the remaining oil and koftas.
  5. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the koftas, then turn the heat down and cook for 10 minutes, to cook through. Leave to sit for about 5 minutes then top with the extra dill leaves.

Blackened Sumac Ocean Trout with Butter Bean and Celery Salad

Serves: 4

We both agreed that this meal reminded us of a meal at the original Kitchen by Mike, a wonderful and innovative Sydney institution that served sustainable, wholesome lunches:

The original Kitchen by Mike: nothing beat a lunch there with a cold glass of vino and an espresso to mop it up.

This recipe is so clean and honest, with the simple salad dressed with only olive oil and lemon juice, cutting against the sweetness of the ocean trout rub.

It’s as sophisticated as it is simple and Nat just loved it.

I appreciate that a simple Saturday BBQ can be just what is needed, though with just a bit more effort, you’ll have a brilliant lunch in the sun.

Obviously, white wine is a must.

Another Gourmet Traveller recipe win from their 2021 Annual.

Ingredients

800gm piece of ocean trout, skin on, pin-boned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp each sumac and brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 celery heart, finely chopped, leaves reserved
400gm can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 c loosely packed watercress sprigs
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 c sheep’s milk yoghurt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Place ocean trout, skin-side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Combine garlic, sumac, sugar, spices and 2 tbsp oil in a bowl and season. Rub mixture over trout and roast until medium and crust is golden, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine celery, celery leaves, butter beans, watercress, lemon juice and remaining oil in a bowl. Season to taste.
  3. Serve the trout with salad yoghurt at the side.

Charred Cabbage with Chestnuts and Prawns

Serves: 4

This recipe is in the Gourmet Traveller 2021 Annual, an always reliable and always excellent publication.

So much so, we have had whole long-weekends revolve around their annual collections of the best and most popular receipts from their magazine across the year.

This dish is seriously delicious.

It’s also simple.

And it is unquestionably 1-hat territory, if not nudging some of the 2-hat dining rooms winning their hats around simplicity and brilliant execution.

What a way to start a meal.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Savoy cabbage (600gm) cut into wedges
1 c each dry white wine and vegetable stock
80gm butter, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 banana prawns, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp caraway seeds
240gm canned chestnuts, sliced
1/2 c thickened cream, warmed
1 tbsp finely chopped chives, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220c. Heat half the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high-heat. Cook cabbage cut-side down until charred, and flip and do the same with the other cut-side. Transfer to a large roasting pan.
  2. Pour wine and stock over the cabbage and dot with half the butter. Roast until tender, turning halfway: about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add garlic and cook until just golden and fragrant. Add remaining butter and cook until starting to foam. Add prawn meat, caraway seeds and chestnuts, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until prawns are just cooked through. Add the cream and cook until combined.
  4. Serve cabbage wedges with prawn and chestnut mix, topped with chives.

Neil Perry’s Barbecued Coral Trout with Sauce Vierge

Serves: 4

Neil credits this recipe to Roger Vergé, one of the greatest chefs of all time; the recipe first appeared in Roger Vergé’s first cookbook, Cuisine of the Sun (1979). (This Roger Vergé recipe is one of the greatest beef recipes I have had and after you have had this dish for lunch, line this beef up for dinner.)

Paired with coral trout – my absolute favourite fish – this is a sublime dish. The texture is just wonderful.

You could be in the South of France.

Do yourself a favour and whilst the sun is still out, do this as part of a lazy lunch.

Ingredients

4 x 180gm coral trout fillets
Sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

For the sauce vierge (makes 500ml)

3 vine-ripened tomatoes, peels, deseeded and cut into a 2cm dice.
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and halved
2 tbsp chopped chervil
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
8 coriander seeds, crushed
250ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt an freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Mix the diced tomatoes with all the other ingredients in a bowl, then set aside for 1 – 2 hours to mature.
  2. Preheat the barbecue to hot an make sure the grill bars are clean. Liberally sprinkle the fillets with sea salt an brush with the oil. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, and then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Rest in a warm place for 3 minutes.
  3. Plate, spooning over the sauce, twist of pepper and serve.