Christine Manfield’s (Indian) Mustard Fish

Serves: 4

Occasionally after cooking a dish we are compelled to immediately type it; even at the table whilst we finish a wine.

This is one such dish.

From the book Christine Manfield’s Indian Cooking Class, this is a knockout.

I chose barramundi rather than Murray cod, though any freshwater white fish would do.

Paste away!
And yoghurt both sides!

With some steamed rice and lots of coriander, wow. Subtle, sophisticated, just wonderful weekday cooking.

Ingredients

600gm (4 even fillets) of Murray Cod or similar
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp black mustard seeds, coarsely ground
2 tsp sea salt flakes
2 tsp wholegrain Dijon mustard*
2 tsp chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 small green chillies, chopped
1 cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp mustard oil
100gm thick plain yoghurt

Method

  1. Prepare 4 sheets of foil and 4 sheets of baking paper of the same size, ensuring the sheets are big enough to wrap around the fillets. Place the ground spices, 1 tsp salt and wholegrain mustard in a bowl and mix to combine. Rub spice mixture liberally over the fish and set aside.
  2. Place the ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander leaves, remaining 1 tsp salt and the mustard oil in a food processor and blend to make a paste. Place in a bowl with the yoghurt and stir to combine. Spread the yoghurt mixture over both sides of the mixture. **
  3. Preheat oven to 220c. Place one sheet of baking paper on top of each sheet of foil and top with fish fillet and its yoghurt coating. Wrap the fish in the paper to secure before enclosing with the foil. Don’t wrap too tightly, the parcels can be slightly loose, just make sure they’re sealed tightly at both ends.
  4. Place in an oven side-by-side and bake for 10 minutes or until the fish is tender and just cooked. (Test this.) Remove from oven for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Unwrap the fish, discarding foil and paper. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice.

* I used straight Dijon. Nat feels I should have mixed in some wholegrain mustard. I disagree though will try next time and be found to be wrong.

** I didn’t blend the paste to make it a bit more rustic.

The French Laundry’s Staff Dressing

Makes: 2 cups

We have been on a salad tear the last six months.

Neil Perry’s classic palm sugar dressing with leaves and herbs is just amazing.

My mother said that this Giana De Laurentiis’ salad of leaves tossed with caramelised pancetta and fennel was the best salad she had ever had.

Though in what is certainly seeming like a never-ending crescendo, the podium needs to be cleared again.

Because this dressing is superb.

Nothing less than one would expect from Thomas Keller.

The basic ingredients don’t vary from a traditional vinaigrette, though the use of the blender and the addition of the egg yolks completely transforms what would have been a vinaigrette, into the most wonderful cream.

Just add leaves and some fragrant herbs: dill, basil, coriander, chervil, tarragon, whatever you have in the fridge.

Get excited. It’s superb.

Ingredients

1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped shallots
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 large egg yolk
2 c canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Place the garlic, shallots, mustard and vinegar in a blender and blend until well combined. Add the egg yolk and blend again.
  2. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the dressing is thick and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be refrigerated in a covered container for 1 week.)

Roast Lamb with Whipped Feta and Mustard Dressing

Serves: 4 – 6

You can’t really go wrong with roast lamb.

As soon as you carve it it, fingers appear to grab pieces and why not? Picking at food is never decorum though roast (or BBQ) lamb is an exception.

It is what roast lamb exists for.

This wonderfully simple dish puts the emphasis on the dressing rather than the roast lamb; no sticks of rosemary and garlic or anchovies here.

And that is just fine.

Accompany with an equally simple parsley and red onion salad and you have the basis of a wonderful dinner on the table.

If you’re lucky, lunch the next day too.

Ingredients

1 boned leg of lamb (around 1.5kg)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
100gm feta
250gm plain yoghurt
1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
2 lemons
4 tsp sumac
½ bunch parsley, leaves torn
1 small red onion, finely sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Season the lamb and roast for 55 minutes; set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the feta, yoghurt, mustard, juice of 1 lemon and 2 tsp sumac until smooth.
  4. For the salad: peel, segment and dice the remaining lemon. In a bowl, combine diced lemon, parsley, onion and remaining sumac.
  5. Carve the lamb and serve drizzled with the feta and mustard dressing and the salad at the side.

Parmesan Dressing

Serves: 4

Salad is one of our favourite fall-back meals.

And the boys love nothing more than homemade sausages, some chargrilled eye fillet and a green salad… with one of the rotating salad dressings we like to make.

The rotation gets a little bigger with this one from Curtis Stone and its simplicity – and the parmesan – are what make it such a no-brainer for a throw-together grilled chicken salad.

I recommend adding this little number to your repertoire.

Ingredients

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 eschalot, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Season and drizzled over your next salad.

Easy grilled chicken

Serves: 4

This is a pretty awesome marinade.

Though it needs context.

With so much going on, planning more elaborate meals has escaped us of late. Indeed, we’ve been eating out with friends and family, doing work functions, finding little time to plan and shop ahead.

Which brings us to Friday night where, having spent the week up and down calorie and meal-wise and rarely in the kitchen, a grilled piece of chicken and a salad is almost all we want. You know, wanting to gain a small footing on the healthy boat before the inevitable weekend of cheese and wine and goodness.

Grilled chicken seems the option

But grilled chicken? It’s Friday after all, right?!

So introducing this marinade.

The pretense that marinade means nothing on chicken when it comes to the searing BBQ is completely lost on this marinade. A piece of bland chicken breast you are most definitely not left with.

Closer to a pork rib.

It ain’t subtle yet underneath it’s (healthy) chicken. And underneath that it’s Friday night, so you sort of need better than a bland chicken breast. Life is just too short.

Baste the chicken breast on the BBQ as you go, do some potatoes and a salad and nobody would know this was a last minute hack. Plus it’s healthy and it tastes pretty amazing and… it’s Friday!

Ingredients

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chicken

4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves to serve

Method

  1. Slice the chicken breasts in half length-ways.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinade the chicken; we used a large ziplock back. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight, mixing the chicken about every so often.
  3. Over a hot grill, cook the chicken, marinating with the remaining sauce.
  4. Set aside the chicken for a few minutes once cooked, slice and serve, sprinkled with the parsley.
  5. It’s Friday!

Dijon Cream

Chicken, seafood or even an eye fillet, Dijon Cream is easy and makes it seem like you have made a bit more effort than just, well, an eye fillet.

Ingredients

2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 – 4 tbsp thickened cream
Salt and pepper

Method

  • Combine.
  • Enjoy.

Café Green Salad

 Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really sweet little vinaigrette with the addition of the soy.

To the greens I added thinly sliced radishes and snippets of chives, though you could really do anything and it would be amazing.

Served with a steak w/ black olive butter, some sautéed mushrooms with garlic and a smashing mac and cheese. You can imagine the smiles and red wine cheers!

Ingredients

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Small splash soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Salad greens

Method

  1. Whisk together the ingredients except the greens to make the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Dress the greens with the vinaigrette.